Brandywine Falls

The must-do hike in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Hiking Easy

2.1 km
75 m
75 m
0-1 hrs
Low Point
213 m
High Point
265 m
Brandywine Falls Map

Brandywine Falls is the must-do hike in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It's easy, family-friendly, and dog-friendly as long as your four-legged friend is leashed and well-behaved. Accessed by a mix of boardwalk and stairs, this 65-foot waterfall can be seen via as a short out-and-back walk to the boardwalk, or on this mapped 1.3-mile hike along the Brandywine George Trail. The latter is far more popular.


According to the NPS, the trailhead can be quite busy during its peak, typically during the spring and fall. Summer is also a great time to visit, and "the parking lot is generally full between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m." Ice also attracts visitors during the winter, and post-storm runoff can make the falls even more stunning, considering "run-off from upstream paved surfaces has increased water flow compared to historic water volumes."

The NPS writes how "a layer of hard rock caps the waterfall, protecting softer layers of rock below. In this case, the top layer is Berea Sandstone. The softer layers include Bedford and Cleveland shales, soft rocks formed from mud found on the seafloor that covered this area 350-400 million years ago. Shale is thinly chunked, giving the water a bridal veil appearance as it cascades down the falls." Among others, eastern hemlock, red maple, and an array of moss also blanket the landscape thanks to the moistness and sandstone terrain.

In the early 1800s, settlers recognized the waterfalls' potential for power generation. The site has since hosted saw, grist, and wooden mills over the years. The waterfall was also formerly the centerpiece of the Village of Brandywine, however, "much of the village is now mostly gone, lost to the construction of nearby Interstate 271."




Walking along a well-kept trail that’s mostly flat. No obstacles are present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

all year round


  • Wildlife
  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area