This past weekend, Lucy and I decided to do an adventure of (semi)-epic proportions. So we donned our gear, grabbed some food to take with (McDonalds, don't judge, Lucy has a very refined pallet) and drove down to Cuyahoga Valley National Park to check out a- supposedly- 5.5 mile loop comprised of three separate trails - Perkins, Riding, and Furnace.
But it wasn't 5.5 miles - it was nearly 8. And TOUGH. SURPRISE B! I'm always surprised by what my body is capable of, which apparently is some big ass hills. Read on to get the scoop on the trail and all about our adventure!
The entire trail was beautiful - really lovely - with a lot of changing scenery. If you're up for a good challenge, I'd highly recommend it.
To start, Perkins - just magical, with moss covered trees and glinting light. The weird? SOMEONE CAME THROUGH AND LEAF BLEW THE TRAIL. I was super confused. It made the trail seem weird and unnatural. And privileged in a way that made me uncomfortable. I'll talk more about this in another post.
All three trails had a LOT of elevation (three and a half near mountain limits of 1000ft.). The entire trip was basically "up/down up/down."
Frankly, I was surprised by how well I held up.
After heroically carrying Lucy through the briars, I wasn't going back through it. So I finally found a place to shimmy down. Then I had to cross - which I did by walking across a log. Even in winter, the water was knee high. I'm guessing even less passable in Spring.
I'm sure the rest of Furnace was pretty, though by the time I got through the creek I was beat, dusk was falling, and I still had 2 miles to go....SURPRISE....as I was already at 5 miles.
The last 1/2 mile of Furnace was comprised of dozens of stairs. Not great.
Wrap-Up: It was a real challenge, mainly due to the elevation and the distance I hadn't planned on. I felt *really* good about it at the end - my back held up with the pack.
I'd definitely do Perkins and Riding again, but would dodge Furnace.
Have you ever been surprised by the length of a hike? Or a trail "disappearing"? Comment below or contact me here.