Waterfall over rocks surrounded by green, yellow and orange trees
/ / Hiking at Brandywine Falls Ohio

Hiking at Brandywine Falls Ohio

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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.

Water flowing down over rocks with green and orange trees surrounding it.

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.

Wooden boardwalk winding through tall green trees
Walking the boardwalk

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.

Steep wooden steps surrounded by green and orange trees
Climb down these steps to get to the viewing area

Once there, you’ll be rewarded with this view.

Close up view of a waterfall over a wall of rocks standing from a wooden viewing area
Close up from the viewing area

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.

Top view of water flowing down over rocks with green and orange trees surrounding it.
View from the top of the falls

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.

Trail map of Brandywine Falls, Ohio
Brandywine Falls trail map

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.

Looking out over a rock ledge to a valley of green and orange trees with a river down below
View from behind the falls
White two story farmhouse surrounded by tall green trees
The Inn at Brandywine Falls, Ohio

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!

Dirt hiking trail surrounded by tall green trees
Brandywine Gorge dirt trail
Rocky walking path through a forest with tall green trees
The path can get rocky
Shallow and narrow creek running through a forest of green and orange trees
Brandywine Creek
Shallow and narrow creek running through a forest of green and orange trees
Brandywine Creek

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.

Wooden bridge through thick greenery in a forest
Cross the bridge to follow the trail

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!

Concrete steps on a trail path surrounding by logs and green trees
You are almost at the end after you climb these

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.

Final Thoughts

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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Waterfall cascading over rocks with trees and bright sun in background

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