Arguably one of the best trails of the Metro Parks, this 1.8-mile trail offers an adventure for all hikers. The first half-mile of the trail (leading to Mary Campbell Cave) is accessible to adventurers with walkers, wheelchairs, canes, and strollers. After passing impressive, sheer rock formations, the trail becomes more of a challenge, with a section labeled “primitive.” As you hike you can see towering rock shelters, bubbling waterfalls, an abandoned dam, a famous cave, and a variety of plants and wildlife. If you’re not one for hikes, there’s plenty to keep you busy – fishing docks, grills, and picnic areas with shelters.
Moss growth along ledges of Gorge Trail - Photo Credit: Greg Habermann
Fascinating Historical Caves
The Gorge Trail is known for its rock shelters and caves. After a relaxed, half-mile walk from the parking lot, you’ll see Mary Campbell Cave, named after a pioneer from Pennsylvania. The Delaware Indians captured her in the late 1750s. She lived in the cave as an adopted daughter of Chief Netawatwees. In 1764, the Delaware Indians released her back to her Pennsylvania family. Some dispute this story as untrue, instead supporting the story of another young Pennsylvanian, John McCullough. He was captured by the Delaware Indians, and during his years with them, he spent most of his time in the Cuyahoga area. Colonel Bouquet repatriated him. McCullough later told others his story with a different angle than most would have expected, especially his account of escaping from his father to reunite with his Indian family in the Cuyahoga area.
Shale outcroppings on Gorge Trail - Photo Credit: Greg Habermann
Picturesque Past Technology
The Ohio Edison Dam was built in 1912. It was intended to be a cooling pool for a coal-fired power plant farther upstream. A short while later, a team added a hydro plant below the dam. There had been plans to demolish the dam and build a hydropower facility in its place, but the latest news is that the plans have been set aside due to environmental concerns. The abandoned plants will remain a reminder of past eras of technology, making a convenient photo op for hikers at the Gorge Metro Parks.
Defunct power plant at Gorge Trail - Photo Credit: Greg Habermann
Join the AdventureDon’t forget to stop by Appalachian Trails for all your hiking needs. Best wishes on your hiking adventure to the Gorge Trail at the Metro Parks!
Leaves collect along Cuyahoga River’s edge on Gorge Trail – Photo Credit: Greg Habermann