Brandywine Falls,Cuyahoga Valley National Park,Northfield,Ohio

Brandywine Falls,Cuyahoga Valley National Park,Northfield,Ohio

Scenic waterfall cascading 65 ft. into a lush gorge, with viewpoints from upper & lower boardwalks.
Paleo-Indian hunters armed with spears likely followed mastodons and other Ice Age mammals into the Cuyahoga Valley about 13,000 years ago, becoming its first people. After the Ice Age, a forest of oak, elm, and maple trees filled the valley. Groups of Archaic Indians hunted the valley’s deer, wild turkeys, elk, and bear. They fished the river and streams and also gathered hickory nuts, walnuts, berries, seeds, and other plant foods.

More recent American Indian cultures in the Cuyahoga Valley did build long-term villages—and much more. The Hopewell culture is famous for its mound building. The Hopewell weren’t a tribe or a group of people who lived in the same place. Hopewell was a culture, like how Western culture is today. Wearing jeans and listening to pop music is common in many places around the world. It’s not limited to any one country or a single group of people. Western culture has spread to many places, like Hopewell culture did thousands of years ago.

The Whittlesey culture shaped the lives of American Indians in the Cuyahoga Valley between the years 1000 and 1600. The Whittlesey people lived mostly in small, scattered villages in long, multi-family homes made of wood poles. Unlike the Hopewell, they didn’t have a complex trade network. They lived off the local landscape, hunting with bow and arrows, and growing fields of corn, squash, and beans.

By 1805 few American Indians remained in the Cuyahoga Valley. Treaties had stripped them of their lands and sent them to reservations in western Ohio.

American Indians - Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Brandywine Falls is Among the Most Popular Attractions in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Geological and Natural HistoryCarved by Brandywine Creek, the 65-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, an 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.

Brandywine Falls - Cuyahoga Valley National Park

A small park that packs a big punch! This little place is only small in size.The value of the landscape as you get out into the woods and start hiking is a true treasure! More than meets the eye with this park.Don't blink as you drive through or you'll miss it! Then of course these falls.Wow.What a great place to go solo like me to get back in away from it all or take some kids in and show them the value of mother earth and how she deserves our full honor and respect.

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