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two men sitting next to each other on a rock in front of a Waterfall at Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Summit County Ohio

Waterfalls of Cuyahoga Valley National Park

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Waterfall at Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Summit County

Waterfalls of Cuyahoga Valley National Park

By Meg Berno

Posted On: May 3, 2022

Waterfalls, no matter the size, are a stopping point along any hike. The wonder that comes from the power of water as it either rushes or trickles is worth the time and effort when it comes to finding them. Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Northeast Ohio is home to several must-see waterfalls: 

Brandywine Falls in Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio

Brandywine Falls

By and large, one the most picturesque and breathtaking of all of the waterfalls in Northeast Ohio is Brandywine Falls. Located in northern Summit County (between Akron and Cleveland), Brandywine Falls is approximately 65-feet tall, with rushing waters. In the winter when frost and ice form, the flow of the water changes as well, making for an amazing sight to see. There is a small 1.5 mile hiking trail that leads to the falls, as well as a wooden observation deck, which is always bustling with visitors.

Buttermilk Falls

For more experienced hikers, another unknown waterfall lies just down the trail. The trail is not marked but well-worn by many hikers who have ventured past the signage. Less than one mile away is Buttermilk Falls, a cascading waterfall over a slope of shale. Hikers should use caution if they search for these falls because the trail is often eroded and contains a few stream crossings that should only be done in low water.

While unmarked, the trail to Buttermilk Falls follows along Spring Creek and is fantastic. The woods are deep and healthy and home to many exciting things to see on the trail. A recent hike found a variety of interesting and obscure plant life. Once at Buttermilk Falls, the trail ends. Hikers should return the way they came, again following the trails that run along and weave the creek. The distance from the trailhead to Buttermilk Falls is approximately one mile, making the round trip hike two miles in length.

Blue Hen Falls in Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio

Blue Hen Falls

Blue Hen Falls is a short and easy hike from the trailhead. Parking is located at 2001 Boston Mills Road in Boston Township, with overflow parking on the opposite side of the road. The round trip hike is only 0.5 mile, and is an easy hike for all levels.  Walking down into the valley from the trailhead, you will cross over Spring Creek before the trail apparently ends at Blue Hen Falls. There's a bench for sitting and observing, but most likely you'll find other people have walked down into the creek bed to get up close to the falls. 

Blue Hen Falls is a perfect example of how waterfalls form - when you have a stronger layer of rock on top of a weaker layer. In this case, a strongly cemented sandstone caps a weaker shale layer, so that over time erosion has chipped away at the shale causing the dramatic and beautiful natural scene.

For more outdoor adventures and Ohio parks, check out #OhioFindItHere at Ohio.org.

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