Submitted by: Eve Wierzbicki
Now that the Indiana Dunes is a National Park are you getting the bug to go visit other National Parks? We've been working our way around the midwest and this past week decided on a quick trip to Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It's just under a 5 hour drive and very do-able in a 3 day trip.
We headed out on Wednesday about noon. Traffic was smooth as we cruised down the Ohio Turnpike with a couple stops for gas and munchies. We arrived at our Air B&B about 6:00 EST. Our hosts were Adam & Faith and they have several listings in Cuyahoga Valley. We chose the Gorge View. It was peaceful, had a beautiful view and fire pit and the 1 bedroom apartment was clean and just perfect for us. I would highly recommend one of their properties to anyone making the visit to that area.
The perfect mini-vacation for us includes lots of hiking, a couple breweries, a nice restaurant and an evening in with pizza and drinks by the fire. We managed to do all of these things and more.
Wednesday evening we headed out to find a couple dog friendly breweries. We went to the town of Cuyahoga Falls and visited Missing Mountain Brewing Company and HiHo Brewing. Missing Mountain had a nice view of the river, 2 decks and plenty of outdoor seating. HiHo was a little smaller, but also very dog friendly. Both had great food and brews. Front Street is where all the action is, so definitely plan a walk in that area.
Thursday morning we got up and headed to the Visitor's Center in Peninsula, OH. They recommended we go to see the biggest waterfall, Brandywine Falls and to hike the Ledges. The Ledges was a nice hike and a bit strenuous. We went up to the overlook and worked up quite an appetite. After the hike it was back into town for a great lunch at Burntwood Tavern, upscale american, but with some very affordable options. Again, we had a great view of the river and it was dog friendly on the outdoor patio. They have a happy hour starting at 3. Wouldn't you know it, we arrived just an hour too soon.
We felt like we needed one more hike in the afternoon, so we headed to Summit Metro Parks where we did the Spring Hollow Trail Loop. 1.9 miles, some nice climbs and lots of chipmunks. Hold on to your pup tight or you might get pulled right down the hill! There are lots of Metro Park trails around Cuyahoga Falls. They are not official National Park trails, but they can be within the park boundaries and are very nice.
After the hike it was time for a glass of wine at Sarah's Vineyard, some frisbee time for Hazel and a cheese plate and pizza to go. Dinner was by the fire and we all had an early bedtime after our busy day.
On Friday, we woke up and hit a couple more Summit Metro Park trails. One was a Parcours trail with exercises along the way. Mike's stomach still hurts from those sit-ups.
The perfect stop on our way home was Pokagon State Park. We visited the nature center, did a loop by the lake, checked out the toboggan slide (we may need to go back this winter) and then were home by 5pm on Friday.
Just in time for the weekend!
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