Hiking to Buttermilk Falls

DSC_7465If you read this blog about seeing waterfalls in the Cleveland area, then you know Buttermilk Falls has been on my list for some time. I had put it off because I knew it would require more time to get to than other waterfalls in the area. When we realized the weather would be perfect for hiking Saturday, we decided to take Ellie in the Ergobaby carrier and go check them out. We actually got to see two waterfalls–the first was Blue Hen Falls, about a tenth of a mile from the start of the trail, then we followed the creek to Buttermilk Falls, another half-mile from Blue Hen Falls.

Blue Hen Falls Trailhead

Both sets of waterfalls are part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, about 30 minutes from our house. Cuyahoga Valley National Park is so big it has train tours that take you through it. Brandywine Falls, the most popular waterfall in the area, is also in this park.

The hike to Blue Hen Falls was an easy descent and it looked like the path had been paved at some point. There were a lot of people hiking the trail and I was surprised to see so many young kids.

This waterfall was beautiful, but it felt like a bonus compared to what we had really come to see. We saw a sign marked ‘End of Trail’ that I had read was the beginning of the trail to Buttermilk Falls. The trail wasn’t on any map that I saw, it just looked like it had been worn in by hikers over the years.

This was the first time we had taken a real hike with Ellie in the Ergobaby carrier. We were worried she might be uncomfortable or get restless in it, but she was snoozin’ halfway into the hike.


About midway, the trail got a lot more treacherous for a guy with a baby on his back. There were several creek crossings on shaky rocks and Andrew decided he wasn’t comfortable going any further. We were about 10 minutes away from Buttermilk Falls, so I continued on and picked them up on my way back out. The hike back out was a lot more challenging than going in. We were basically hiking at an incline for the almost-mile back to our car–it was a workout–but the falls were BEAUTIFUL and so peaceful.


Ellie had a good 30 minute nap in the carrier and didn’t complain the entire time! We rewarded her with her favorite McDonald’s french fries afterward and she was the happiest baby in all of Northeast Ohio.


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