Cuyahoga Valley National Park Day 2 ~ Peninsula, Ohio

When we awoke on our second day in Ohio near Cuyahoga Valley National Park, a quick check of the weather forecast over the next few days showed us that we needed to attempt to cram as much as possible into Day 2 of our time in Ohio since Day 3 had lots of storms and rain predicted. Here’s a breakdown of our whirlwind time in Cuyahoga Valley National Park on Day 2 of our adventures.

We began our day driving to nearly the southern most portion of the park to hike the Beaver Marsh portion of the Towpath Trail. This started out as a gravel path, quickly turned to boardwalk, and then returned to more gravel further north on the trail. At the trailhead there was a nice description that shared the differences between otters and beavers.

This area of the trail was especially fun. There were lots of birds hanging around the marsh and when we reached an overlook section there was a giant snapping turtle hanging out in the water. From there we walked a little further north on the trail and once we had turned around to begin heading back to the parking lot, we saw an otter swimming out in the distance. It was pretty cool to see so much wildlife in just a mile stretch of trail.

From there we headed back north towards the middle of the park on the east side and explored the Ledges Trail. The parking area for this gives no indication that this is anything special. There’s a large park shelter, a huge open field, and a trail that runs along the perimeter of the field. BUT…take that trail further into the woods and you come across a whole new atmosphere! So many fun rock outcroppings. It doesn’t take long to reach the Ledges overlook. The overlook was fun, but more fun was the trail we took to reach the bottom of the Ledges as we could meander under the rocks!

From here we decided to head into the nearby town of Macedonia for lunch as they had several fast food options in the area. After we had enjoyed a nice lunch in the car of Chick-fil-a, it was time for our third stop in Cuyahoga Valley National Park: The Canal Exploration Center.

This area clearly is a nice visitor center/museum space in non-pandemic years, but for us, we were simply able to explore the grounds of the area. Even without the museum area being open, I highly recommend stopping into this area as they have a detailed explanation of how the locks along the canal work. It’s the one lock that is still considered functional in the area. They also had a nice display about the mules that worked along the towpath.

From there it was time to venture outside of the park as we had one more important stop in the area we didn’t want to miss out on: Lake Erie. But that’s a tale for another post!

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