“A challenging, hilly trail that stretches all the way around the state of Ohio.
— Maggie Olson
The actual "Pine Lane" is a stunningly beautiful tunnel through towering pines - with a LOT of roots. This section will keep you on your toes. Take quick, light steps on this section of the trail to avoid falling or spraining an ankle. Also, be prepared for a few stream crossings.
The Buckeye Trail is a 1,444-mile loop that winds its way around Ohio. According to the Buckeye Trail Association, a nonprofit group that manages and maintains the trail “a visitor can experience a little of all that Ohio has to offer.” The Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) is home to 37 of these miles, which the Park’s Trails Council has divided into several segments of varying difficulty ranging in length from 1.5 miles - 7 miles.
The smaller section from Pine Lane to Boston Store is a moderately challenging four-mile out and back route (or you can shuttle a car to the visitor center before you start and drive back to Pine Lane instead of traveling on foot).
You can complete this portion of the trail in either direction, but the trailhead is easier to find when starting at Pine Lane. The trail itself is a narrow singletrack mixed with abandoned roads and wider lanes. It can be very rocky and rooty at times, so watch your step! While this trail is not a loop, (this section ends out of the park, near the Riverwoods Golf Course) you can hop onto the Towpath as you cool down back to your car.
What Makes It Great:
The ever-changing landscapes along the trail make it wonderful. There are forests of pine (including a stand of rare white pines near the middle of the trail), oak and hemlock; orchards; ravines, and special spots where you are surrounded by a variety of plants, wildflowers, and birds. There is even some highway viewing mixed in, and while that may sound like a deterrent to your peaceful day out in nature, don’t be too quick to judge. There are some amazing views along the road that provide great photo opportunities.
Because the trail offers so much variety in it setting— it’s ups and downs (some more challenging than others), creek crossings, pedestrian bridges, and other natural obstacles to maneuver around—be sure to keep your eyes out for the blue blazes that mark the Buckeye Trail. The trail is well-maintained and well-signed, so finding your way should not be a problem.
Who Will Love It:
Those looking for a trail with a wide variety of terrain to explore will find this trail enthralling. Those looking for a bit of a longer trek will be happy to find it very easy to add some distance onto their journey with the nearby Towpath, the rest of the Buckeye Trail itself, or one of the Buckeye’s shorter off-shoots. It’s also a great trail for bringing along your furry, four-pawed friend as well.