Snow-covered hemlocks, frozen waterfalls, frosty meadows… Cuyahoga Valley National Park is magical in the wintertime, and there’s certainly no shortage of things to do this time of year. Throw on some warm boots and take a hike out to the park to check out our top five favorite winter activities in CVNP!
Number 1: Go sledding at Kendall Hills. Enjoy the thrill of the cold air on your face as you sled down Kendall Hills! Take the whole family for a fun afternoon in the park. Parking is available at Pine Hollow (5465 Quick Road), Crow Foot Gully Picnic Area (5365 Quick Road), or Little Meadow (5249 Quick Road) parking lots.
Number 2: Hike the Ledges Trail after a fresh snowfall. The towering sandstone cliffs of the Ritchie Ledges are truly remarkable in the snow. The dark hemlock canopy along the top edge of the ledges makes for striking photographs, as does the iconic overlook. Be sure to check out the stone staircase built by the Civilian Conservation Corps on the northern part of the trail loop, as well. More trail information >
Number 3: Go snowshoeing on Pine Grove Trail. Bring your snowshoes (or rent some at the Winter Sports Center on the weekends), then head out onto this moderately strenuous, 3.5-mile trek. Enjoy the peace and quiet of the winter woods. More trail information >
Number 4: See a frozen waterfall on Brandywine Gorge Trail. The only thing more dramatic than Brandywine Falls in the spring is Brandywine Falls in the wintertime. Take a hike on the 1.5-mile Gorge Trail to see the park’s tallest waterfall framed by frozen icicles and other dramatic ice formations. More trail information >
Number 5: Go cross-country skiing on Oak Hill and Plateau trails. Specifically built with cross-country skiers in mind, these two trails offer great views of the valley’s woodlands, ponds, and meadows. Oak Hill is the easier of the two at just 1.5 miles; skiers looking for more of a challenge can try the longer Plateau Trail loop, which includes two steep hills. More trail information >