Follow the blue blaze markers along the Buckeye Trail, a more than 1,400-mile path that winds throughout the entire state. “One of the beauties of the Buckeye Trail is that you make discoveries that you wouldn’t normally make,” says Randall Roberts, a Buckeye Trail Association trustee and Crooked River Chapter chairman. “During my many treks, I’ve been struck by the large amount of resources and land we have in Ohio.”
Here, we highlight three short — but amazingly beautiful — hikes along the trail in Northeast Ohio:
Red Lock-Boston Loop. Start this 8-mile loop that takes about four hours to complete at the Boston Mill Visitor Center. Highlights include the Cuyahoga River, Cuyahoga Scenic Railroad, Blue Hen Falls, Jaite Paper Mill, Stanford House and an abundance of wildlife.
Penitentiary Glen Circuit. Take a 3-mile trek through this reservation in Willoughby that boasts wondrous views of the gorge that divides the park. It's family friendly, too. “Throughout the year, tiny steam engines are pulled out and kids can ride on them through the woods,” says Bob Morecki, the trail’s Bedford section supervisor.
Waterfront Walk. Pick up the trail at the Mentor Lagoons Marina Parking Area and make your way through the Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve. Located on the shores of Lake Erie, the property offers miles of waterfront trails. Finish your trek along the lakefront at Headlands Beach State Park, Ohio’s longest natural beach.