Cuyahoga Valley National Park

The next National Park gem on our journey was Cuyahoga Valley between Akron and Cleveland, Ohio.  The park values and preserves the Ohio & Erie Canals.  These waterway systems have a long history of development and industry for trading, transportation, and shipping, as well as a rich ecosystem of flora and fauna.  The park is spread out along both sides of the Cuyahoga River, with several short hike-able “pet-friendly” trails.  Andrew, Ame, and I chose a few hikes on the east of the river, including The Ledges and Brandywine Falls.  One weekend afternoon we headed to Peninsula Depot to walk the Towpath, a hiking/biking trail that runs beside the river.  However, the amount of weekend outdoor enthusiasts was overwhelming, so we took a detour on the Deep Lock Quarry Trail in the nearby metro park.  My one recommendation would be to visit the trails during the week when people are working. 

Cuyahoga Valley Train, Peninsula Depot
Cuyahoga Valley Train, Peninsula Depot
Deep Lock Quarry, Cuyahoga National Park & Summit County Metro Park
Deep Lock Quarry, Cuyahoga National Park & Summit County Metro Park
Millstones, Deep Lock Quarry, Cuyahoga National Park & Summit County Metro Park
Millstones, Deep Lock Quarry, Cuyahoga National Park & Summit County Metro Park
Nature's Patterns, Deep Lock Quarry, Cuyahoga National Park & Summit County Metro Park
Nature’s Patterns, Deep Lock Quarry, Cuyahoga National Park & Summit County Metro Park
Wildflower, Deep Lock Quarry, Cuyahoga National Park & Summit County Metro Park
Wildflower, Deep Lock Quarry, Cuyahoga National Park & Summit County Metro Park
The Ledges, Cuyahoga National Park
The Ledges, Cuyahoga National Park
The Ledges, Cuyahoga National Park
The Ledges, Cuyahoga National Park
Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Inn at Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Inn at Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Moving East

To continue with our fast pace, we said goodbye to Minnesota and headed through WI, IL , and IN.  We’ve made a few stops in OH, which included touring the Airstream factory in Jackson Center and visiting the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

Pine Point County Park, Holcombe Lake, WI
Pine Point County Park, Holcombe Lake, WI
Pine Point County Park, Holcombe Lake, WI
Pine Point County Park, Holcombe Lake, WI
Hiking, Mounds State Park, IN
Hiking, Mounds State Park, IN
Andrew learning to throw an atlatl, Mounds State Park, IN
Andrew learning to throw an atlatl, Mounds State Park, IN
Ame watching atlatl throwing, Mounds State Park, IN
Ame watching atlatl throwing, Mounds State Park, IN
Bronnenberg House, Mounds State Park, IN
Bronnenberg House, Mounds State Park, IN
Mounds, Mounds State Park, IN
Mounds, Mounds State Park, IN
The Glow of the Airstream Factory, Jackson Center, OH
The Glow of the Airstream Factory, Jackson Center, OH
Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, OH
Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, OH

Isle Royale & Grand Portage

Upon leaving International Falls, our traveling home headed a few hours east, along two winding and slow roads, to Grand Portage, Minnesota.  This tiny native community, bordering Canada on Lake Superior, hosts a casino/lodge/marina/RV park combo, Grand Portage National Monument and a tour boat operation.  We chose to travel to Grand Portage because of its’ proximity to Isle Royale National Park, which can only be reached via boat or sea plane.  We opted for the shortest boat ride, out of Grand Portage; the other options were Copper Harbor or Houghton in Michigan which are 5 hours longer!  We wanted more time on the island to enjoy a hike or two, and loved our afternoon at Windigo on Isle Royale participating in NPS’s 100th birthday celebration activities. 

With two days in Grand Portage and an RV spot near the National Monument, we could resist popping over for a walk around the Fort Charlotte, once used as an important meeting point on the historical fur trader route.

Isle Royale National Park
Isle Royale National Park
Isle Royale National Park
Isle Royale National Park
Isle Royale National Park
Isle Royale National Park
Along the nature trail, Isle Royale National Park
Along the nature trail, Isle Royale National Park
Along the nature trail, Isle Royale National Park
Along the nature trail, Isle Royale National Park
Along the nature trail, Isle Royale National Park
Along the nature trail, Isle Royale National Park
Grand Portage National Monument
Grand Portage National Monument
View of Grand Portage National Monument
View of Grand Portage National Monument