The Ledges Trail in Cuyahoga Valley National Park is one of the most distinct trails I’ve done in Ohio or Pennsylvania!
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!)
Looking for other hikes in Cuyahoga Valley National Park? Check out these related posts! The Buckeye Trail Brandywine Falls Blue Hen Falls Wetmore Trail Valley Picnic Trail Covered Bridge Trail Valley Picnic Trail Hunt Farm Trail Beaver Marsh Trail
What Makes Ledges Trail in Cuyahoga Valley National Park Special?
While the 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!
Have you visited the Ledges at all? Let me know in the comments below!
Post Updated July 17 2022