Note that Ice Box Cave is closed to all visitors to prevent the spread of White Nose Syndrome, which is a dangerous and contagious fungus harmful to local bats. Please respect all closures for the safety of CVNP's wildlife.
Also, the trail and cliffs are open year-round, but winter travel should come with a bit of caution because the formations can be slippery.
This is one of the most scenic trails in the Cuyahoga Valley. It’s rocky and rough, so make sure you’ve got sufficient footgear. There are striking, canopied hemlock trails to moss-covered rock formations, ferns, Ice Box Cave, and more at the Ledges. The payoff to the trail—good for more advanced hikers and those testing out new shoes, packs, and gear—is the amazing cliff ledge overlook and massive rock staircase. Or you can access the overlook from the parking lot for an easier reward. Steep in spots, this is a trail that makes you think you’re not in Ohio anymore; perhaps somewhere else in the world entirely, surely not the Cleveland-Akron area.
What Makes It Great:
The Ledges Loop Trail is a moderate excursion through sandstone cliffs, known as Ritchie Ledges
, and there are plenty of places on this trail where confident footing will come in handy. There are some very cool petroglyphs that date back to the 1900s along the way, though it's not known who carved them.
Whether or not you plan on exploring the deep caves during your visit, you can count on one of the best views of autumn from the cliffs and the best CVNP sunset, period. If timed right, this is one of the best views of the Cuyahoga Valley. If you want to add some time to your trip, check the sidebar for nearby trails.
Who is Going to Love It:
Top to bottom, this whole suite within the CVNP is a stunner. So much so that some heartier visitors will feel compelled to forego Brandywine Falls
for this trail—and would be well within rights to do so. Kids and geology enthusiasts are especially drawn to the Sharon Conglomerate of alcoves, crevices, formations, and outcroppings that are estimated to be millions of years old. But when it comes to making this trek, parents may have trouble keeping up with those nimble kiddos along the rockier parts, and those with knee and hip problems might wish for a trail with lesser stress or strain.
You'll see lots of towering trees and lush ferns along this trail, thanks to mineral deposits from the rocks. There's also a lot of pileated woodpeckers along this trail and smaller songbirds, like warblers, in the fall. Ledges Trail
is also a spectacular destination for fall colors.