Walking over 2 miles throughout the day over uneven terrain down into gorge. Climbing 75 stairs at Brandywine Falls. Walking stick strongly recommended.
In the hotel, we'll enjoy a hot breakfast buffet including eggs, breakfast meats, cereal, and yogurt, plus coffee, tea, milk, juice, water.
We'll board the motorcoach for a full-day field trip to Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The area that now comprises Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) has been a haven for urban dwellers since the 1870s. The cities of Cleveland and Akron established protective park districts in the early 20th century, but concerns have developed over the decades in regards to urban sprawl invading these pristine lands. Concerned citizens generated a movement that culminated in creation of the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area in 1974, and designated as Ohio's only National Park in 2000. We'll explore several key areas of CVNP. Brandywine Falls, a 65-foot-high falls, is the second highest falls in Ohio and one of the most popular attractions in the park. A boardwalk will take us to upper and lower observation platforms which overlook the falls head-on. We will also take a 1.5-mile hike around the Brandywine Gorge Trail starting from the upper observation platform. On this trail, we'll explore the deep gorge cut by Brandywine Falls. The historic Boston Store Visitor Center was constructed in 1836 along the Ohio & Erie Canal. Settlers in the valley bought and sold goods with merchants traveling by canal boat. We'll have a ranger present while we view exhibits that tell the story of canal boat building in the valley.
At a local restaurant, we'll enjoy a plated lunch. Coffee, tea, and water included.
We'll continue exploring the CVNP. The cool, moist hemlock and yellow birch forests along the towering sandstone Ritchie Ledges benefit from a microenvironment, which has formed over the 300-million-year-old rock formations. Enormous sections of the orange and yellow rock have broken away and will make you feel as if you are walking in a giant's rock garden. At Beaver Marsh, look for beavers, otters, muskrats, and waterfowl along the wetland boardwalk. The Beaver Marsh is designated as an Ohio Watchable Wildlife Area, so bring a camera!
At a local restaurant near the hotel, we'll enjoy a plated dinner. Coffee, tea, and water included.
Upon our return to the hotel, the evening will be at leisure.