Ohio is full of natural beauty, and some of the wildest of them lie just outside busy cities! Just a short drive from Cleveland, you’ll find Cuyahoga Valley National Park. This park is home to many famous sites, one of which is Brandywine Falls Ohio.
This more than 60-foot waterfall draws tens of thousands of visitors every year, in every season, to admire its natural beauty and explore the surrounding terrain. Here’s everything you need to know about Brandywine Falls and other things to do nearby.
A Brandywine Falls Overview
Brandywine Falls is one of the largest, most beautiful, and infamous waterfalls in Ohio. Located near the entrance of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, this series of falls reaches about 70 feet at the highest, flowing into vernal pools and over rocky outcrops.
A Prime Location
The waterfall is a popular spot for hikers and connects to the entrance of the park via an easy 0.5-mile hike. So, it’s an ideal stopping point for anyone visiting the area. It also provides a stopping point between many other points of the park, including smaller waterfalls and lakes.
Outlooks & Nature
The various outlook points let visitors see the ancient geological formations of the rocks and gorge. And, the unique ecosystem of the gorge allows moss, hemlocks, and other evergreens to grow here, providing beautiful scenery throughout the year.
A Part of Ohio History
Brandywine Falls Ohio has played a significant role in the Buckeye State’s history, having served as the site for a sawmill during the early 1800s. These days, it’s beloved for its natural beauty, though there are many historic buildings nearby that still date from the early settlements.
Frequently Asked Questions About Brandywine Falls Ohio
How long does it take to hike to Brandywine Falls?
The hike to Brandywine Falls is quick and easy. It can be accomplished by hikers of any age. If you want to look out over the falls from the viewing platform, you can get there in less than 10 minutes. The hike is about 0.5 miles and passes over flat terrain.
Can you swim at Brandywine Falls?
You might be tempted to jump in for a dip at Brandywine Falls, but the park restricts swimming there for a reason. Firstly, the water is shallow and rocky, so it’s not a good swimming place anyway. Secondly, the falls are strong.
If you want to swim, you can take a short walk along the nearby Swim Lake Trail, which leads to a watering hole that’s ideal for swimming. Be aware that there are no lifeguards, though.
Are dogs allowed at Brandywine Park?
Cuyahoga Valley National Park permits dogs in the park and at Brandywine Falls provided that they’re kept on a leash at all times. You must clean up after your dog too, so take some trash bags along! These rules ensure that all visitors, both human and animal, are kept safe and can enjoy their visit.
Where is Brandywine Falls Ohio?
Part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Brandywine Falls is is located at 8176 Brandywine Road in Sagamore Hills Township, and is one of the more popular destinations within the park.
Things to Do at Brandywine Falls
It’s worth exploring around the falls once you arrive, and you might even spend several hours doing just that! In fact, you’ll see visitors exploring the falls, hiking trails, biking through the park, swimming and angling, and even riding the Cuyahoga Valley National Railroad throughout the year.
Brandywine Gorge Loop
Brandywine Gorge Trail is an easy 1.5-mile loop trail that hikers of all ages can enjoy. The hike itself is a treat, winding past beautiful scenery, such as vernal pools, rocky outcrops, and a lush forest. There are multiple Ohio waterfalls as well, and you’ll find several places with unique outlooks.
Some parts of the trail loop include benches where you can sit and look over the gorge or smaller falls, some of which are about 10 feet. Further along, the trail crosses Brandywine Creek before leading back to the parking lot.
Brandywine Falls in Spring
Spring is a particularly beautiful time of year at Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The Northeast Ohio climate tends to be rainy during this season, which makes it the perfect time to view the waterfalls.
Brandywine Falls is a breathtaking sight after heavy rain! Also during spring, the park is a great place to look for baby animals and new plant life.
Summer at Brandywine Falls
In the summer, you may want to take a detour down to Swim Lake Trail, which leads to a small swimming hole that’s the best place to swim in the park. Cuyahoga Valley can get very hot and humid during the summer, so many visitors enjoy taking a dip or floating down the river in a kayak.
Fishing is another popular activity during the warm months because the park is home to more than 65 distinct fish species. Between the Cuyahoga River, lakes, and ponds throughout the park, you’ll find bass, bluegill, crappies, steelhead trout, and much more.
Brandywine Falls During Fall
Autumn is the perfect time for hiking in and around Brandywine Falls. Cuyahoga Valley is widely considered one of the best places to enjoy fall colors in Northeast Ohio, and the falls offer a beautiful outlook.
Brandywine Gorge Loop features white oaks and sugar maples, which have brilliant autumnal shades of red in the fall. It’s a popular spot for photographers.
Winter at Brandywine Falls
Brandywine Falls is an unmissable spot for hiking in Northeast Ohio in winter. The hike is gentle and easy, making it ideal for snowshoeing, even for beginners.
The frozen falls are a breathtaking sight in the snow. It’s even worth getting up early to see the sunrise over the falls — a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Best Restaurants Near Brandywine Falls Ohio
Flip Side Burger is located in Chagrin Falls, just a short drive from Cuyahoga Valley National Park. This old-style burger chain features burgers made from grass-fed Ohio cows and modern, upscale interpretations of classics, like fries and milkshakes.
Rosati’s Frozen Custard is a beloved location near Brandywine Falls Ohio. During the warm months, visitors can stop in for chocolate and vanilla, as well as a daily changing flavor made new every hour. All flavors are made from locally-sourced, fresh ingredients.
The Courtyard Cafe is located in Brecksville, a short distance from Brandywine Falls. The menu features upscale comfort food in a relaxed setting, such as handmade pizzas, New York strip steak, chicken cordon bleu, and Angus burgers.
D’Angelo’s Italian Ristorante is located in nearby Twinsburg. This second-generation family restaurant serves authentic Italian food in an upscale setting. It’s a great spot for a romantic dinner or a couple’s getaway, with dishes like chicken piccata, veal marsala, rigatoni arrabbiata, and fettuccine. The restaurant also has a full wine and cocktail menu.
Where to Stay Near Brandywine Falls
Shady Oaks Farm Bed & Breakfast is less than a 5-minute drive from Brandywine Falls Ohio! This beautiful inn offers a variety of rooms where guests can relax, enjoy the scenery, and experience a sliver of farm life far away from the hustle and bustle of the ordinary.
The Inn at Brandywine Falls is a historic 19th-century inn nestled just outside Cuyahoga Valley National Park near the waterfall. It has six rooms, each uniquely decorated in a signature style. Visitors are welcome to explore the grounds and the home, which has a library, living room, dining room, kitchen, and porches.
Cuyahoga Valley Inn is a historic bed and breakfast that has been added to the National Registry of Historic Places. The rooms here offer all the modern comforts and amenities of home in a beautiful 19th-century setting that lets visitors relax and escape.
The Inn Walden is located in Aurora, less than a 20-minute drive from Brandywine Falls Ohio. This luxury inn and spa is a stunning upscale retreat that’s often chosen for weddings and other events. It offers a simple but relaxing getaway in rural Ohio.
More Things to Do Near Brandywine Falls
Do you still have time to explore the area after visiting Brandywine Falls Ohio? There are several other places to see and things to do around Cuyahoga Valley National Park too.
The Towpath Trail is an 87-mile trail that follows the Erie Canalway. It’s a famously popular place to hike, walk, and enjoy the beautiful scenery. People often bring their dogs here, ride bikes along the water, and stroll with a pair of binoculars to catch sight of rare birds.
Brandywine Falls is only one part of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which lies along the banks of the Cuyahoga River. Traversing the 125 miles of hiking trails (including the Brandywine Falls Trail, Boardwalk Trail, Tree Farm Trail, and Buckeye Trail) is a popular activity, as is exploring the many waterfalls including Brandywine Falls.
Additionally, the park is home to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. This tourist excursion railway allows visitors to enjoy train rides throughout the year.
Brandywine Ski Resort is one of the biggest and best ski resorts in Ohio. Located less than a 10-minute drive from Brandywine Falls and Cuyahoga Valley National Park, it offers ski terrain for all experience levels, as well as snow tubing, snowboarding, and other winter activities.
Blossom Music Center is an outdoor pavilion located about a 20-minute drive away. It hosts regular music events throughout the year, many of which are by the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra. Visitors are welcome to enjoy a picnic or concessions while listening to great music outside.
Plan Your Next Adventure to Brandywine Falls
Brandywine Falls Ohio is a destination that you just can’t miss when you’re visiting Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Outdoor enthusiasts visiting Cleveland won’t regret making this day trip outside the city to enjoy the wonders of Ohio nature.