Last updated: November 14, 2023
This hike is best done early or late in the day to avoid the midday crowds. Park at Brandywine Falls Trailhead. Spaces are limited. The gorge loop includes sections of several trails. If you didn’t get a trail map at the visitor center, pick one up at the bulletin board near the restrooms. This is a 1.5-mile hike with a 160-foot elevation change. We recommend wearing sturdy walking shoes. To protect this fragile habitat, please stay on marked trails.
Follow the path toward the falls, then take a left onto the trail just before the boardwalk. The clockwise loop takes you down into the gorge, over a footbridge over the creek, and back up the other side. Keep bearing right at all trail intersections. After you pass the Inn at Brandywine Falls and cross back over the creek – and over the falls – take a right at the small bulletin board. The path leads to the falls viewing boardwalk and back to the parking lot. For a closer look at the falls, follow the signs and walk down approximately 80 steps to a lower viewing deck.
For a longer hike that avoids the busy Brandywine Falls parking area, consider starting your hike from the village of Boston. Several parking areas are available, including those at Boston Mill Visitor Center, Boston Trailhead, and Stanford Trailhead. Be sure to consult a map and plan ahead for this hike, as there are multiple options at trail intersections. Bring water. There is also drinking water available seasonally at Brandywine Falls Trailhead.
From Boston Mill Visitor Center
Park at Boston Mill Visitor Center. Follow the path from the parking lot toward the visitor center, carefully crossing the railroad tracks when safe to do so. Stop at the visitor center and/or restrooms as needed. Continue around the visitor center and onto the sidewalk alongside Boston Mills Road. Walk across the bridge over the river. Turn right and follow signs and stencils on the ground to access the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. Turn left onto the Towpath and hike 0.5 mile north. Turn right onto the connector trail toward Stanford House. Carefully cross the road and follow the driveway up past the barn. From here follow the directions below from Stanford Trailhead. A roundtrip hike from this location is approximately 5.7 miles and includes a cumulative 440-foot change in elevation.
From Boston Trailhead
Park at Boston Trailhead. Follow the connector trail from the southeast corner of the parking area toward the Towpath Trail. Turn right onto the Towpath Trail and hike 0.5 mile north. Turn right onto the connector trail toward Stanford House. Carefully cross the road and follow the driveway up past the barn. From here follow the directions below from Stanford Trailhead. A roundtrip hike from this location is approximately 5.5 miles and includes a cumulative 440-foot change in elevation.
From Stanford Trailhead
Park in the designated parking area behind the barn at Stanford Trailhead. This lot is small and can fill early in the day. Trailhead information is located near the northern end of the parking area. Hike the Stanford Trail for 1.2 miles, then follow signs to connect to the Brandywine Gorge Loop. A roundtrip hike from this location is approximately 3.8 miles and includes a cumulative 400-foot change in elevation.
Take as much time as you need for this hike. We recommend one to two hours for the shorter routes. Longer routes from alternate starting locations may take more time.
This hike is recommended for ages 6 and older. Adults should use their discretion when traveling with younger children.
Leashed pets are permitted on park trails, but not in park buildings. Leashes must be 6 feet long or less.
The Brandywine Falls area closes at dusk.
This trail is not wheelchair accessible. It is hilly with an unpaved surface that is rocky in places. Service animals and leashed comfort pets are welcome. Audio description is available for the exhibit panels along the trail. Wheelchair users can view Brandywine Falls by following the short path from the parking lot to the upper boardwalk viewing area.