17 February 2015

Let the Training Begin... the CVNP Challenge!

This is the beautiful map collage I  put on the
wall in the living room so we can keep
track of our progress.
I also offer professional decorating services.
If you're interested let me know.

What is it?

We're going to hike, run or ski all the trails in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) plus the Metro Parks that have trails within CVNP.  According to my estimates there are something like 170 miles of trails, but there are a number of trails that overlap and perhaps also some trails that aren't on the maps (secret trails!!?!?!).  Here's the trail list the CVNP has online... and I copied my list below.  I'm thinking both lists probably aren't quite perfect, so we're just going to have to go out there and explore!


Brett and Melissa and whoever will join us!


Starting in January 2015.. until we finish.  Perhaps some day when I'm an awesome ultra runner I'll do it all in a weekend or something... but for now we'll just take it easy :-).


To help prepare for my John Muir Trail Hike this summer... and because we can!  Whenever I stop to think about it, I'm so grateful to have a national park almost literally in our backyard.  Of course it's no Yosemite or Grand Canyon... but it's also close to all the conveniences of major cities and to our families!


We've already got a few done!  In fact, we're 17.7 miles in.

Tree Farm, Cross Country, and Spring Hollow Trails

A few weekends ago we cross-country skied the Tree Farm Trail at Horseshoe Pond (this is definitely my favorite skiing spot in CVNP so far!), and we went on a night hike on the Spring Hollow Trail at Hampton Hills Metro Park.  I also had a very sticky (and basically failed) cross country ski experience on the Cross Country Trail at Kendall Lake--I guess the snow was too warm and melt-y so I couldn't keep the bottom of my skis clean.  However, with plenty of falling and a little hiking I eventually made it around the loop and back to the car :-).

Skiing the Tree Farm Trail with Mrs. Safran and Mrs. Pierce!
Mrs. Pierce was really excited that Brett was there because  no one else would have been brave enough to ski across the
frozen Horseshoe Pond with her :-).

Riding Run Trail

Last week I did what I'll call my first official training hike (woohoo!! It's getting real!).  On my day off from work I hiked about 4.7 miles on the Riding Run Trail--a trail I've never been to (again, I feel so lucky every time I realize that all these trails are so close to where I've lived for about 7 or 8 years now and there are still places left to explore!).

The trail started with crossing the Everett Road Covered Bridge (which I've also never been to) then climbed out of the valley and back down in a big loop.  Climbing to the top of the Cuyahoga Valley is definitely nothing like climbing a mountain, but sometimes the views can trick you into thinking you're in the mountains (especially in the winter with no leaves to obstruct your view).  And hopefully it'll be enough climbing to at least help me prepare for the Sierra Nevada (probably not...).

The trails are so peaceful in the winter--sure it's cold and a little slippery, but I think it's one of the few times you can go out in these woods that are so close to major roads and cities and feel at least a little like you've left civilization.  I highly recommend it :-).

The Everett Road Covered Bridge
The peaceful forest :-)
I'm hoping winter hiking in the valley--a.k.a walking
over the frozen footsteps of all kinds of creatures--will
at least help prepare my ankles for the uneven
footing we might experience out west...

One of those times I pretended I was on a mountain...

And the view from the valley floor :-).

Pine Grove and Forest Point Trails

Last but not least, I spent a very cold afternoon (one of those days they warned us not to go out for fear of freezing noses and toes) with Jamie and Brett hiking 3.7 miles on few trails around the Ledges area.  This is a spot I've been to so many times--a lot of people will say that the ledges are one of the most beautiful spots in the valley and it's a pretty easy place to get to, so it's often where we'll meet for some time in the woods.  However we still found a trail I'd never hiked--the Forest Point Trail.  It's a short half mile, but it was a fun walk along the ridge line... and still plenty challenging with all the ice under our feet. We tried to hike some of the Ledges trail but it was so icy (and steep in many places) that I think it would have taken us three days at the pace we were going (unless we gave in a sledded down the hills :-) ).

I took exactly one picture of the sun setting in the clear cold sky...
and spent the rest of the time trying to make sure my fingers didn't freeze.

Melissa's Official Trail List!!!Miles
Buckeye Trail Sections & Valley Trail
Buckeye Trail: Egbert Picnic Area to Alexander Road6.1
Buckeye Trail: Alexander Road to Frazee House1.5
Buckeye Trail: Frazee House to Station Road Bridge2.5
Buckeye Trail: Station Road Bridge to Jaite7.0
Buckeye Trail: Jaite to Boston5.6
Buckeye Trail: Boston to Pine Lane4.0
Buckeye Trail: Pine Lane to Everett Covered Bridge4.1
Buckeye Trail: Everett Covered Bridge to Indian Mound Trailhead3.0
Valley Trail?
Wetmore Bridle Trails
Wetmore Trail4.5
Dickerson Run Trail1.0
Tabletop Trail0.6
Langes Run Trail3.5
Butler's Trail0.6
Everett Covered Bridge Area Trails
Riding Run Trail4.0
Perkins Trail2.75
Covered Bridge and Furnace Run Trails1.5
Indigo Lake Trail (connects Towpath with Hale Farm)1.0
Trails Between Jaite & Boston
Old Carriage Trail5.3
Stanford Trail1.5
Brandywine Gorge Trail1.3
Brandywine Falls Trail0.1
From Happy Days Lodge
Haskell Run Trail0.5
Boston Run Trail3.4
From the Ledges Parking Area
Ledges Trail2.2
Pine Grove Trail2.2
Forest Point Trail0.5
From Kendall Lake
Cross Country Trail2.5
Lake Trail1.0
Salt Run Trail3.3
Off Major Road
Tree Farm Trail2.8
From Oak Hill Trailhead
Oak Hill Trail1.5
Plateau Trail4.5
Cleveland Metroparks Trails within CVNP
Bedford Reservation
All Purpose Trail7.6
Sagamore Creek Loop Trail3.6
Bedford Single Track Trails11.0
Egbert Loop Trail1.1
Viaduct Park Loop Trail0.4
Forbes Woods Ridge Trail0.3
Bridal Trails7
Hemlock Creek Loop Trail0.8
Brecksville Reservation
All Purpose Trail9.3
Prairie Loop Trial0.5
Wildflower Loop Trail0.8
Hemlock Loop Trail2.5
Salamander Loop Trail1.5
Bridal Trails10.0
Deer Lick Cave Trail4
Metro Parks, Serving Summit County Trails within CVNP
Furnace Run Metro Park
Daffodil Trail0.6
Old mill Trail1.0
Rock Creek Trail1.0
Deep Lock Quary Metro Park
Quarry Trail1.2
Cuyahoga Trail?
O'Neil Woods Metro Park
Deer Run Trail1.8
Hampton Hills Metro Park
Adam Run3.2
Spring Hollow1.6

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