Friday, August 16, 2013

Viaduct Park, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

Following my visits to Tinker's Creek Gorge Overlook and Bridal Veil Falls, I continued up Overlook Drive and turned north to Viaduct Park. This little gem is on the northeastern edge of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and sits in the suburbs of Cleveland. And it sits so quietly there that I missed the entrance when I was looking for it and had to turn around. The parking area looks like a company lot for the factory next door, so its an easy mistake to make.

Once I arrived I walked past the viaduct that gives the park its name. Once a railroad bridge, its now an overlook that gives you a spectacular view of the Tinker's Creek gorge. I decided I'd go onto the old viaduct after I walked the trail into the gorge, so I continued straight down the sloped, paved pathway. There were numerous interpretive markers to read. The gorge was once an industrial area, and I passed the ruins of a mill and a generating station as I walked into the shaded gorge.

Once I reached the end of the paved path I stepped onto the pea-gravel walkway along Tinker's Creek. There were the falls. I'd been hearing the crash of the Great Falls on Tinker's Creek as I walked down, and here they were. The spray was cooling on the hot day. I found multiple places to photograph from on the walkway, but the main observation platform provided the best angles. Unlike Brandywine Falls, its hard to see how a photographer can hike into the gorge aside from the trail. So unless you shoot from the viaduct for an 'up the gorge' shot all your photos of the falls will be from the right side. I've included two photos from different locations to show what I had to work with.

The whole hike was about a half mile round trip. Like most attractions in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Viaduct Park is easily accessible. And it was worth the small effort to see the falls.

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

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Viaduct Park, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio