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.
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 Trail 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. The views of the creek and the layers of rock it has exposed are also enjoyable to experience.
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.
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.
Last updated: July 29, 2021