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Through a partnership with Cleveland Metroparks and Metro Parks, Serving Summit County, this 16-mile trail borders Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP). Four trailhead locations give access to trail segments along the eastern boundary of CVNP. Other trailhead locations include areas both north and south of the national park. Call MetroParks for brochure listing all trailheads.

Aptly named, the Bike & Hike Trail is open to both hikers and mountain bikers with all but one mile nicely separated from vehicular traffic. As one of the first rail-trail projects in Ohio, the trail offers a safe, quiet path suitable for families looking for a remote trek. The surface is a compacted, crushed limestone with a gentle grade of 3% or less. The area of trail described here runs south of Astorhurst Golf Course from Alexander Road to the Happy Days Visitor Center found along State Route 303.

Beginning in the northeast area of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the first several miles south leave visitors with sights that include high power lines overhead but with plenty of knee-high scenery. The broken views are flanked with a bevy of interesting plant life including tall bellflower and thimbleweed. Homes visible are a vivid reminder of just how precarious remote lands are in the Midwest.

After approximately 5 miles of travel, tourists will come to a small trailhead parking area at the junction of Carter Road and Aurora Road / SR 82. After carefully crossing over Aurora Road and traveling to Holzhauer Road, visitors will see a spur bearing southwest off the Bike & Hike Trail. As the 16-mile Bike & Hike Trail continues in a southbound direction, the connector trail takes users over to the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. Mountain bikers should note that a portion of the connector trail overlaps with the Old Carriage Trail, strictly a foot and cross-country ski path. If continuing on the Bike & Hike Trail, you'll be please to know that it is amid this area that cool huge boulders mark what is commonly known as Boston Ledges. For years, folks have visited this area to view the beautiful moist boulders with their clinging wood and bracken ferns. Once travelers cross over Boyden Road, then Highland Road, they'll have to venture onto the one-mile stretch of roadway, Brandywine Road. Turn right traveling past a small parking area, the Inn at Brandywine Falls, then cross an adjacent bridge over Interstate 271. An enjoyable side trip is a stop at the scenic Brandywine Falls, Ohio's tallest waterfall plunging 75 feet into a deep ravine. Parking, bike racks, restrooms and picnic tables offer a respite from trail and traffic. Back onto Brandywine Road, continue south just a short distance keeping an eye out for the sign directing you off the road and back onto the Bike & Hike Trail. In less than one mile, you'll cross Hines Hill Road then over the Ohio Turnpike reaching Boston Mills Road, a major trailhead parking area for this trail. The next destination is Happy Days Visitor Center along SR 303. Before reaching this final segment of the CVNP trail, enjoy the resting benches offered to those looking to absorb more forested tranquility. Wildlife sights include the flash of a deer's white tail or the chirping of songbirds.

Directions: From Peninsula, CVNP, About 3 miles east of the small burg of Peninsula lies the Happy Days Visitor Center. Across the road (and well marked) is the large parking area accommodating visitor center tourists and trail enthusiasts.

Elevation: 900 feet

Elevation Gain: Minimal

Distance: 16 miles

Difficulty: Easy

 
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Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio


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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 Wildernet.com all rights reserved.

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