Cuyahoga Valley National Park is Ohio’s only national park and one of three national parks in the Great Lakes basin. Cuyahoga Valley is one of the most underrated national parks and one of the more unique. You can be hiking through the forest, ledges, and waterfalls one minute and the next minute walking by a railroad, a farm, or even the city.
One of my favorite things to do in Cuyahoga Valley is hiking the Richie Ledges. In a state known for being on the flatter side, the geologically fascinating sandstone ledges make you feel like you’re in another area altogether.
Try to get people in your shots to add a sense of scale. Consider wearing clothes that stand out to make the subject really pop.
Hiking the Ledges
The Ritchie Ledges
The Ritchie Ledges is part of the Virginia Kendal area. You’ll probably also hear it called “The Ledges”, “the Virginia Kendal Ledges”. There are four trails in the ledges area but I usually stick to The Ledges Trail. The Ledges Trail is a 2.2-mile loop trail that takes you through a lower area of the trail and an upper park with an overlook.
There’s a Ledges Shelter that splits through the middle of the trail where you can just visit parts of the park instead of visiting the full trail if you’d like, this is great if you’ve been here before and know what you want to go see.
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Get some close-up shots of all the incredible textures throughout the park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park looked similar to our Hike to Marymere Falls in Olympic National Park
Carved in time
About 200 years ago the owner of large sections of land, William Goeppert, carved petroglyphs into part of the rocky ledges. You can still see the horse and face shapes today in between some ledges along the trail.
This staircase connects the upper and lower portions of the Ledges Trail and is a perfect location for a portrait photo session or that perfect Instagram shot.
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The Ledges Trail
Distance: 2.2 Mile Loop
Time: 1.5-2 hours
Elevation: 105 ft.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Fees: No fees
Hours: Most destinations 24 hours. Exceptions: Brandywine Falls, Virginia Kendall Ledges, Octagon, and Lake close from dusk until morning opening
Parking: Several lots throughout the park