“A short but challenging run with surprising views of the Sagamore Creek gorge and waterfalls.”
— Kevin Madzia
Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers
Northeast Ohio weather can be wet at any time of the year, so expect the trail surface to be very muddy in spots. Waterproof shoes or hiking boots are recommended. The creek crossings may be impassable (without getting your feet wet) after heavy rains, or during the spring thaw after a winter with heavy snowfall.
This trail exemplifies the cooperation between the local park agencies. The trail is located in the Cleveland Metroparks Bedford Reservation. The main trailhead is also technically located in the Bedford Reservation, but it's used mostly by people accessing the Summit Metro Parks Bike and Hike Trail, which runs adjacent to this trailhead. There is a secondary trailhead that is actually part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and is also used to access the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail.
The main trailhead is located on Alexander Road, just west of the intersection with Dunham Road. The secondary trailhead is called the Frazee House Trailhead, and is located on Canal Road in the village of Valley View. You can start at either trailhead and go clockwise or counterclockwise. The following description assumes starting at Frazee House and going clockwise.
The first half of the loop will be mostly on the north side of Sagamore Creek, and have most of the elevation gain. The second half of the loop will be on the south side of the creek, with most of the elevation loss. Look for the main entrance to the trail in the middle of the driveway between the parking area and Canal Road. The trail is marked with posts that have a yellow salamander symbol on them.
About a mile in, you cross Sagamore Creek, and head along the south bank. In about 0.2 miles, you'll see another trail going straight up a steep hill to the right. Don't take this; instead go left and cross the creek back over to the north bank.
You'll go up a couple of steep switchbacks to make your way up to the rim of the gorge. The trail seems to split at the corner of the second switchback, but one way (left) leads to private property. Go right instead to stay on the trail.
Just after you get to the top of the climb, the trail forks with a doubletrack to the left and a singletrack to the right. You can take either, but the right has better views as it runs along the edge of the gorge.
Continue along the fence when you get to the Alexander Trailhead, then up the short, steep dirt trail to the paved trail, then turn right. Go about 0.1 miles and look for the Linda Falls Trail sign on your right. This section overlaps with the Buckeye Trail. During the next mile or so is where to look for waterfalls created by a couple of smaller creeks that run into Sagamore Creek.
Near the end, you'll head along short stretches of Sagamore Road and Canal Road to get back to Frazee House.
Flora & Fauna
Mostly deciduous trees with a few scattered pine trees. Deer, turkey, squirrels, chipmunks, and local birds.