Happy Friday, guys! I hope with the weekend quickly approaching you are gearing up for an outdoor adventure of your own. My weather app has this weekend in Ohio looking absolutely amazing, so Colton and I will be packing up a tent and our kayaks and heading out!
Since we're on the topic of my home state, I thought it would be cool to start a little blog series entitled, "Ohio Finds." While I've lived here all of my 25 years, I only really started exploring all the different parks Ohio has to offer when Colton and I met back in 2015. Since then, I've further developed my love for exploring the outdoors anytime I can. A lot of that exploring has centered around my goal of visiting all of the country's national parks.
I obsess over the red rock canyons of Utah and the alpine forests in Colorado. I save post after post on Instagram showcasing famous hikes to add to our next hiking vacation. This has led me to neglecting the diversity of nature right outside my window! Thus, "Ohio Finds" is born. I want to create a little series in the blog that encourages people living around me (or in other places that won't ever make a list of must-do hiking destinations) to see that adventure is out there! All you have to do is search it out!
Whipp's Ledges in Hinckley Reservation
Getting to Hinckley Reservation:
Distance from Cleveland: 32 minute drive / 25.5 miles south
Distance from Columbus: 1 hour 47 minute drive / 120.3 miles northeast
As part of the Cleveland Metroparks, Hinckley Reservation is just a short drive away from Cleveland- making it the perfect day trip! The park itself has a lot more to offer than simply hiking, too! Located next to the 90 acre Hinckley Lake, this is a great spot for swimming, kayaking, and fishing!
Off of State Road, there is a small parking lot available near the Whipp's Ledges trailhead. Here you'll see an open grassy field and two separate pavilions, making a great stop for a picnic. It appears to be a simple, wooded area, but after a steep walk up a hill, you'll start to see the cliffs!
Whipp's Ledges is just one trail offered in this 2,682 acre park in Medina County. There's also a really nice trail that treks around the lake known as Hinckley Lake Loop.
I wanted to highlight Whipp's Ledges because of the unique geology. The exposed ledges and cliffs are made of sandstone conglomerate. Conglomerate is simply a term used for sedimentary rock made of several different grain sizes. The conglomerate specific to this area is known as Sharon Conglomerate due to pebbles of white quartz scattered throughout the rock.
Walking up on the cliffs, they appear to show up out of no where. Colton and I return to this trail again and again because it is so different than the Ohio we're used to hiking. While the trail itself is shorter than 2 miles, we always spend a good chunk of time here scrambling up the sandstone. Some of these cliffs are said to be over 300 feet above Hinckley Lake!
Distance: 1.3 miles
Type of Route: Loop
Elevation Gain: 144 feet (if you don't venture up any cliffs)
Dog Friendly: Yes, but must keep on leash
For more information and trail reviews, check out AllTrails. I've mentioned this app before; it's a search engine for trails all over the country. All you have to do is type in a city, park, or trail name and lots of helpful information about trails nearby will pop up!
Whipp's Ledges AllTrails Link: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/ohio/whipps-ledges-trail
Whipp's Ledges is an Ohio treasure for any rock climber enthusiasts. Here is the only area in the entire Cleveland Metroparks system that allows rock climbing/rappelling. Permits are only necessary when climbing if planning on hosting classes or climbing with groups of 50 or more people.
To obtain a permit, click here: https://www.clevelandmetroparks.com/about/cleveland-metroparks-organization/policies-procedures/permits/rock-climbing-permit
Colton and I definitely do not fall into this category. Colton would probably make a great rock climber with the right gear, but I would surely die. He took me to an indoor rock climbing facility for my birthday one year and I struggled making it up the easiest section!
The area near the cliffs designated as the trail is pretty easy to walk through, but if you're anything like us- you'll want the whole experience. If venturing off the trail to scramble up the rocks, make sure you have a good pair of hiking boots! Getting up some of the larger rocks requires quite a bit of maneuvering and having ankle support could make a huge difference on the uneven terrain.
To ensure you have a pair of boots ready to take on any uneven trails like this, read my blog post entitled, "Find Your Fit, Hiking Boots Edition."
Colton and I don't have kids, so I'm in no way trying to act like I know how to parent. But having been here multiple times, I can confidently say we've climbed onto rocks high enough to make me nervous. I don't recommend this trail for anyone with young children due to the potential danger of falling.
Pack For The Day
Whipp's Ledges really is a unique Ohio find. We've gotten into the habit of climbing up as high as we can before stopping to sit on a cliff for a snack. I can honestly say, more often than not, when we get to the cliffs, we don't finish the rest of the trail. The landscape is so fun to explore on its own, we've spent hours climbing!
Well, there you have it! One of my favorite Ohio trails I've discovered in the last few years. Hinckley Reservation is a great place to spend a day doing a variety of outdoor activities. If you go, just make sure to check out Whipp's Ledges. I think you'll thank me.
"Travel far enough, you meet yourself" -David Mitchell