|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!
Who??Brett and Melissa and whoever will join us!
When?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 :-).
Why?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!
Progress?We've already got a few done! In fact, we're 17.7 miles in.
Tree Farm, Cross Country, and Spring Hollow TrailsA 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 :-).
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 TrailsLast 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 Road||6.1|
|Buckeye Trail: Alexander Road to Frazee House||1.5|
|Buckeye Trail: Frazee House to Station Road Bridge||2.5|
|Buckeye Trail: Station Road Bridge to Jaite||7.0|
|Buckeye Trail: Jaite to Boston||5.6|
|Buckeye Trail: Boston to Pine Lane||4.0|
|Buckeye Trail: Pine Lane to Everett Covered Bridge||4.1|
|Buckeye Trail: Everett Covered Bridge to Indian Mound Trailhead||3.0|
|Wetmore Bridle Trails|
|Dickerson Run Trail||1.0|
|Langes Run Trail||3.5|
|Everett Covered Bridge Area Trails|
|Riding Run Trail||4.0|
|Covered Bridge and Furnace Run Trails||1.5|
|Indigo Lake Trail (connects Towpath with Hale Farm)||1.0|
|Trails Between Jaite & Boston|
|Old Carriage Trail||5.3|
|Brandywine Gorge Trail||1.3|
|Brandywine Falls Trail||0.1|
|From Happy Days Lodge|
|Haskell Run Trail||0.5|
|Boston Run Trail||3.4|
|From the Ledges Parking Area|
|Pine Grove Trail||2.2|
|Forest Point Trail||0.5|
|From Kendall Lake|
|Cross Country Trail||2.5|
|Salt Run Trail||3.3|
|Off Major Road|
|Tree Farm Trail||2.8|
|From Oak Hill Trailhead|
|Oak Hill Trail||1.5|
|Cleveland Metroparks Trails within CVNP|
|All Purpose Trail||7.6|
|Sagamore Creek Loop Trail||3.6|
|Bedford Single Track Trails||11.0|
|Egbert Loop Trail||1.1|
|Viaduct Park Loop Trail||0.4|
|Forbes Woods Ridge Trail||0.3|
|Hemlock Creek Loop Trail||0.8|
|All Purpose Trail||9.3|
|Prairie Loop Trial||0.5|
|Wildflower Loop Trail||0.8|
|Hemlock Loop Trail||2.5|
|Salamander Loop Trail||1.5|
|Deer Lick Cave Trail||4|
|Metro Parks, Serving Summit County Trails within CVNP|
|Furnace Run Metro Park|
|Old mill Trail||1.0|
|Rock Creek Trail||1.0|
|Deep Lock Quary Metro Park|
|O'Neil Woods Metro Park|
|Deer Run Trail||1.8|
|Hampton Hills Metro Park|