Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Looking for a new place to go wondering I found The Cuyahoga Valley National Park and in particular The Ledges and Brandywine Falls that I would be hiking next.
Starting off early in the morning I drove about two and a half hours north and arrived around eight in the morning at The Ledges, perfect for me because I like to start hiking before everyone shows up. It’s all about the quiet for me so that I can take in my surroundings without distraction.
Watching the sun rise through the trees casting shadows, adding depth and illuminating hidden treasures brings the woods alive.
Wondering the trails, camera in hand, looking for those special scenes that remind me of movies like The Hobbit takes me to a place that life just doesn’t offer most of the time. An escape to a fantasy land allows me to dream and become a part of another time and place that I wish was real sometimes.
Coming back to reality I come upon The Bat Cave, yes I said,” The Bat Cave!” Actually it’s called Ice Box Cave, but I like The Bat Cave better! (So much for the reality part)

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Closed off from visitors to protect the many bats that are here from a Fungal Infection known as White Noise Syndrome I can only wonder what its like inside.
Continuing my journey North along the trail I enjoy the many rock formations and the solitude that my surroundings offer.

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A little farther I come upon another scene that is just beautiful in my eyes and once again transports me to another place. I envision a staircase that leads me to a secret entrance to Lonely Mountain where the treasure of the dwarves awaits me! I must be silent and not be caught by Smaug, the dragon under the mountain.

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Ok maybe not, but it’s good to dream! This staircase was actually built by the Civilian Conservation Corps bringing stones from Deep Lock Quarry. Although its man made, its still a beautiful feature.
Leaving from here I climbed the stairs and made my way to The Overlook to have a break and end my hike with a snack.

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Upon arriving I sat down, opened my backpack and took out an apple to chew on when I noticed that I had a companion sitting close to me with the same idea.

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How can you not appreciate this?! Its really amazing to be part of something that allows you to dream and really take in moments like these. A time for being thankful to be alive and enjoy the simple things!

Leaving The Ledges and heading towards Brandywine Falls was next on my list and it was only a short drive of 6.5 miles up the road.
After arriving in the small parking lot I began my hike towards the Falls. Really just a short distance away but with a lot of stairs to walk down.
I love how they built the walkway giving everyone access.
After descending the stairway I was greeted by the sounds of flowing water and the scene before me instantly sent me into a peaceful state of mind. Spending about an hour here I took in the sounds and watched others come and go in silence. A wonderful place to visit if your in the area for sure!

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After a full morning of dreams of treasure and dragons I wanted to head North towards Lake Erie and check  out a few spots but I will leave that story for the next time!
To be Continued…

Enjoy your travels!

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