8 Waterfalls to Visit in CVNP This Summer

Brandywine Falls
Photo: Sue Simenc

Let’s face it… there’s something magical about waterfalls. From Niagara Falls to a small trickling fall in a creek, the sound, sight and even smell can have a calming effect on us, spark inspiration or create the perfect backdrop for a proposal!

Most people who are familiar with Cuyahoga Valley National Park are familiar with Brandywine Falls, but there are actually quite a few waterfalls that can be visited from trails in the park. Our friends at CVNP recently put together a list of their “Top 8 Waterfalls You Can See from a Trail.” Have you seen them all?

Note: Some of these waterfalls are in Cleveland Metroparks Reservations, but we included them because they fall (see what we did there?) within Cuyahoga Valley National Park boundaries.

1. Great Falls

Found in Viaduct Park in Bedford, Ohio. While this waterfall isn’t exactly “tall,” it’s quite wide and powered the early development of Bedford. To find it, follow the paved trail down to see the falls. Be careful, there’s an odd curb you’ll need to cross as you come off Taylor Street into the parking lot. Bonus: this spot has a still existing 19th century millrace that you can crawl/crab walk through!

2. Bridal Veil Falls

Also located in Bedford Reservation, this long, cascading fall can be found after an easy walk down a boardwalk. The parking lot is on the opposite side of the road from trail, so be careful when crossing! For a glimpse of a second fall on Deer Lick Run, as you return back up the steps towards the parking lot, follow the blue blazed trail to left for a half mile. You’ll then have to turn around to return to parking lot via Buckeye Trail.

3. Alexander Falls aka Linda Falls

Photo of Alexander Falls
Photo NPS/ R. Jones

This is the third waterfall we’re highlighting in Bedford Reservation! You’ll find it off Alexander Road, east of Frazee House. Park in the unsigned small paved parking area to access the All-Purpose Bike and Hike Trail at the end of the parking lot. Turn right on the trail, passing the high-tension wires. Shortly after the high-tension wires overhead, the Buckeye Trail leaves the All-Purpose Trail to the right. A small sign there directs you to Linda Falls. Follow the Buckeye for ¾ mile. In times of wet trails or rain, you will cross over a ravine that has another waterfall but keep walking until you arrive at the deep double falls of Alexander / Linda Falls. You can catch good views from either side of the falls.

4. Deer Lick Cave Area

This is an awesome spot that has ripples and small falls. Follow Blue Blazes down the steps into the ravine from signed parking lot to Deer Lick Cave area. Heading west, keep following the blue blazes up out of ravine area for a small waterfall to right. Once you reach the top of steps and ravine, turn left to head back to parking lot. Total distance less than ¼ mile.

5. Mudcatcher Falls

Mudcatcher falls in spring or summer
Photo: Jack Speight

Located to the east on the Towpath Trail, you’ll head north from Station Road Bridge Trailhead half mile on the Towpath Trail. The falls will be on your right. This is a man-made waterfall. Gaulley Run, which is behind the falls, has filled up the area behind the mudcatcher with debris and now water cascades over the edge.

6. Brandywine Gorge Trail

Thanks to the Trails Forever funds, this trail has a 165-foot bridge spanning Brandywine Creek! Brandywine Falls is often the most popular – and therefore most crowded – spot in CVNP. We recommend visiting very early and on weekdays if possible to avoid crowds. You can learn more about the history and geology of Brandywine here.

7. Shredder Falls

Photo of Shredder Falls
Photo: NPS/ R. Jones

After checking out Brandywine, follow the old roadbed of Brandywine Gorge Trail in a clockwise manner. Cross the bridge at the bottom, continuing almost .2 miles on the Gorge Trail. Shortly before the trail goes uphill, to the right is a large trail that takes you over to the bottom of Shredder Falls. This long cascade got its name in the 1970s when boy scouts would hike here to ride the falls down, shredding their pants (so the story goes – please don’t try it!)

8. Hemlock Ravine Falls

Last but not least, you can access these falls via the Plateau Trail, hiking out on the Hemlock Ravine side spur. The falls are in the creek to the left. Hike out and back via same trail. Please note that the trail ends at the sign. This is a small waterfall, and hard to see when leaves are in full green. You can hear it after a good rain!