Summit Metro Parks Bike and Hike Trail

We spent 3 nights this past weekend in Hudson, Ohio.  We rented the Hudson Home AirBnB.  The location of this AirBnB was ideal for our activities. We went bicycling on trails in and near Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and we visited the Cleveland Zoo.  A food market and restaurants were within walking distance from our rental.

On Saturday, September 21, we went for a morning bicycle ride.  We rode the Bike and Hike Trail to Brandywine Falls, located in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  We started at the northern trailhead at Alexander Road in Sagamore Hills.

The trail began with a climb out of the parking lot. I walked my bicycle up the hill.
This is what the trail looked like, once I had climbed the hill.
More of the trail

Bob used our GoPro camera to document some of our ride on the trail.

In a little more than 6 miles we reached the top of Brandywine Falls.  The Bike & Hike Trail is 34 miles long, so we rode only a little more than one-sixth of the trail. 

Top of Brandywine Falls, looking toward Brandywine Gorge

I walked along a boardwalk and hiked down some stairs to a falls viewing area. 

Brandywine Falls

The falling water was little more than a trickle, compared to other visits.  This visit, by the way, was our first by bicycle.  

Most rail-trails are fairly flat.  The portion of the Bike and Hike Trail that we rode is flat in some parts, but there is a fair number of dips and rises as well.  The approach to Brandywine Falls is one of those dips, and a long stretch at that.  I hit 18 MPH at one point, until I applied the brakes.  

Our initial plan was to ride to Brandywine Falls and back and, possibly, ride a portion of the O&E Canal Towpath Trail in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Not wanting to tackle the hill climb to leave Brandywine Falls, we decided Bob would ride back to the trailhead at Alexander Road and get the car.  I would wait for him at Brandywine Falls.  

Bob called at 11:09 am and said he should arrive in 12 minutes.  Apparently Bob arrived at the car 30 minutes earlier.  He spent 20 minutes having trouble following the GPS.  He discovered that he had the GPS set for travel by bicycle!



Allegheny River Trail: Rockland to Kennerdell

On Sunday, September 15th, we went for a bicycle ride on a portion of the Allegheny River Trail. 

The Allegheny River Trail is 30 miles in length.  The trail runs on asphalt between Franklin and Emlenton for 27.5 miles and on an isolated section between Foxburg and Parker for 2.5 miles. It meets the Samuel Justus Recreation Trail in Franklin, crosses beneath the Sandy Creek Trail in East Sandy, and passes through two old railroad tunnels. 

We completed the Samuel Justus Recreation Trail in August 2018. 

We have yet to ride the Sandy Creek Trail. 

As for the Allegheny River Trail, we are riding that trail in segments.  In early May of this year, we completed our first segment — Emlenton to Rockland (6 miles).  In mid-August of this year we completed our second segment — Franklin to Belmar (5.1 miles).  It is 6 miles from Rockland to Kennerdell.

We parked at the north end of Rockland Tunnel and rode to Kennerdell Tunnel and back.

Rockland Trailhead

Our bicycles are pointed toward Rockland Tunnel.  In early May, when we rode the Allegheny River Trail for the first time, Bob rode through Rockland Tunnel.  I did not.  The 2,868-foot Rockland Tunnel is pitch black.  Reflectors mark the trail edges and center.  We had strong flashlights mounted on our bicycles.  Almost as soon as I entered the tunnel, I began to feel claustrophobic.  My arms and legs tensed up, and my balance felt off.   I stopped and turned my bicycle around.  As soon as I could see the light at the tunnel entrance, I began to feel better.  Since that first visit, Bob purchased a strong headlamp.  We both made a round trip through Rockland Tunnel on this visit.  I made it through the tunnel fine, although a bit shaky.

Signage for Rockland Trailhead (again). In this photograph we are looking north towards Kennerdell.
This old Railroad Signal Mast stands alongside the trail.
Cottage for Rent
This cottage is called ‘Kingfisher Camp’.

Bob and I visited his sister and our brother-in-law a few years back at this cottage.  They rented the cottage for a week, if I recall correctly.  We would love to spend a long weekend here sometime!

Kennerdell Tunnel

The Kennerdell Tunnel is 3,350 feet long and pitch black.  Reflectors mark the trail edges and center. 

When we arrived at Kennerdell Tunnel, I chose not to ride through the tunnel.  One tunnel ride was enough for me!  Bob, however, did make a round trip ride through the tunnel.  I am thankful that I did not ride through this tunnel.  It is likely I would have fallen down, at the point when Bob was pushed off the trail by oncoming traffic.

That light is Bob, returning from his ride through Kennerdell Tunnel.
Note Bob’s sunglasses. He rode through the tunnel wearing the sunglasses!

Bob said that Kennerdell Tunnel seemed darker than Rockland Tunnel.  Wearing sunglasses in the tunnel will do that!

I took a couple more pictures on our way back to the Rockland Trailhead.

Teepees and a Motor Boat

On our way to Kennerdell, shortly after leaving the Rockland trailhead, we saw a deer standing alongside the trail.  The GoPro camera didn’t capture a video of the deer.

Bob is making sure that the GoPro is armed and ready to go.

If we happened upon that deer again, Bob wanted the GoPro camera armed and ready to shoot.

In my last blog post I mentioned that we purchased a GoPro 7 camera.  Bob used that camera to document some of our ride on the trail.  At the beginning of the video we ride through Rockland Tunnel.  I am in the spotlight 🙂

It was an enjoyable ride along the river.   I added 13.68 miles to my bicycle odometer.

17 miles down and 13 miles to go!