“The Buckeye Trail is a 1,444-mile loop that winds its way around Ohio, with 40 miles in CVNP.”
— Maggie Olson
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It's mostly singletrack, with lots of hills, twists, and turns. It's not an easy trail, which means it's usually pretty quiet. Since it veers away from the busier parts of the park, you can often feel very isolated out here - a nice break from the hustle and bustle of daily life. You can hop on and off the trail at several different points throughout the park, incorporate other trails into your trip, and more. This is a local favorite with lots to offer!
Need to Know
You'll run into a lot of stream crossings and possible muddy areas, so be prepared to get wet and dirty. Be sure to bring a few bucks so you can get a bite to eat at Trail Mix Boston (near the Riverview Road crossing), which is open seasonally, and welcomes all visitors.
Station Road Bridge straddles a gorgeous expanse of the CVNP system; it's a famous landmark of the entire park and makes for a great photo opportunity. But there is far more to this stretch than a click-and-go. The Buckeye Trail weaves in and out of the Valley like a snake; many of the stops are among the most picturesque to be had in all of Northeast Ohio. Trekkers wanting to stay longer will find the Stanford House
and campsites available for overnight stays.
Pine Lane to Boston Store is a moderately challenging four-mile stretch. You can do the trail in either direction, but the trailhead is easier to find when starting at Pine Lane. The trail itself is a narrow singletrack mixed with abandoned roads and wider lanes. It can be very rocky and rooty at times, so watch your step! While this trail is not a loop, you can hop onto the Towpath as you lower out of the forest on the Boston Store side of the world for a three-mile cooldown back to your car.
The ever-changing landscapes along the trail make it wonderful. There are forests of pine (including a stand of rare white pines near the middle of the trail), oak and hemlock; orchards; ravines, and special spots where you are surrounded by a variety of plants, wildflowers, and birds. There is even some highway viewing mixed in, and while that may sound like a deterrent to your peaceful day out in nature, don't be too quick to judge. There are some amazing views along the road that provide great photo opportunities.
Because the trail offers so much variety in it setting its ups and downs (some more challenging than others), creek crossings, pedestrian bridges, and other natural obstacles to maneuver around, be sure to keep your eyes out for the blue blazes that mark the Buckeye Trail. The trail is well-maintained and well-signed, so finding your way should not be a problem.
Visitors looking for a trail with a wide variety of terrain to explore will find this trail enthralling. Those looking for a bit of a longer trek will be happy to find it very easy to add some distance onto their trip.
History & Background
The Buckeye Trail is a 1,444-mile loop that winds its way around Ohio. According to the Buckeye Trail Association, a nonprofit group that manages and maintains the trail, a visitor can experience a little of all that Ohio has to offer. The Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) is home to 37 of these miles, which the Parks Trails Council has divided into several segments of varying difficulty ranging in length from 1.5 miles - 7 miles.