Throughout Summit County, there are numerous attractions that everyone knows about and makes a point to visit, but every once in a while you stumble upon a hidden gem. One of the best kept secrets in Cuyahoga Falls is the Gorge Metro Park.
Formed when glacial debris blocked the former route of the Cuyahoga River, the Gorge was thousands of years in the making. Today, sandstone ledges nestled among oak, black gum, tulip and yellow birch trees along the Cuyahoga River are an outdoor must-see.
This 155 acre park just off Front Street has plenty to offer the park enthusiast. Activities include fishing, hiking, ice skating and picnic areas. Many people’s first thought when going to the park is to enjoy a nice picnic. Picnic areas at the Gorge include grills, restrooms, drinking water and even a picnic shelter with room for up to 64 people.
When finished with your picnic lunch, you can walk it off with an enjoyable, scenic hike through one of three trails. With ratings from moderate to strenuous, each trail provides a unique experience through the woods and along the banks of the Cuyahoga River. The Glens Trail is a 1.8 mile hike with views on the river’s edge. The more strenuous Gorge Trail is also 1.8 miles, but is more rugged and takes hikers to Mary Campbell Cave. Highbridge Trail is a 3.2 mile moderate hike.
Mary Campbell Cave is named after a 12-year old girl who was captured in 1759 in Pennsylvania and brought back to the area by Delaware Indians. She lived with Chief Netawatwees until she was released in 1764 after the French and Indian War. Campbell is considered to be the first white child in the Western Reserve, which was the wild frontier at the time.
If you are looking for a more relaxing activity, the wheelchair accessible fishing docks might provide the perfect spot for you. The tranquil Cuyahoga River provides great views and great fishing right off the dock.
Whether you are interested in natural history, fishing, hiking or just want to enjoy a picnic with your family, the Gorge Metro Park can accommodate all that and more. The park is open 6am - sunset every day, with the main entrance on Front Street.
Fun Fact: In 1930, the Northern Ohio Traction & Light Company, a predecessor of Ohio Edison, donated a large portion of the land to Metro Parks. Most people don’t know that before that time, an amusement park sat at the site and thrilled visitors with a rollercoaster and dance hall.