The Ledges Trail: Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

Cuyahoga Valley National Park? It’s an absolute gem in Ohio, spanning across 33,000 acres of breathtaking beauty and rich history. The best part? It’s a fee-free park, so you won’t have to worry about long lines or entry fees. If you’re someone who loves hiking and breathtaking views, then the Ledges Trail at Cuyahoga Valley National Park is an absolute must-do. Trust me, it’s one of the highlights of the park and will leave you feeling truly inspired by nature’s beauty.

UPDATED: March 2023

About Cuyahoga Valley National Park

The park is home to some truly remarkable natural wonders. From its lush forests to its stunning geological formations, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. And did I mention the waterfalls? With around 100 of them throughout the park, you’ll be absolutely spoiled for choice.

But that’s not all – the wildlife at Cuyahoga Valley National Park is something truly special. Weasels, coyote, red and gray foxes, river otter, and mink all call this place home. So, while you’re out exploring the park’s trails, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for some of these amazing creatures.

Getting to Ledges Trail

The trail is located at 701 Truxell Rd, Peninsula, OH 44264-9734.

We chose to park in the lot near the Ledges shelter. It’s a large lot with ample parking, however it can fill up quickly especially if there is an event in the shelter.

To get to the trailhead, take the main path out of the parking lot and past the information kiosk. Take the first right and you will be on the trail.

The Ledges Hiking Trail

Even on an early Sunday morning, the Ledges trail tends to be pretty popular. But don’t worry, the groups tend to be spread out, so it doesn’t feel too crowded. That being said, there is one spot that tends to get a bit packed – the overlook. But we’ll worry about the overlook crowds later.

The trail is about two miles long and takes you through some truly breathtaking scenery. You’ll walk through a narrow sandstone gorge and see towering rock formations. As you walk along the Ledges trail, take a moment to really soak in the beauty of the natural world around you. It’s amazing to see how nature has crafted such a unique and stunning landscape.

One of the coolest things about the Ledges trail is that it takes you both above and below these towering rock formations. You’ll get to see the ledges from all sorts of unique and breathtaking viewpoints, which is an experience you won’t soon forget.

If you’re worried about getting lost, don’t be! The trail is well-marked and easy to follow, even with a few connector trails that meet up with the ledges. You can focus on taking in the views and enjoying the hike, without any stress or confusion. Just make sure to bring your sense of adventure and your camera – you won’t want to miss any of the sights along the way.

Something that I noticed on the Ledges trail is how much cooler it is compared to other areas of the park. I mean, we’re talking a few degrees here, but it definitely makes a difference. The reason for the temperature difference is all thanks to the amazing tree cover and rock overhangs that provide natural shade and cooling. It’s also what makes this a great trail to find some salamanders!

When you reach the overlook, be prepared for a crowd. It’s a popular spot for a reason – the views are simply stunning. From up high, you’ll be able to see miles and miles of rolling hills, dense forests, and sparkling streams. It’s a sight that’s not to be missed.

Ledges trail Cuyahoga valley national park. Rock formations, geological formation

About the Ledges

The ledges are nearly 100% made up of quartz sand and gravel. You can see the quarts stones in the rock as you walk by. The texture and coloring you’ll see are even cooler up close.

Just be careful if you decide to get up close and personal with the rocks – my friend and I got a bit too curious and had a big spider run out at us from a crevice. I love spiders, but if you’re not a fan, you might want to admire the ledges from a bit of a distance. Hey, it’s all part of the adventure, right?

One thing that really stood out to me was the way that trees were growing up the sides of the rock formations, with their roots exposed in all sorts of interesting ways.

Oh, and let’s not forget about the chipmunks! These little guys are everywhere on the trail, scurrying around without a care in the world. They’re so cute and curious, and if you’re lucky they might even come up close to check you out.

If you’re lucky, you may even get to see one of the eight types of salamanders that call the park home. These little guys love the damp coolness of the ledges and are expert hiders, so keep your eyes peeled and you might just catch a glimpse of them. It’s always so cool to see these amazing creatures in their natural habitat!

Black and yellow Spotted salamander. Ledges trail. Cuyahoga valley national park


The Ledges trail is definitely a family-friendly hike with lots of cool things to see along the way. But, if you or someone you’re hiking with has mobility issues, it’s worth noting that there are some spots where it might be a bit challenging.

There are a fair number of roots and rocks to navigate, so you’ll want to be sure to wear sturdy shoes and watch your step. And while the trail isn’t necessarily super steep or difficult, there are some sections with steps and uneven areas that might be a bit tough for those with limited mobility.

If you’re planning to visit the Ledges trail with your little ones, it’s definitely doable – we saw quite a few families with kiddos around 4 years old and up who tackled the trail with no problem.

That being said, it’s always a good idea to keep a close eye on your little ones and make sure they stay away from the edges of the ledges. While the views from up high are stunning, the rocks can be a bit slippery and not all of them are completely stable, so it’s important to be careful.

So, there you have it folks! The Ledges trail is an absolute must-see if you’re visiting Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It’s short, it’s fun, and it’s definitely more than just your average walk in the woods. So, make sure to add it to your itinerary and experience the beauty and wonder of CVNP for yourself!

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Different views of the ledges trail Cuyahoga valley national park. Twisted trees rock forms