Valley Picnic Trail in Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a family friendly hike with easy parking and beautiful views.
Surface Type: Trail
Elevation Change: 479
Length: 5.9, but I clocked in at 5.6 (still not sure how…)
Route Type: Big loop with smaller loop offshoots
Parking Lot: Comes up fast! Not a large one and while it wasn’t crowded when I was there, I could see how it could get crowded quickly.
Valley Picnic Trail Review
This was a great trail! I loved how much variation it had. Running through a row of pines was incredibly picturesque. I also passed two different ponds with some interesting plants and birds. I would consider this family-friendly – there’s a bathroom around 1.5 miles in and the terrain is fairly even. The ponds have benches in case small legs need rest. I was listening to The Tattooist of Auschwitz during this run, which made the whole experience pretty surreal.
The one downside to this trail was I had a bit of a hard time figuring out the map more than once. Also, even though it was nice to have a bathroom on this route that meant passing through a parking lot and those parts of the trail were more crowded (which was not ideal for my running companion, my leash reactive dog.)
To make the hike or run shorter, remove the smaller loops and just complete one big loop. You’ll miss out on one of the ponds, but will still get to enjoy (and you won’t miss the bathroom).
AllTrails has a 3.9 mile version of this hike located here. This version has only 390 feet of elevation gain. This trail map looks way easier to follow than the Full on CVNP map and hits all the high points of the other trail.
Looking for more hikes in Cuyahoga Valley National Park? Check out these awesome hikes, below! Wetmore Trail Blue Hen Falls Ledges Trail