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Nelson-Kennedy Ledges Loop Trail

Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park, Ohio

Ledges, waterfalls, and tight squeezes await the hiker at Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State park in Northeast Ohio.

The trails, a little less than 2.0 miles combined, are blazed with white, yellow, blue, and red, with white being the easiest and red the most difficult. If you take a trail blazed in red be prepared to hike through some cold, dark recesses and to squeeze through some pretty tight spaces.

Along the red trail, you will encounter places with names like Fat Man’s Peril, Indian Pass, The Squeeze, and the Devil’s Icebox. To access all of these trails, park in the parking lot and cross the road where you will see a kiosk---this is the trailhead. From the kiosk take a left and follow the blazes, soon you will enter the cool, dark, cliffs of The Ledges.

If you choose to brave the red trail, you can start your hike now, otherwise stay on the white trail, which goes above the ledges and skirts the edge of the rock outcropping - from this vantage point you can see the two-part Minnehaha Falls and down into the steep slot canyon that the stream created. The upper portion of Minnehaha Falls is 15 feet high, and the lower portion is 18 feet high - it is possible to scramble down the cliffside to the base of the falls as well.

Continuing on past the waterfalls, you will enter a forest of beech and maple and soon emerge back at the kiosk - now make a left and head towards Cascade Falls. The trail to Cascade Falls is blazed in yellow and along the hike you will encounter Dwarf’s Pass (be sure to duck) and Old Maid’s Kitchen, another cave, before reaching the falls. A boardwalk leads the way to the 35 foot Cascade Falls, which flows down a rock face into a jumble of boulders. Now you have seen it all, return along the yellow trail to the kiosk where you can head for your car or do it all again!


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