Cuyahoga Valley National Park is easily one of the most underrated parks in the United States. One of the best hikes in Cuyahoga Valley National Park is Blue Hen Falls! It's a short, easy trail and will take you to a hidden oasis.
Well Mountain Chicks, this is it! The final push until Christmas! Pretty exciting if you ask me because as you know, I’m a huge fan of the holidays. This week has been crazy for me. I flew to Ohio with my BF to meet his fam *gasp* and celebrate his birthday. The trip was great. We hiked- in Ohio? Yes, in Ohio-, played in the snow, hung out with fam, watched Rogue 1, and mobbed around Cleveland. On the last day of our trip, Monday, I was supposed to be on an 8pm flight back to Phoenix, but that didn’t happen. Long story short, after 4 delays, our flight officially got cancelled. The BF and I were told that we wouldn’t be able to get on another flight with the airline we had booked with until Christmas Eve which resulted in us changing airlines and booking the earliest flight home. So ladies (and gents), after a 3am alarm, a 3 hour layover in Atlanta and a 4 hour flight home, I am back in good ol’ AZ, happily basking in 80 degree weather. On the bright side, I will be home for the holidays and I have some extra, unexpected, memories to last a lifetime. Lawl.
So back to hiking. If you didn’t know this, I for sure didn’t, there’s a National Park in Ohio! Yep, it’s called Cuyahoga National Park and is about 20 minutes from Cleveland. It’s a pretty urban park which means it has multiple entrances. As a result, there is no entry fee into the park. There are multiple trails and waterfalls to see. There are even sections of the park that are available for cross country skiing. The Ohio Trail, which runs through the entire state, hits this park as well.
Cuyahoga is beautiful this time of year! The trees are bare and snow covered. Its canyon walls are lined with icicles that make the park look nothing less than a winter wonderland. The snow was soft and felt like marshmallows under my Uggs. Yes, I hiked in Uggs. I’m an Arizonian and literally had no other options, don’t judge. Above all, my absolute favorite part of this park was the frozen waterfalls.
A true winter with snow and chilly weather is something people from my state can go a whole lifetime without seeing, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do a little snow hike. With the lack of proper equipment, the BF and I decided Blue Hen Falls was our best option.
Blue Hen is a short trail. It’s less than a mile round trip and offers a very calming forest scene. Upon hiking the trail, you’re surrounded by trees and a creek crossing.
Halfway through the hike is a bridge that goes over a beautiful creek. We saw deer prints as we hiked through the snow which made the hike seem even more secluded than it already was.
After crossing the bridge we saw the Ohio trail junction to the left. A little past that there was a wooden railing marking our arrival to the falls. The creek beneath us was frozen here. There was a thin layer of transparent ice that offered us views of some water running beneath it. The canyon walls were lined with frozen moss and icicles from a night of snow fall, making the whole thing even more breathe taking than it already was. I really couldn’t get over how the water seemed to freeze in a single second. Kind of looked like cauliflower to be honest lol. The water just froze so perfectly in its last motion. We walked around the railing and followed footprints down to the bottom of the falls so we could get a closer look. The views got even better. Now we were looking at Blue Hen dead on with no one else around. It took us awhile to realize this, but the snow we were standing on at the bottom was actually thick layers of ice from the running creek. For many reasons, this was definitely a major highlight of my Midwest adventure! Considering the ease of the hike and the payoff, I would 100% recommend Blue Hen Falls to any first time winter hiker, Uggs or real hiker shoes.
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This blog was written by Mountain Chicks Founder, Dani The Explorer.