Northeast Ohio is a place that doesn’t bubble at the top of the list of vacation hot spots, but if you have an active trail dog you’ll want to consider this. The main attraction is the “touch,” the limestone that has been shaken, eroded and cracked by huge shakes of SEVV-shaped blocks. You’re actually going under the cover of an ancient ocean once covered in Ohio. Glacier retreat a few million years later, covering most of the limestone with scraped soil, but some areas were exposed to the grace of wind and water that created the imaginary rock formations. When you are amazed at the natural wonder of these canyons, your dog will love to hip, run and run on top of the rocks. One of the advantages of viewing lakes in the summer is that these hikes tend to be many degrees cooler than the higher temperatures for the day. Here are some Northeast Ohio parks to experience the tails:
Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park (Garetsville, SR 282)
You need to enter it directly at this small park. A series of boundaries run about one mile north-south, braced by waterfalls at both ends. On the front (the best way to see blue-blazed and algae rocks) on the other side and below, and separate trails of huge, scrambled rocks (red-blazed and hard) move to the top (white-blazed and easy) to the name of the Red Trail, such as Fat Mans Peril, The names of Squeeze and The Devil’s Icebox can make you gasp, but when you see the race of your dog’s wagging tail in front of you, you see the impossible, it’s not a laughing stock.
Hinkley Reservations (Hinkley, Belas Road)
Hinkley is famous for returning turkeys, buzzing from the south every March 15th. There are two separate tails and straws in the park to search for your dog, each with a length of about a mile. A short climb to one of the highest points in Northeast Ohio will take you to the beginning of Whips Ledges where your dog can easily scale rock cliffs 50 feet high. Maintain control of your dog as you cross the top of the boundary with perfect featured, uninterrupted drop-offs. At the southern end of the reservation are algae wardens legges featuring rock carvings of religious symbols.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Peninsula, SR 303)
The highlight of the trail system at Happy Days Visitor Center is a band with a 30-foot-high tail that runs a better part of the mile. The Ledges Trail is circled in rock formations so that some of its parts do not require the symbolic insane passage of cousins, making this trail suitable for any level of Nine Hikers. Spar trails will take your dog to the top of Kullu and Cranies and Lizzies. Still, there is a drop-off here to be aware of.
Gorge Metro Park (Kuahoga Falls, front street)
The Chuahoga River Basin has been attracting adventurous travelers since the 18th century when it was the site of High Bridge Glance Amusement Park. One hundred and twenty-five years ago, ten-year-old Mary Campbell was taken from her home on the Pennsylvania border by Delaware Indians and carried in a cave around her neck, becoming the first white child to reach Ohio in the United States. The Gorge Trail today is a 1.8 mile loop, the highlight of which comes when you have to choose its path with the dog pounding the cliffs. Signs of the trail label this stretch as “hard” and give a bypass but there’s nothing your dog can handle here. In fact, a few stone steps have been cut into the most troublesome passages.
West Woods (Russell Township, SR 87)
There are long circulated rumors of these dark wood and sheltered rock outcropings. The escaped slaves were hiding here on the underground railway. The soldiers of the Civil War took refuge in the lead. The bootleggers operated illegal steel in the hollow. The destination of the 1.5-mile walk in this Geoga County showcase park is the Cave of Ansel, named after people from Massachusetts who can sit here. The ride is conducted entirely under long, straight solid wood on a wide, foot-friendly compact stone path.
South Chagrin Reservation (Chagrin Falls, Hawthorne Parkway)
The vast Chagrin River, dominated by this Cleveland metropark, was designated a state natural river in 1979. The squirrel loop trail on the east side of the river carefully slides over the water below the sandinel at the bottom of the river. It’s just a steep drop-off for a quiet, well-behaved dog hired as unintentional. Across the river you can see the rock carvings of Henry Church, a blacksmith and self-taught artist who gained a reputation as a primitive folk artist after his death.