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Any visit to Cleveland wouldn’t be complete without taking in the breathtaking scenery of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park – the only National Park system in Ohio. If you are looking for waterfalls, Brandywine Falls Ohio is definitely one place you need to check out.
With a handicap accessible boardwalk, anyone can see the natural beauty of Brandywine Falls.
Located south of Cleveland in Sagamore Hills, Ohio, Brandywine Falls is a heavily trafficked area that is popular with wedding parties. Head out there first thing in the morning and, preferably, not on a Saturday.
While the parking lot can hold approximately 50 cars, it can also be overridden with small busses carrying these wedding parties for pictures with a gorgeous waterfall backdrop. This past month, there was a line to see the falls!
In Cuyahoga Valley National Park, waterfalls are a big attraction and Brandywine Falls, OH is the most popular among visitors and locals alike.
Don’t let that deter you from coming here, however. Just plan your trip accordingly. Autumn is the busiest season because of the glorious colors.
Brandywine Falls Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Once you park, head to the north end of the lot, to the right of the restrooms, to start your journey to the falls.
Take the concrete path to the boardwalk down and around through the trees.
There are two viewing areas for Brandy wine Falls. First, you come to a set of steep stairs where you get the best view of the Brandywine waterfall at the bottom.
Once there, you’ll be rewarded with this view.
However, if you don’t or can’t walk down the flights of steps, continue along the boardwalk until you arrive at the next viewing area. Here, see the falls from more of a top-down view, but still gorgeous, nonetheless.
The 60-ft falls glide gracefully down the Berea sandstone emptying into Brandywine Creek below. Summer droughts definitely have an effect on the water level, so spring and fall viewing times provide a more robust picture of the falls.
If you just came to see this waterfall in Ohio, you’ll need to return to your car via the same boardwalk path you entered. It is not a loop, so go ahead and turn around. However, if you came for the Brandywine Falls hike, keep reading to get a sense of what the gorge trail is like.
Brandywine Gorge Trail Hiking
Two trailheads lead out from the Brandywine Falls parking lot – the Brandwine Gorge Loop and the Stanford Trail.
The Brandywine Gorge loop includes the Brandywine Gorge Trail, the boardwalk area and parts of the Bike & Hike Trail. In addition, there is a shared area with the Stanford Trail.
Here’s the Brandywine Falls trail map so you can get a better picture of these trails.
While the park map above lists this hike as ‘moderate’, I would say it’s easy to moderate. My 9-year-old managed it quite easily with the hardest part being the uphill climb at the end.
The Gorge Loop is 1.4 miles and first takes you to the backside of the falls after leaving the boardwalk.
From here, you’ll follow the Bike & Hike trail until just past the Inn at Brandywine Falls.
Take the left at the fork to continue down the Brandywine Trail to the gorge. Eventually, you will meader right next to the creek where you can look for all the salamanders in the spring.
The trail is pretty rocky in some parts, so make sure you have the right shoes!
Cross over the bridge to continue on the trail. Admittedly, we had a hard time determining which way to go several times on this hike. We did find our way, but it wasn’t intuitive.
After the bridge, you want to bear straight and up to the left. Eventually, you will arrive at a steep set of steps. Climb these and continue on the path. You’re still about 10 minutes from the parking lot at this point, so don’t worry if you aren’t quite sure where you are at!
Brandywine Falls Address and hours
8176 Brandywine Road, Sagamore Hills, OH 44067
The falls are open from dawn until dusk. There are no set viewing times. As a precautionary measure, the boardwalk may be closed in icy conditions.
Alternate Hikes to Brandywine Falls
If you want something a little more challenging than the 1.4 mile Brandywine Gorge loop, or if you can’t find parking at this lot, you can hike from Stanford House to Brandywine Falls.
This 3.5-mile roundtrip hike is through the woods with plenty of scenery along the way. Look at the Brandywine trail map above for directions.
In addition, you could park at the Boston Hills Visitor Center and enjoy a 5-mile roundtrip hike. Stop in at the center to inquire about directions and a map from there.
As one of the most scenic Ohio waterfalls, Brandywine can be enjoyed by young and old alike. Either take your time watching the water cascade over the rocks or get some exercise on one of several hiking trails. Whichever you choose, the beauty of this area will stay with you for a while.
What are your thoughts? Have you been to Brandywine Falls? Did you follow any of the hiking trails? Let me know in the comments!
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