GO- Cuyahoga Valley National Park

FIT Staff
May 5, 2013

I recently had the time to venture down to explore Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It's a quick drive on the turnpike, maybe 1-1.5 hours depending where in the park you are going. Bet you didn't know we had a National Park that close to us, did you!?!

Cuyahoga Valley National Park began as a National Recreation Area in 1974 by a reluctant President Gerald Ford. The NPS (National Park Service) director at the time exclaimed that Cuyahoga Valley would only become a park 'over his dead body!' The formation of Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a testament to what a few passionate, determined citizens can do. The whole story can be found HERE. Cuyahoga Valley National Park was established in 2000.

In 2012, Cuyahoga Valley National Park was the 10th most visited National Park in the country. And it's no wonder with so much to do! It boasts over 125 miles of trails- hiking, walking, biking, and equestrian. While I was down there I managed to hike 3 different trails.

The first hike I did was a thru-hike of a portion of the Buckeye Trail. The Buckeye Trail is one of the longest circuitous trail in the country at 1,444 miles. We dropped in at Red Lock and walked about 6 miles down to Boston Mills having dropped a car off there earlier. If you want, you can take the Towpath back up to Red Lock, adding another 3 miles. The trail was perfectly empty of people but filled with vernal wildflowers, meandering creeks and plenty of beautiful views!

The second trail I hiked was the Haskell Run to Ledges Trail. It's about a 2.3 mile loop trail, starting and ending at Happy Days Lodge. This lodge was constructed in 1938-39 by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The CCC was a cornerstone of the New Deal put in place by FDR to assist in pulling the U.S. out of the Great Depression. This lodge imparts a feeling of familiarty to a time passed. It is a gorgeous architectural construction of dark brown wooden beams, comforting roof lines, and the hard work of a generation who literally built this place by hand. It's a treat to take a look inside if the lodge is open- even the restrooms have old wooden doors and frosted windows!

Back to the trail! The Ledges trail has beautiful rock ledges formed about 300 million years ago when fast moving streams and rivers emptied into a large inland sea. These streams carried the gravel, quartz and sand and deposited them on a delta. After millions of years of compression, the ledges were shaped out of the Sharon Conglomerate.
The third trail I checked out was the Perkins bridle trail. It starts out crossing the Everett Road Covered Bridge, the only covered bridge in Summit County. My GPS tracked it at just over 6 miles. You hike a mile in and out to reach the 3.75 mile loop. This trail was quite possibly my favorite! It crossed a creek back and forth several times, up and down steep surfaces, and rocky steppings. If you get bored walking on a gentle path- check this trail out.  Plus, the creek offers plenty of rocks to flip over! I found a few Northern Two Lined salamanders, saw scores of vernal wildflowers and heard American toads, wood frogs, chorus frogs and spring peepers.

I could write a whole blog on each of these hikes- there is so much to see! Check out one of your 13, yes thirteen, Erie MetroParks for some local hiking or hit the road! Ohio has a lot to offer. Within 48 hours, I hiked these trails, visited Chapin Forest for an early morning yoga session with a Barred Owl and camped at Punderson State Park. Just get up and GO!

Upcoming Classes & Events

Tuesdays- Meditation- Converging Paths Meditation Center, 7-8:15p

Fridays- Morning Yoga- House of Yin Yoga Studio, 9am A gentle yoga practice perfect for starting your weekend! $10/class or HOY pass

Wednesdays- April 17- June 12: 5:30-6:30pm. Enchanted Yoga- The Enchanted Cottage, East Sandusky Bay MetroPark, 4011 Cleveland Road. Bring a mat or blanket- no experience necessary! We will be outside on the deck when the weather is warm or perhaps take a winding, walking meditation through the meadows! $10/class

Mondays, May 6- June 10: Runner's Yoga- House of Yin Yoga Studio, 5:30-6:30pm. Join Jess for a class designed specifically for runners! We will cover yoga basics, breathing and the deep stretching essential to the practice of running.
Sunday, May 12: Mother's Day Meditation- House of Yin Yoga Studio, 10am-12pm. Come celebrate our mothers at this free meditation class and stick around for tea, baked goods and fellowship afterwards!

Sundays, May 12- June 2: Meditation- House of Yin Yoga Studio, 10-11am. Various meditation practices, gentle stretching and perhaps some chanting!

Tuesdays, May 21-June 11: 9-10am. Garden Yoga- Mulberry Creek Herb Farm, 3312 Bogart Rd, Huron, OH 44839. A gentle class in a beautiful outdoor garden setting! Bring your own mat and be prepared for the weather! $35/4 classes or $10 drop-in.

Saturday: May 25, 7 pm picnic, 9 pm hike. Dining Out In Erie MetroParks- Osborn MetroPark, 3910 Perkins Ave, Huron, OH 44839. Join us on this full moon for a Memorial Day hot dog roast at our new fire pit located behind the Frost Center. Meet up with old friends, make some new ones and bring a side dish to share! Family, friends & kids welcome. Main dish and drinks provided. Registration required by May 23, $5 fee due with registration.

Mondays, July 22- Aug 19: Yoga for Cycling- House of Yin Yoga Studio. Get ready for a class just for bikers! We will focus on the core, lower back and breath in this series. $10/class or HOY pass.