fall colors and brandywine falls

b2009_1011Brandywine0023 After a rainy start on Friday, this weekend turned into a beautiful autumn weekend. We spent Saturday decorating for Halloween and yard clean up. Today, Brett had to go to his parents for their final pony show tomorrow. I called my friend Susan and asked her if she wanted to take a bike ride on Sunday. She was up for it. We chose the Portage-Summit Hike and Bike Trail to Brandywine Falls in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It was about 12 miles from the trailhead off Hudson Road just north of Kent.

b2009_1011Brandywine0037It was a bit chilly but sunny as we headed out in late morning. The sun warmed us as we made our may north and west. The leaves were still mostly green but there were yellow, red and orange highlights. It was a very uncrowded ride. I figured folks would be out for a ride on one of our last sunny and somewhat warm Sundays.

This is a very nice trail. It is asphalt and very well maintained. The ride is pretty level to Hudson. Almost all of the intersections on the trail involve a small hill. The hills on both sides of Route 8 are killers. b2009_1011Brandywine0052They are steep and long. I have to confess I only made it half way up and had to walk the bike the remainder. The trail is quite scenic and peaceful from Route 8 to Highland Road.

At Brandywine Road we had to turn west onto Highland for about ½ mile to Brandywine Falls. This road is somewhat busy, especially today with people heading to see the falls. The parking lot was overflowing and the falls area trails had a good size crowd. I had never been to the falls. If you haven’t, I highly recommend a visit. It is a beautiful work of nature. We enjoyed walking around the falls and taking in the colors and sun. The day had warmed quite nicely.

b2009_1011Brandywine0060We had an uneventful return trip. Our legs were definitely feeling the hills. Both of us routinely ride 20-25 miles on a trip, but this trip really had us feeling the hurt as we pulled into Kent. This may be the last weekend ride of the year for me. You never know about Ohio weather, Brett and I hope to get another ride in a few weeks.

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