Romantic Places – Brandywine Waterfall Cuyahoga Valley National Park

I love waterfalls.  They are both impressive, powerful, and romantic.  There is something peaceful in watching the water pound the rocks below, in the sound of the rushing water, and even the feel of the spray (if you can get close enough).  So when I get a chance to go hunt them out I do (that and lighthouses), hence given the beautiful weather this week in the Cleveland/Akron area, we made a hike out to Cuyahoga Valley National Park and to Brandywine Falls.

Our first stop was hiking the Towpath Trail to Standford house.  We say lots of birds and some of the new   growth starting to peep out, but the trails were extremely muddy due to the rain.  I got a great picture of the towpath trees creating a canopy over the trail.

I adore pictures like these.  I have one in black and white up on my wall, in 3 parts, of a small path through birch trees.  I can’t wait to see this in the summer with full foliage and again with the fall colors.  Thankfully, this trail is well gravelled and lacked the extensive mud we found on the way to Stanford house and beyond.

 

So after finishing our 3 mile hike we returned to our car and drove over the BrandyWine Falls.  The falls cut down into a gorge and the pathway down to them is a nice wooden walk path with steps down to the base of the gorge.  The area is still fairly wooded which gives you such fun physic anomalies as this tree growing out sideways and clinging to the rocks.

 

 

 

And now to some shots of the falls

top part of the falls

the long drop down

right side of falls

Start of the falls

The falls are 60 foot drops over Berea Sandstone with the softer layers of Berea and Cleveland Shale.  You can tell the areas of shale in the pictures because the falls take on a bridal veil appearance, as in the middle parts of the top pictures.  It’s harder to see the bridal veil patterns over all due to the heavy amounts of water coming over the falls (as you can see in the right side falls picture) due to the massive amounts of rain we have had in the area over the last 6 months.  Here, you can compare my March 2012 pictures to some May 2004 pictures (and a short 5 second movie clip).   As you can see in the 2004 pictures, the waterfall is much tamer and lacks the heavy cascading water that is seen on each side of my pictures.

There are a few other waterfalls in the area that I am going to have to track down and I think I may plan a lighthouse tour for when my parents come in July.

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