Brandywine Falls

CVNP’s most famous waterfall at 65 feet high.

At a Glance:

One of CVNP’s iconic waterfalls.

Distance: a short walk from a nearby parking lot.

Difficulty: easy

Brandywine Falls is one of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s most inspiring views—and its most famous waterfall. Watching the rush of water from Brandywine Creek tumbling over a 65-foot drop in the midst of a beautifully green oasis is a peaceful, rewarding experience. There are stairs, boardwalks, and landings at top and bottom, which all lend to beautiful views and photo opportunities. Because Brandywine Falls can be reached directly by car and offer handicapped accessibility for part of the trail, everyone in the whole extended family can enjoy these falls without a hike. Thanks to the beauty of the changing seasons, this moderate hike is a popular destination year-round.

What Makes It Great

Chock full of sandstone and shale, peppered with hemlock, white oak, black locust, maple trees, and bearing a color palette that is ever-changing, these falls make a great starting point or finish line to any major trek through the surrounding CVNP trails. A geological marvel, the Brandywine Falls site itself features an upper (750 foot) and lower (300 foot, including stairs) walkway provide varying views of the Falls—which are especially dramatic to take in during spring melts and post-storm runoffs. Same goes for views during the wintertime, where the waterfall becomes a glistening and remarkable drapery of ice. Heads up: while greatly improved over the years, the footing here can get a little tricky in the winter, so explore with caution.

Who is Going to Love It

With a veritable cornucopia of wildlife (you’ll find a multitude of birds, insects, creatures, flora and fauna here), this is certainly an all-ages stop in the CVNP. There’s also some history here: grist and woolen mills once thrived in the area, with one sitting directly atop the falls. While most of the settlement in the vicinity was claimed by highway construction, the adjacent Inn at Brandywine Falls remains and is available for lodging.

Directions, Parking & Fees

Take I-77 to SR-82 east. Proceed approximately 6 miles to Brandywine Rd., then turn right. Proceed on Brandywine Rd. Parking will be on the left; the Inn parking appears shortly after that. Entrance to the park locations is free; fees for special programs, rentals and additional accesses may be required. Reservations ARE required for lodging at nearby Stanford House (via Stanford Trail) and the Inn at Brandywine Falls.