The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Cuyahoga County 2012 Weekend Vacation’

Weekend Visit in Cuyahoga County, Ohio

Paine Falls in Leroy Township, OH

This waterfall would look much more beautiful in the Autumn, with the fall foliage and lots of water rushing over the rock ledges.  Paine Falls is another waterfall that I would like to return to one day.

By the way this waterfall is NOT in Cuyahoga County, OH.  We did see the waterfall, though, in Ohio on the way home from our weekend in Cuyahoga County.  Therefore, I am including it as part of my Cuyahoga County 2012 Weekend Vacation blog posts.

Weekend Visit in Cuyahoga County, Ohio: Chagrin Falls

Our weekend visit  to Ohio was precipitated by a travelzoo.com email that I received on July 16.  One of the Travel Zoo offers was for lodging and meals at The Club at Hillbrook in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.  We didn’t take advantage of the travelzoo.com offer; however, photographs of the picturesque village of Chagrin Falls piqued my interest for weekend travel.

We stayed two nights (August 3-5) at the Clarion Hotel in Beachwood, Ohio.  On Saturday, August 4, we visited nearby Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

On Sunday, after checking out of our hotel, we drove to Chagrin Falls, which was less than 10 miles from our hotel.  We arrived at Chagrin Falls shortly before 9:00 AM.  We found parking easily along Main Street, near the village’s famous Popcorn Shop.

 

These beautiful flowers caught my eye, as we pulled into a parking space along Main Street.

The waterfall, for which the village is named, is below these flowers.

Chagrin Falls

Chagrin Falls

There are two vantage points from which to see Chagrin 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 two photographs of the falls were taken from the observation platform at the bottom of the boardwalk.  The white building that you see above the falls is the Popcorn Shop.

After looking at the waterfall, we climbed back up to Main Street.  We crossed Main Street to a park located alongside the Chagrin River.

The first thing that caught my eye was the sculpture of a cat.

I took a picture of the Popcorn Shop, too, from the park.

Popcorn Shop

It started to drizzle, so we made our way back across Main Street and went inside the Popcorn Shop.  The first thing I noticed as I walked in was the smell of popcorn….Mmmmmm!  According to reviews, the Popcorn Shop has three of the best things on earth: popcorn, coffee and ice cream.  Bob ordered a Double Espresso coffee; I ordered a baby Vanilla Custard cone.  Bob said that the coffee was good.  The Vanilla Custard cone was so rich and creamy; delicious!.  By the way I was the first person to have a Vanilla Custard cone that day, as I ordered one a little after 9:00 AM!  We purchased a 1-gallon tin and filled it with double cheese popcorn.  The tin of popcorn was a gift for our friends, Valerie and Michael, who took care of our cat, Patches, while we were away.

We  departed this lovely village soon after our morning snack and began our drive back home.

Weekend Visit in Cuyahoga County, Ohio: Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Post #7)

Our seventh, and last, stop in Cuyahoga Valley National Park was at Beaver Marsh.  The description for this park attraction said to “look for beavers, otters, muskrats, and waterfowl along the wetland boardwalk”.  We didn’t see any beavers, otters or muskrats.  The photographs that follow show what we did see.

a Water Lily

Pretty Purple Flowers

a Butterfly

and

We saw a heron.

Great Blue Heron

I would have loved to have had the opportunity to capture this beautiful Great Blue Heron in flight, but it was not to be.  The heron stayed on that tree branch for our entire visit.

If you missed any of the blog posts of our visit to Cuyahoga Valley National Park, you can catch up on your reading by clicking here.

Bob and I definitely want to return to this park, probably more than just one more time.  It would be nice to see the park in all seasons, don’t you think?  We especially want to return when there is more water flowing over the falls!

If you make your own visit to Cuyahoga Valley National Park, do not miss Szalay’s Farm Market.  We enjoyed the most delicious fruit ice cream sundaes there.  Bob ordered a sundae with blueberries.  I ordered a sundae with the works: strawberries, blueberries, pineapple and bananas.   Delicious!

I have completed my blog posts about Cuyahoga Valley National Park; however, I have not completed my blog posts about our weekend visit to Ohio.  I have two more blog posts to share — the next one being our visit to Chagrin Falls, the village that piqued my interest for our weekend travel.

Weekend Visit in Cuyahoga County, Ohio: Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Post #6)

Our sixth stop in Cuyahoga Valley National Park was at the Everett Road Covered Bridge.

I wanted to take a picture of the bridge from the creek bed; however, there was a wedding party in the creek bed being photographed.  I didn’t want to disturb this photo shoot, so I captured photographs only at the same level as the bridge.

This is as good a time as any to point out one of my pet peeves, when photographing landmarks and nature scenes.  I hate to see empty soda cans, trash, bottles, etc. lying around.  The trash inevitably finds a way to slip into my photograph.  See that split rail fence on the left side of the bridge?  The post closest to the bridge had two full water bottles sitting on top of it.  I suspect the water bottles belonged to the wedding party.

Note arrow pointing to water bottles.

I will share photographs from our seventh stop in my next blog post.

 

Weekend Visit in Cuyahoga County, Ohio: Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Post #5)

Our fifth stop in Cuyahoga Valley National Park was at Ritchie Ledges.  The Ledges Trail is approximately 2 miles long.  The trail begins above the ledges and then drops down below them.  It was noon by the time we arrived at Ritchie Ledges.  It was hot, and we were hungry.  In addition we learned that one of the trail attractions, the Ice Box Cave, was closed in an effort to slow the spread of a disease to the park’s bat population.  Given the heat of the day, our hunger and the closure of the Ice Box Cave we opted to cross the meadow from the parking lot and visit only the Ritchie Ledges Overlook.

LedgesTrail

I used Microsoft’s Snipping Tool to cut out the Ledges Trail portion of the map that is provided on the Cuyahoga Valley National Park website’s map page.

From the parking lot the walk across the meadow to the bottom left corner of the map didn’t look far.  Walking across that meadow with the noon day sun directly above you was far enough!

E8042086 4x6This view was our reward for crossing that meadow to Richie Ledges Overlook!

I DEFINITELY want to return to Cuyahoga Valley National Park in the fall.  Imagine how beautiful that view will look with autumn foliage!

And, oh yes, I would like to walk the Ledges Trail, if only to view these magnificent rocks at their base.

Ritchie Ledges

We encountered a reptile, while at the overlook.

Thank goodness it was only a baby snake!

This is a Northern Ringneck Snake.

The snake was shedding its skin.

Here is a close-up picture of the snake’s head.

I wonder if the snake is having lunch, while it is shedding its skin?  That’s a black ant on its head!

We spent a little over 30 minutes at Ritchie Ledges.  From Ritchie Ledges we left the park and ate lunch at a nearby Texas Roadhouse.   We both ordered salads and a beverage.  Something we have to learn to do is carry water with us, when hiking.  We always forget to do this.  Well, I went through two large glasses of iced tea rather quickly and couldn’t finish my salad.

If you missed our first four stops in Cuyahoga Valley National Park you will find links to each stop in the list shown below.  I will share photographs from our sixth stop in my next blog post.

Stop #1:  Boston Store Visitor Center

Stop #2:  Brandywine Falls

Stop #3:  Blue Hen Falls

Stop #4:  Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

Weekend Visit in Cuyahoga County, Ohio: Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Post #4)

Our fourth stop in Cuyahoga Valley National Park was unplanned.  We were on our way to Ritchie Ledges from Blue Hen Falls.  I saw a train at the Boston Mills depot.  I asked Bob to pull into the nearest parking lot.  I had the car door open before Bob even stopped the car!

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad – Boston Mills Stop

It wasn’t long before the train left the station.

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad runs between Cleveland and Canton.  I hope during our next visit to Cuyahoga Valley National Park that we ride the train!  I know the car that I would like to ride in.  See the car in front of the caboose?  That’s the car that I want to ride in.

If you missed our first three stops in Cuyahoga Valley National Park you will find links to each stop in the list shown below.  I will share photographs from our fifth stop in my next blog post.

Stop #1:  Boston Store Visitor Center

Stop #2:  Brandywine Falls

Stop #3:  Blue Hen Falls

Weekend Visit in Cuyahoga County, Ohio: Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Post #3)

Our third stop in Cuyahoga Valley National Park was at Blue Hen Falls.  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.  Just beyond the bridge, we continued to the right and quickly reached the Blue Hen Falls viewing area.   It was a very short, relatively easy hike from the parking lot to the falls.

Blue Hen Falls

According to park information, the trail ends at Blue Hen Falls.  Well, the “official trail” ends at Blue Hen Falls.  We learned that a 20-minute walk downstream will bring you to another waterfall — Buttermilk Falls.  None of the park literature includes information about Buttermilk Falls.

Bob decided to walk to Buttermilk Falls.  I opted to stay behind at Blue Hen Falls, as the information we read about the trail to Buttermilk Falls indicated that it could be a difficult hike.

While Bob was hiking to and viewing Buttermilk Falls, I took a few more pictures of Blue Hen Falls.   A few people climbed down to the base of the waterfall for an up close and personal view.

Bob said that he saw these two young girls on his way back from Buttermilk Falls.  The girls walked the creek bed from Blue Hen Falls to Buttermilk Falls, which was possible because the water was so low.

This young man climbed behind the waterfall.

When this young man was joined at the base of the falls by his wife (?), I changed from a 14-54mm lens to a 70-300mm lens.

I gave this young couple the link to my WordPress blog.  I hope they remember to visit my blog and check out the photograph that I took of them!

When Bob returned to Blue Hen Falls from Buttermilk Falls, he climbed down to the base of Blue Hen Falls.

Bob at Blue Hen Falls

I had switched back from the 70-300mm lens to the 14-54mm lens by the time Bob returned from Buttermilk Falls.

If you missed our first two stops in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, you will find information about our stop at the Boston Store Visitor Center here and at Brandywine Falls here.  I will share photographs from our fourth stop in my next blog post.

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