In addition to visiting Cuyahoga Valley National Park during Easter weekend, we spent approximately 1-1/2 hours in Chagrin Falls, OH. On Saturday, April 15, we left Cuyahoga Valley National Park and drove to Chagrin Falls, arriving there at noon. We ate lunch at Flip Side. Bob ordered a Black ‘n Blue burger; I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich. We shared an order of onion rings. Lunch was delicious; our waitress was efficient and friendly. We would return to this restaurant.
After lunch we checked out the waterfall that gives Chagrin Falls its name.
There are two vantage points from which to see Chagrin Falls, one on each side of the falls. A boardwalk leads down to an observation platform from each vantage point.
This photograph was taken from the second vantage point.
Do you see the boardwalk on the opposite side of the falls? The first three photographs of the falls were taken from various points along that boardwalk. The white building that you see above the falls is the Popcorn Shop.
Here is a short video that I took of Chagrin Falls from the second vantage point. If you are not able to view the embedded video, the direct link may be found by clicking here.
Did you happen to notice anything that is in the video, but not in the photograph? Look in the tree to the left of the waterfall. The blue material, shown in the video, is missing in the photograph. It was an easy edit to remove that distraction from the photograph. It is possible to edit the video as well, but I forgot to do so!
After photographing the waterfall, we stopped at the village’s famous Popcorn Shop for a vanilla custard cone. According to reviews, the Popcorn Shop has three of the best things on earth: popcorn, coffee and ice cream. I had looked forward, since we left on our weekend getaway, for a custard ice cream cone. The custard ice cream was as good as I remembered it from other visits to Chagrin Falls…so rich and creamy; delicious!.
As we were preparing to leave Chagrin Falls, I spotted the Easter Bunny. We delayed our departure a few minutes, while I photographed the Easter Bunny.
We spent two days during the Easter weekend, enjoying the sights and sounds of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. This blog post provides photographs and details of our second day in the park. If you missed reading about our first day in the park, you will find the blog post here.
After a good night’s sleep, I awakened at 5:45 am, took a shower and got dressed. We went to breakfast around 6:30 am. Our hotel accommodation included a complimentary Deluxe Breakfast Buffet. I had scrambled eggs, sausage, Tater Tots and French Toast.
We spent a few hours in the morning visiting points of interest in the central and south regions of Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Our first stop was at Brandywine Falls, arriving there shortly before 8:00 am.
A boardwalk takes you to upper and lower observation platforms.
Bob and I on the upper observation platform
Brandywine Falls is 65 feet high;
it is one of Ohio’s highest waterfalls.
Bob and I on the lower platform observation
Here is a short video that I took of Brandywine Falls. If you are not able to view the embedded video, the direct link may be found by clicking here.
Our second stop was at Blue Hen Falls, arriving there at 9;00 am. The trail leading to Blue Hen Falls begins at a small parking lot and takes hikers down an old driveway to Spring Creek. The trail crosses Spring Creek via an old wooden bridge.
Blue Hen Falls Trail
Just beyond the bridge, we continued to the right and quickly reached the Blue Hen Falls viewing area.
Blue Hen Falls Trail
Approaching the waterfall viewing area
Just past the wooden fence we found a trail, something akin to a goat path, that led us below the viewing area. I managed to hike down that trail, with the assistance of a hiking pole. I needed the hiking pole and Bob’s help to hike back up the trail!
Blue Hen Falls
Blue Hen Falls
Here is a short video that I took of Blue Hen Falls. If you are not able to view the embedded video, the direct link may be found by clicking here.
Our third stop was at Beaver Marsh, arriving there around 9:50 am. We stopped here the day before as well, but later in the day. We wanted to see if we would see anything different earlier in the day.
We walked from the parking lot, a short distance, along a tow path to an observation platform.
We saw the same wildlife at Beaver Marsh, as we did the day before…wood ducks, Canadian geese, and tree swallows. What we didn’t see were turtles. The day before there were lots of turtles out, basking in the sunshine.
The goose was still sitting on its nest.
Wood Ducks were grooming, and a pair of geese were having a lively conversation.
If you are not able to view the embedded video, the direct link may be found by clicking here.
Wood Ducks are beautiful.
Add in reflections for a lovely scene!
Our fourth stop was at Deep Lock Quarry Metro Park, arriving there at 11:00 am. Deep Lock Quarry features a 1.4-mile loop trail, which leads from the parking lot through the forest to the deepest lock on the Ohio & Erie Canal. We began hiking the trail but decided to turn around, as radar showed rain moving in. We did get to see a train go by, which was very cool as it was close to us.
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Train
We left Cuyahoga Valley National Park around 11:30 am and drove to Chagrin Falls, OH for lunch. I will share photographs and details of our visit to Chagrin Falls in a later blog post.
After our visit to Chagrin Falls, we returned to our hotel and relaxed for a few hours.
Around 5:00 pm we decided to return to Cuyahoga Valley National Park to see one more point of interest. We drove to Everett Covered Bridge.
Everett Covered Bridge crosses over Furnace Run.
We returned to the hotel around 6:00 pm, where we stayed for rest of evening.
It was a nice day, but not as nice as the day before. It was a mostly cloudy and sometimes rainy day. We dodged the raindrops for the most part. The rain fell hardest, as we were driving to Chagrin Falls and while we ate lunch. It began clearing up, when we stopped for the day (around 2:15 pm). The weather didn’t hinder my picture taking. In fact, the overcast day provided great lighting for photographing waterfalls.
We spent two nights (April 14-16) at the Clarion Inn, located in Hudson, OH. We stayed at this hotel one time before for one night, a couple years ago, while en route Eureka Springs, Arkansas. During that stay, we noted that the hotel was in close proximity to Cuyahoga Valley National Park. When we decided to visit Cuyahoga Valley National Park this past weekend, we chose to stay at Clarion Inn.
We left our home in Warren PA around 5:30 am en route Ohio.
We ate breakfast at Richard’s Family Restaurant in Youngsville, PA. We ordered omelets with toast (rye for Bob; wheat for me), one order of home fries to share and coffee for Bob / tea for me. Bob had eaten breakfast there before. I hadn’t. Breakfast was delicious and filling. We were back on the road again shortly after 6:30 am.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is located between Akron and Cleveland in Northeast Ohio. The 32,950-acre park can easily be divided into three regions: North Valley, Central Valley and South Valley. We used this map, which I found on the U.S. National Park Service website, as a guide during our 2-day exploration of the park.
Points of interest 1 through 5 are located in the North Valley region. Interest points 6 through 9 are located in the Central Valley regions. Points of interest 10 through 13 are located in the South Valley region.
We arrived in the North Valley region of Cuyahoga Valley National Park at approximately 9:45 am. In particular, our arrival point in the park was at the Cleveland Metroparks Bedford Reservation. This was our first visit to the North Valley region of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We discovered there were many points of interest in this region.
Our first stop was at Bridal Veil Falls. We parked at the trail head and walked across Gorge Parkway. It was a short descent from the road via boardwalk and steps to a platform that overlooks the falls.
Boardwalk and stairs to Bridal Veil Falls Overlook
Once you reach the bottom of the boardwalk and stairs, a bridge crosses over the creek.
The waterfall observation platform is visible from the bridge that crosses over the creek.
Bridal Veil Falls
Bob and I at Bridal Veil Falls
Our second stop was at Tinkers Creek Gorge Scenic Overlook. The viewing area is located next to the parking lot.
Tinkers Creek Gorge Scenic Overlook
This overlook provides a panoramic view of the valley from the rim of the gorge. The view would be spectacular in the Autumn. The lighting was particularly good, so this was the only photograph that I took during this stop. We did return to this overlook, and I have a photograph of the view later on in this blog post.
Our third stop was at Willis Picnic Area, which we mistakenly thought was Viaduct Park. The two areas are next to each other. There are several points of interest at Viaduct Park, and we were not finding any of those points of interest. One point of interest was Great Falls. We could hear rushing water, but couldn’t see the waterfall.
Willis Picnic Area
We saw a sign at Willis Picnic area that read “trail closed”. It looked like high winds had passed through the picnic area at some point in time, and the downed trees and branches had not been cleaned up. Behind the picnic pavilion we found a “trail” that looked like it led to the bottom of the gorge. Bob hiked down that trail, and it did lead to the bottom of the gorge. Bob didn’t find a waterfall. He found a tunnel, through which Tinkers Creek flows. We later saw the other side of the tunnel at Viaduct Park.
Willis Picnic Area Trail to Tinkers Creek
If you look closely, you will see Bob making his way back up the trail. I am glad that I didn’t attempt to hike down that trail. Bob said he had some trouble navigating the trail.
Our fourth stop was at Viaduct Park. This small park features a very nice waterfall, view of a large viaduct, and information signs dotting the trail as you walk through the park. The parking lot is at street level. When we visited the park, we had to drive over a curb to reach the parking lot. From the parking lot there is a paved trail that descends down to Tinkers Creek, where the Great Falls of Tinkers Creek can be viewed from an observation platform. We spent about an hour exploring Viaduct Park.
The Cleveland & Pittsburgh Railroad stone viaduct across Tinkers Creek Gorge was completed in 1864. It replaced the original wooden truss bridge, which opened in 1852. The viaduct is 225 feet long and towers 120 feet above Tinkers Creek.
The Great Falls of Tinkers Creek
I love this picture of me that Bob took at The Great Falls.
Here is a short video of The Great Falls. If you are not able to view the embedded video, the direct link may be found by clicking here.
Remember earlier I mentioned that Bob hiked down to Tinkers Creek from the Willis Picnic Area? He saw a tunnel there, through which Tinkers Creek flowed. Here is the other end of that tunnel, which is called The Arch.
The Arch was built between 1901-02. Its purpose is to control the flower of Tinkers Creek, while providing a base for the railroad above. The Arch is 512 feet long, with a 20 degree turn inside. The openings are 40 feet wide and 32 feet high.
Our fifth and last stop at Bedford Reservation was a second stop at Tinkers Creek Gorge Scenic Overlook. As I mentioned earlier the lighting was better than it was during our first stop.
Again, this is Tinkers Creek Gorge Scenic Overlook.
If you walk to the end of the overlook, you will be rewarded with a panoramic view of the valley from the rim of the gorge.
View from Tinkers Creek Gorge Scenic Overlook
Leaving the overlook, we continued on Gorge Parkway to Dunham Road. We turned right onto Dunham Road, crossed over Tinkers Creek, and turned left onto Tinkers Creek Road. We followed Tinkers Creek Road to its terminus, at which time we turned left onto Canal Road. About this time we decided it was time for lunch. We were hungry, which was understandable. We ate breakfast around 6:00 am, and it was after 1:00 pm.
We ate lunch at Joe’s Family Restaurant in Northfield, OH. The salad bar and soup were excellent. Service was excellent. Our main entrees (meatloaf for me, boneless pork chops for Bob) were piping hot and delicious. Our side dishes were not so great. My mashed potatoes and our mixed vegetables were lukewarm. Our waitress did bring me a new dish of mashed potatoes, which were piping hot. I am surprised she didn’t do the same with the mixed vegetables. Perhaps she didn’t hear me, when I said that the mixed vegetables were also lukewarm.
After lunch we drove back to Cuyahoga Valley National Park, in particular to the South Valley region. We stopped at Beaver Marsh. It was a short walk from the parking lot, along a tow path, to an observation platform. We saw wood ducks, geese, tree swallows and lots of turtles. Bob saw a muskrat, briefly.
Wood Ducks at Beaver Marsh
One of several turtles at Beaver Marsh
Goose Sitting on Nest
From the Beaver Marsh we drove to the Great Blue Heron Viewing Area.
One of two trees making up the Great Blue Heron Rookery
Great Blue Heron
We didn’t stay long at the Great Blue Heron Viewing Area, as there wasn’t much activity at the heron rookery.
We checked into the Clarion Inn around 5:30 pm. We spent rest of the day in our room. We had picked up a few grocery items, after lunch, so we were able to eat a picnic-style dinner in our room.
According to its website, the Grand River Manor has a patio that overlooks the Mechanicsville Road Covered Bridge. The website encourages visitors to grab one of their delicious ½ pound burgers or an order of their famous jumbo wings. If we hadn’t already had lunch, we would have eaten here. We will keep the restaurant in mind for our next visit to Ashtabula County!