National Parks/Monuments

The Ledges Trail in Cuyahoga Valley

(Last Updated On: October 21, 2022)

The Ledges Trail is a hike of variable distance in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. This hike is nicely shaded and relatively flat, though it does have a very rough, uneven surface. This trail was a highlight on our visit to Cuyahoga Valley, and we know you’ll enjoy these green, mossy ledges, too.

green mossy ledges
The Ledges Trail in Cuyahoga Valley is a must-do hike!

This trail follows along the outside edge of a ledge that towers about 30 feet above you at the highest. It is a beautiful trail because of rich green moss growing along the ledge and the verdant colors along the way. We took dozens of pictures trying to catch the emerald-colored rocks, but nothing seems to look quite as good as seeing the ledges in person. 

The Ledges Trail is of variable lengths because it forms a large oval around the parking lot with various access points like spokes sticking out from the hub of an oblong wheel. Though the ledges are beautiful all the way around, we thought they were most spectacular on the east side. This is the route that we took:

The trees and ledges bring so much green.

Directions

To see the ledges at their best, leave the parking lot headed north (away from the entrance to the parking lot). This trail is wide and paved and offers several branches. Keep walking and make sure you pass the Ledges Shelter building pictured below. Eventually, you come to a four way intersection. To the left is the Octagon. Straight ahead is Happy Days Lodge. You should go to the right, which is the Ice Box Cave, though it isn’t labeled that way. After just 0.2 miles, the trail wraps around the end of the ledges.

The trail walks along the road for a little bit. You will pass the Ledges Shelter.
There are signs to help you along the way.
Follow the wide trail to the next sign.
Once you turn right, you’ll soon come to The Ledges sign. Head right again.
You can look down into the ledges from up here, but stay away from the edge.

The Ledges Trail

Once you get down next to the ledges, the good views really start. After following the trail along the top, the trail will come down and you will turn left and proceed along the base of the cliff. This is the best part of the trail. It crosses small brides and you can loop up to the cave, though be sure not to disturb the hibernating bats. There is a gate preventing entrance to the cave.

The trail walks right along the ledges, and it is amazing.
There are stairs and boardwalks and bumpy rocks, so the trail is not wheel-friendly.
We liked walking over to look into the cave.
This hike walks right along the cliffside.

From this point, simply follow the edge of the ledge until you’ve had enough. Then you can make a left turn back to the parking lot. We walked all the way around to the overlook, which is about three-quarters of the way around the loop. Then we cut across the meadow back to the parking lot, which you can see from the trail. 

How is that tree growing right there?
We saw some fun birds including this amazing pileated woodpecker.
So many different mushrooms to find, too.
The ledges are pretty tall.
Eventually you can climb up to the overlook.
The overlook is on top of the ledges and gives you a view of the huge forest.
We could see the parking lot, so we cut across the meadow instead of following the trail all the way around.

The Ledges Trail in Cuyahoga Valley is a unique hike like nothing we’ve really done. If you get a chance to walk this trail while in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, take it! Read more about what we did in Cuyahoga Valley on our post about this park. If you want a specific map of the Ledges area, check out this link on Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s website (scroll down on thier site to the individual hike maps).

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