More Than Just A Hike: The Ledges Trail

If you’re looking for an outdoor activity that is perfect for any of your friends and family, the Ledges Trail is perfect for you! The hike forms a 2.2-mile loop – short enough to be fun, long enough for a slight challenge – which takes only 1.5 hours to hike.

Rays of Sunlight at Ritchie Ledges photo credit: Tom Jones, NPS
Rays of Sunlight at Ritchie Ledges (photo credit: Tom Jones, NPS)

While hiking the trail, you will see countless rock formations coated with mosses and ferns, including the impressive Sharon Conglomerate rocks titled Ritchie Ledges. These are named after William Ritchie, a farmer who once owned the land. Experts estimate these rock formations are 300 million years old.

300 million year old rock formations at Ritchie Ledges photo credit: Tom Jones, NPS
300 million year old rock formations at Ritchie Ledges (photo credit: Tom Jones, NPS)

Explore the 200-year-old petroglyphs

There are also crevices in the rocks. If you look closely, you may see a few petroglyphs (rock carvings). In the late 1800s, William Geoppert owned large sections of the land, and he carved profiles of two men and a horse into one of the crevices.

Rock Carvings
Rock Carvings along The Ledges Trail (photo credit: roadtriptheworld.com)

Take in the sunset at the Ledges Overlook

Ledges Overlook, another site on the trail, provides a stunning view of the Cuyahoga Valley. Be sure to time your hike perfectly; the rocky outcropping faces West, making it ideal for sunset photos.

Discover Ice Box Cave & Idyllic Wildlife Habitat

A bat population inhabits Ice Box Cave. As its name suggests, it is cool year-round. This impressive canyon is 50 feet deep. Unfortunately, the cave may be closed to contain the spread of White Nose Syndrome.

Ice Box Cave at The Ledges photo credit: ohioexplorer.blogspot.com
Ice Box Cave at The Ledges (photo credit: ohioexplorer.blogspot.com)

If you enjoy watching birds, there are scarlet tanagers, wood thrushes, flycatchers, warblers, and others. If you enjoy nature in general, the Ledges Trail makes a loop through a forest of hemlocks, yellow poplars, and yellow birches, creating an idyllic habitat for other wildlife.

Explore The Ledges Trail With Friends, Family – And Us!

Opportunities abound for everyone at Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s the Ledges Trail, whether you’re a birdwatcher, a geologist, or a hiker. Join Appalachian Outfitters’ scheduled hikes for an outdoor adventure!