Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Ledges, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

My last hike in Ohio was, like the others, easy and flat. Following a ride on the towpath with Aaron, and the full lunch at The Winking Lizard in Peninsula, I traveled a few miles to the east and visited the Ritchie Ledges, or "The Ledges" as the trail called them. Like almost everything in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, The Ledges are easily accessible, being just a short walk from the parking area. The direct way is to cut across a mown field next to the parking lot, but I chose the marked trail. One disappointment was that Icebox Cave, a highlight listed in my trail guide to the park, was closed to protect the bats that inhabit that hole. With that side trip out, my hike was one mile long.

The trail itself started as a crushed gravel surface, switching to dirt at the turn off for the overlook. The trail was level, and was free of rocks until I neared the ledges. Even then the rocks in the trail were nothing compared to what the average Pennsylvania hiker faces in his state. I found the hiking very easy. Once I was done at the ledges I had the choice of cutting across the field or continuing on the trail another mile or so. I chose to take the short cut across the field and go back to my host's home to pack.

As for the overlook itself, it must be more impressive in late fall or winter, when the leafless trees block less of the view. Still, I enjoyed looking at the valley the river carved out, and I'll probably do this hike again next time I'm in Ohio. Perhaps Icebox Cave will be reopened then.

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A Taste For The Woods: The Ledges, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

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The Ledges, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio