Terrain varies hugely along this trail. It's a great way to connect different trails throughout the park to create a longer loop or route on long-run days. Keep in mind that this is a horse-friendly trail. If you see a horse, stop running and step aside to let the horse pass. The horse's rider should be able to tell you if you can simply walk by or if you need to step off the trail so as not to spook the animal.
In total, the Valley Trail spans close to 19 miles, but you have the option of attacking it in three segments: Everett Covered Bridge Trail to Wetmore Trailhead (2.75 miles), Wetmore Trailhead to Boston Trailhead (9.25 miles), or Boston Trailhead to Brecksville Reservation (6.9 miles). They’re rated easy to moderate, but remember, they’re rated for horses, not humans.
Begin your outing at the corner diagonally opposite from the kiosk in Everett Covered Bridge’s parking lot. From there you'll cover a lot of ground through field and forest and face different terrain along the way, sometimes flat and moderate and at other times steep and sandy with fist-sized rocks that roll beneath your feet.
What Makes It Great:
The Valley Trail is one of the most scenic trails in CVNP, just because it covers so much ground. The scenery along the way is beautiful, passing over the Cuyahoga River and through the woods past a few privately-owned farms, and finally to a hill that overlooks the valley. The second section, Wetmore Trailhead to Boston Trailhead, will delight nature lovers with oaks, hickories, and maple trees as well as violets, daffodils, and other flowers. If you’re still going, the remainder of the trail alternates between field and forest for your viewing pleasure.
This trail can be made as long or as short as you want and it’s speckled with interesting views and attractions along the way. You’ll pass a tree nursery that operated during the Great Depression and provided 3.5 million seedlings that repopulated the valley, the Hunt Farm Information Center, and Szalay’s Farm market at .9 miles where you can stop and take a break, but not a long one. You have a lot of ground to cover, and this is not a loop.
Who Will Love It:
The Valley Trail enables equestrians to see a wide swath of land without tiring. They can even start at one end and have someone pick them up at another trailhead with a horse trailer.
Though not as precarious as the Perkins Trail
, Valley presents a few challenges that serious runners will enjoy.