Friday, August 22, 2014

Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Ledges Trail

The Ledges Trail is the one trail in Cuyahoga Valley National Park that seems to be talked about pretty regularly. I was pretty excited to explore the area a bit and I have to say that our hike did not disappoint. We drove to the trailhead and hiked a short distance on an old road to a shelter
Ledges Shelter
where we stopped to use the restroom and then we continued on.
on the trail
The trail soon left the road and started to descend down to an area where we were afforded a view down into some passageways between high moss-covered sandstone walls.
looking down into passage
As we finished our descent we reached the loop portion of the hike. We opted to make a right onto the loop and save Ice Box Cave for last.

The trail closely followed rock walls. Every now and then there was a side trail that  led into one of the tight mossy passageways that often dead-ended a short distance after they started.
Noelle in Ledges
Still, they were interesting and reminded me of little slot canyons. It was interesting to see how the trees were able to grow seemingly out of rock.
cool tree
tree in passage
Besides the trees, we saw some wildflowers like wingstem in bloom
wingstem
and saw a few curious deer watching us.
deer
Soon we ascended a bit and came to a nice overlook
noelle at overlook
where we admired the view for a short time before continuing our hike along the rock cliffs.


The scenery was spectacular throughout the remainder of the hike. We walked along many interesting moss-covered sandstone cliff walls.
big rocks
Eric and rocks
Noelle again
trees and rocks
We passed by some really interesting looking stone stairs.
cool stairs
We checked out a few of the side passageways
in tight spot
Noelle
and even went into one of the really tight passageways.
in squeeze

The child-carrier backpack barely fit through the crack! After our exploration of the Ledges we headed over to the Boston Store Visitor Center to check it out.
boston Store VC
Things were a bit chaotic there due to a search for a missing woman whose car was found in the parking lot there. Law enforcement form many different agencies was everywhere and we even saw some of the forensics experts searching through the woman's car in a search for clues.  Despite the chaos, we were able to find a nice picnic table in the shade for Sierra to eat a snack at and a place to play too!
cutie by tree
                   

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