Looking for a hike to transport you to another world? The Ledges Trail in Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a beautiful short hike worth visiting!
If you only have time for one hike on your trip to CVNP, Ledges is the one you should pick. It’s incredibly scenic and has options for both beginner and more advanced hikers. This is a trail that makes you think you’re in another world (and definitely not in Ohio anymore!)
Remember to follow the principles of Leave No Trace on in all Ohio parks! Please recreate responsibly.
What Makes Ledges Trail in Cuyahoga Valley National Park Special?
While the main Ledges loop is only 1.8 miles long, it offers a lot of distinct scenery. For a great view of the Cuyahoga Valley, make sure to climb up to the amazing cliff ledge overlook. The trail also has a massive stone staircase. For most of the hike, the trail follows massive walls of sandstone covered in moss or “ledges”.
It is rocky and rough, so likely not a good hike for anyone without sturdy footing. The NPS says the trail is not accessible to visitors with mobility impairments. It is a great trail for kids as they’ll have a great time ducking into the nooks and crannies created by the ledges. Like all other trails in CVNP, on-leash dogs are allowed. Just be aware that this is one of the more crowded trails at CVNP and it may be best to leave a reactive dog at home for this one.
When is the Best Time to Visit Ledges?
In my opinion, fall is the best time to see this trail. The combination of the striking cliffs and fall foliage is lovely. Fall also allows you to skip prime tourist time! However, the trail is also beautiful in winter. If visiting in winter, make sure you have good hiking boots and microspikes or YakTrax as the rocks can be slippery. I visited in February after an ice storm and saw many other hikers slip and fall.
This is a popular trail so if it’s a nice day, expect the trail to be moderate to heavily trafficked. The scenic overlook can get crowded as many people like to sit around and enjoy the view. If you want to get some good views without elbowing others out of the way, I would recommend starting your hike early.
If you want to make a day of visiting the Ledges, there is a covered shelter. It is available for reservation through this site. Every time I’ve visited this trail, I’ve seen families using the shelters.
Don't forget your ten essentials for day hiking when visiting the ledges!
Frequently Asked Questions about Ledges
How long does it take to hike the Ledges Trail?
This really depends on which version of the trail you pick. The 2.5 mile version takes about an hour, depending on how many picture stops you take (or how lost you get!) The longer version, Ledges Trail and Pine Grove Trail Loop (3.6 miles), takes about an hour and a half.
Is Ledges the best hike in Cuyahoga Valley National Park?
Ledges is one of the most popular because it is so unique! I think what makes a hike “best” is subject to personal preference, but this is one of my top recommended hikes for this park!
Have you visited the Ledges at all? Let me know in the comments below!
Post Updated November 2023