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LOOKING TO HIKE THE BLUE HEN FALLS TRAIL?
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!
Travel Services I Recommend:
AllTrails – This is my favorite hike tracking app.
America the Beautiful – The national park pass is essential.
Booking.com – This is great for finding and booking hotels.
Get Your Guide – I recommend Get Your Guide for booking tours.
National Park Obsessed – This is the best national park planner.
Skyscanner – Skyscanner is great for finding and booking flights.
Enterprise – This is my rental car recommendation.
See all my resources here.
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 Goodies
- If you’re planning to visit three or more national parks within a year from your trip, definitely get the America the Beautiful pass. It will save you money in the long run if you’re going to more than three parks in a year. Buy the pass here.
- If you’re planning on doing a lot of hiking on your trip, or even at home, check out AllTrails! This is my favorite app to find, keep track of, and track my hiking activity. And it’s FREE! Sign up here.
- This Ultimate National Park Planning Bundle is a must-have. 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 National Park journal for all of the NPS sites (400+!) to keep track of your travels!
- 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.
Where is the Blue Hen Falls trailhead?
The Blue Hen Falls trailhead is right across from the Boston Mill 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.
The Blue Hen Falls Trailhead is about 20 minutes from Independence, 30 minutes from Cleveland, and 20 minutes from Akron.
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.
Is the Blue Hen Falls trail 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.
Best time to hike the Blue Hen Falls Trail
I would personally say fall because of the leaves changing (and it’s just my favorite season anywhere) but I don’t think there’s a bad time.
Summer will be beautiful, green, and lush, but maybe a little busier and buggier. This would be my second choice.
I bet winter would be beautiful with snow and a possibly frozen Blue Hen Falls. That said, I wouldn’t want to do this if the trail was icy or snowy. It would probably be pretty slippery on all the hills.
I’m sure spring is good, too but I’d pick that last. Leaves may not be on the trees yet and it could still be cool. It’s probably a perfectly fine time to do the hike though.
What to bring on the Blue Hen Falls Trail
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.
Sunscreen – If you plan on being outside, you’ll want sunscreen. I like the Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch a lot AND it’s reef safe! If you’re sensitive to fragrance though, it’s not a good choice. I also like the same one but specifically for your face.
Sunglasses – This is a must no matter where you are.
Headlamp – I tend to carry my headlamp around all the time when we’re hiking, just in case.
Where to stay near Cuyahoga Valley
Sheraton Suites – This is a great option in Cuyahoga Falls (near Akron) with a view of the Cuyahoga River. They also have a restaurant on site.
Comfort Inn – This is where we stayed and I liked it. I’d stay again. It’s a nice but not fancy option at the north end of the park with plenty of restaurants nearby.
Candlewood Suites – This is a nicer option in Independence and the rooms have kitchenettes if you want to make your own food instead of eat out. And it’s close to the Interstate.
Residence Inn – This is another nice Akron area choice (Fairlawn) and also has a kitchen in the rooms if you want to be more self-sufficient.
Have you done the Blue Hen Falls hike? What did you think of it? What is your favorite Cuyahoga Valley hike?