Brandywine Falls

Long exposure photo shows white water cascading over the top of a waterfall; green tree branches and blue sky frame the image.
The upper portion of Brandywine Falls.

© Steve Paddon

Parking at Brandywine Falls

This 60-foot waterfall is accessed via a partially accessible boardwalk. Avoid this area during peak time as it is our most popular location and parking near the falls is limited.

  • The Brandywine Falls parking area serves both the Summit Metroparks Bike and Hike Trail and Brandywine Falls, making it a very busy location. If accessing the Bike and Hike Trail, please consider parking at another trailhead. More information about the trail can be found on the Summit Metro Parks website.
  • During nice weather and throughout the summer, the parking lot is generally full between 10 am and 4 pm.
  • Do not park on the roadway. Vehicles have been damaged, ticketed, and/or towed.*
  • Arriving early or later in the day may improve the likelihood of getting a parking space.
  • Do not park outside of designated parking spaces. There is no overflow parking for Brandywine Falls.
  • Consider hiking to Brandywine Falls from Boston Mill Visitor Center. Maps and information are provided at the visitor center. The roundtrip hike is approximately 5 miles.*


Brandywine Falls is open daily from dawn to dusk. The boardwalk may be closed during icy conditions. Brandywine Falls is located at 8176 Brandywine Road in Sagamore Hills Township.

Hiking the Trail

The 1.5-mile Brandywine Gorge Loop lets you explore beyond the waterfall. It starts near the bed & breakfast and follows the edge of the gorge, eventually taking you down to creek level. The trail is worth revisiting in the spring to view vernal pools that temporarily fill with water, attracting breeding salamanders. Along the way, there are also views of the creek and the layers of rock it has exposed.

Seasonal Changes

Brandywine Falls is a place to return to time and time again - to enjoy seasonal changes like fall colors and spring vernal pools. It is also a place to watch the moods of the waterfall. With less water, the bridal-veil pattern becomes more pronounced. In winter, ice becomes the attraction. Runoff from upstream paved surfaces has increased water flow compared to historic water volumes. This is especially true immediately after storms and water can be seen in high volumes as it rushes over the falls.


Brandywine Falls is among the most popular attractions in Cuyahoga Valley National Park*

Geological and Natural History

Carved by Brandywine Creek, the 60-foot falls demonstrates classic geological features of waterfalls. A layer of hard rock caps the waterfall, protecting softer layers of rock below. In this case, the top layer is Berea Sandstone. The softer layers include Bedford and Cleveland shales, soft rocks formed from mud found on the sea floor that covered this area 350-400 million years ago. Shale is thinly chunked, giving water a bridal veil appearance as it cascades down the falls.

A combination of boardwalk and steps brings you into the waterfall's gorge and lets you view the waterfall head-on (a boardwalk option without stairs is also available). The boardwalk also provides a close look at Berea Sandstone. Careful inspection will reveal the individual grains of sand that accumulated in a sea 320 million years ago. Berea Sandstone is high quality sandstone found commonly throughout this area, both in nature and as a construction material used in buildings and canal locks.

The moistness of the gorge is evident as you walk along boardwalk. The moisture invites moss to grow on the sandstone and eastern hemlocks, a type of evergreen tree, to grow along the gorge. The hemlocks contrast with the abundant red maple trees in the area, which flame with color in the fall.

Cultural History

Early settlers in the valley saw the falls, not just as an object of beauty, but as something to be used for its water power. In 1814, George Wallace built a saw mill at the top of the falls. Grist and woolen mills followed. The Village of Brandywine grew around the mills and became one of the earliest communities to emerge in the Cuyahoga Valley. Much of the village is now mostly gone, lost to the construction of nearby Interstate 271. However, the James Wallace house, built by George's son, remains and is a bed & breakfast, the Inn at Brandywine Falls.


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    Last updated: March 20, 2024

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    15610 Vaughn Road
    Brecksville, OH 44141


    440 717-3890

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