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Would it even be a national park trip if I planned ahead at all? Cuyahoga Valley was no different and I was a little overwhelmed when it came to knowing what to do. This is a park that definitely needs at least a little planning ahead.
Like usual though, we started our trip at the visitor center. This made our next move easy. The Blue Hen Falls trail was just across the street so off we went!
The trail starts out in the woods which were so dreamy! There was just a glow through the trees and it was so amazing! I honestly think this woodsy glow was my favorite part about the hike to Blue Hen Falls.
The trail was just packed dirt with one set of stairs and a couple of bridges but it’s pretty hilly. I was surprised at how hilly and steep it was but I knew literally nothing about it going into it so I suppose anything would have surprised me.
The trail is super easy to follow but at one point it does spit you out at a road which you’ll walk along for a bit before crossing and going back into the woods, down more hills, across a creek to the falls.
Wait, there’s a road, you’re probably thinking. Yes, there is. Can I park on this road so I don’t have to hike as far? Negative. There is nowhere for that.
But wait, can’t I just walk up the road instead of the trail? Nope! There are signs that say no because there is no shoulder or room to walk and it’s a busyish road.
Once we got to the falls we spent some time wandering around them enjoying the falls and the leaves, taking pictures before heading out back out.
One thing I really didn’t like about the Blue Hen Falls hike was that you can hear interstate traffic along most of the trail. I didn’t notice it at the actual falls but that could have been the sound of the falls drowning it out.
Traffic sounds aside, I really enjoyed this hike and would definitely recommend it if you’re planning a trip to Cuyahoga Valley. I thought the hike was a lot easier on the way out than on the way in so if you’re feeling like you’re getting your butt kicked a bit on your way there, don’t worry. It was better on the way out.
National Park Pass + Other National Park Deals
- If you’re planning on visiting multiple parks (3 or more) on this trip or within the year, I would highly recommend getting a national park pass. It’s $80 but will pay for itself in about three trips to parks. It’s so worth it and I buy one every year! They’re also great for gifts for the park lovers in your life.
- To help plan the best national park trip ever, this Ultimate National Park Planning Bundle is perfect! You get two ebooks and a planner, saving 50% by getting them as a bundle! If you want all the details, this is the bundle for you. Buy the Ultimate bundle here.
- This National Park Planner (one of the ebooks from the bundle above) is perfect if you just want some guidance in your planning. Buy the planner here.
- Get yourself a little National Park notebook to write all about your adventures while you’re on the road. These from Field Notes are all very cute! If you want one for all of the NPS sites (400+!) then this one is for you!
- Before your trip, get some national park apparel for your trip! Homage is donating 5% of sales from the national park collection to the National Parks Conservation Association this year. Buy national park shirts here.
- Consider reading some of these books set in national parks before your big trip, on your adventure, or once you get home to take you back to the parks until next time.
- Planning a big national park trip? Check out these other posts: National Park bucket list, Make the most of a National Park trip, National Park camping packing list, My favorite National Park hikes, More National Park hikes I love, Underrated National Parks.
Where is the Blue Hen Falls trailhead?
The Blue Hen Falls trailhead is right across from the visitor center! This makes it super easy to find. You can just park at the visitor center, carefully cross the street and hit the trail.
There will be a little sign pointing to the trail but if you’re back is to the visitor center, there will be an interstate bridge on your left and the trail will be to the right next to a little road.
How long is the Blue Hen Falls Trail?
About 3 miles round-trip. I would plan 2-3 hours for this hike depending on how much you stop and how much time you spend at the falls.
Is the Blue Hen Falls hike hard?
In the grand scheme of things, no but it was definitely on the moderate side. If you’re confident in high elevations you’ll be fine here. It does have some pretty solid hills though. It has 580 feet of elevation gain, so like I said, it’s not terrible, but it’s definitely more moderate than easy.
What to bring on the Blue Hen Falls Hike
Hiking poles – These will be helpful on longer hikes that are on the steeper side. They’ll be good if you have bad knees for when you’re going downhill and will give you something to lean on going up the hills.
Snacks – These are more important for long hikes, but you never know when you’ll get hungry! I like EPIC bars (kind of like beef jerky but different), Sahale nut mix things, and Moon Cheese. There’s always the good old Clif Bars and trail mix, too.
Light Jacket – Because you just never know. This is a must-have if you’re visiting in spring or fall. It was warm but still cool at times. The temperature was all over the place and it was nice having a jacket or sweatshirt. I usually use my rain jacket for this.
Cozy Sweatshirt – I wore a sweatshirt here instead of a jacket which was nice but a little warm at times. I have a few different Patagonia sweatshirts and love them all. They’re great for layering in cold weather. I have two Re-tools, a Better Sweater, and a Synchilla. Sometimes you can find them on sale on REI or Backcountry. I also like to keep an eye out for them on Poshmark (use code REDAROUNDWORLD for $10 off your first purchase) and Mercari (you can save $10 with that link as well!) I’ve found some really good deals on both.
Is the Blue Hen Falls hike worth it?
Yes! It might not be my favorite hike ever but it was still really nice. The woods here feel so dreamy and almost fairytale like with their glow. Is it the coolest waterfall ever? No, but I still really enjoyed it and think it deserves a place on your national park bucket list.
Have you done the Blue Hen Falls hike? What did you think of it? What is your favorite Cuyahoga Valley hike?