Sunday, November 22, 2009

Go Take a Hike!

Bet you didn't know that one of the top ten visited National Parks is in Northeast Ohio. Of the 58 National Parks, Cuyahoga Valley, ranks 9th in visitors, with 1.8 million visits in 2009. But at 33,000 acres, spread out in a large amoeba shape, with dozens of trails, you don't usually run into a lot of people crowding any given trail.

It's great having this resource in your backyard. Within 15 minutes I can easily be on one of dozens of trails featuring scenic views, waterfalls, wildlife, and varying levels of difficulty. Count on working those glutes and hamstrings. Regardless of the trail, it follows the 'what goes down, must go up' philosophy. You almost always descend some stairs (sometimes nearly 100), into the valley, but don't forget returning to your car is probably going to require ascending at some point. Sometimes you get stairs, sometimes you just have to suck it up and hike it up the hill.

These are photos from one of my favorite trails, aptly named, Ledges. There is a beautiful rock cropped scenic overlook, and a loop trail of about 1 3/4 miles that puts you right next to huge ledges carved by long ago glaciers.

Today was a perfect day to hit the trails. Partly sunny, low 50's, no wind to speak of. And it's a lot more fun than going to the gym.

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