The beautiful thing about summer in Ohio, especially this summer, is that most days I can sleep in without worrying too much about whether it's going to be too hot to get a walk in after breakfast (unlike our trips to my parents in Alabama where we have to get up with the sun to even get 1.5 miles in).
Last week, I was visiting my grandparents for their 60th wedding anniversary, so Barley and Soth were both in boarding with our trainer. (Sidenote: Friday came and went way too quickly, so I never actually got the blog I'd written linked up with last FitDog Friday--if you are interested in our 6-month resolution update, here it is.) Since we'd been separated for 5 whole days, I wanted to make sure that Barley had a fun week this week.
We got in a couple walks at our most regular parks, so we could check in on the lake and our deer friends.
On Wednesday, Barley and I took a nice walk in our neighborhood, but it was still nice and cool after lunch, so we decided to go on a big adventure and explore Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We'd been once before--way back when we first started this blog--and I'd always meant to go back. If you Google national parks and dogs, CVNP shows up on all of the "best national parks to visit with your dog" lists. The park is huge--over 20,000 acres and 100 miles of trails--and 5 of the 50 hikes in my beloved Doggin' Cleveland are at various parts in the park.
On our first visit, we'd tried to find Brandywine Falls, but we'd parked at the parking lot recommended by Doggin' Cleveland and a lack of clearly marked trails/easy to read maps, we took a few wrong trail, which still gave us a nice walk but we'd walked too far on a warm day to make it all the way to the falls. The park is about an hour--more depending on which trail we're heading to and road construction--so it's been a long time since we've ventured back there.
This week, we were smarter and went to the parking lot that's right by the observation area for the falls. There's a big loop that takes you from the parking lot to the falls and back across the creek to the parking lot; however, the bridge to take the loop back to the parking lot was closed, so we just took the trail down to the water and back up.
|We're not going to let a closed bridge stop us--Diva dog doesn't want to rock hop across, but she likes out-and-back trails.|
The upper observation area of the falls was a very narrow area with a lot of people crowded on it and I wasn't feeling like attempting the many stairs down to the lower observation deck, so there were not good picture opportunities for the falls.
|Top of the falls|
|She stepped a little deeper into the creek than she'd planned|
The #1 hike in Doggin' Cleveland mentioned another CVNP trail, The Ledges Trail. It was about a 10 minute drive to that trailhead from the falls parking lot. Y'all, I love ledges. Ledges are cool and damp, so even on the hottest day ledges are good places to walk. I didn't realize that there were ledge at CVNP, so we couldn't pass up an opportunity to try out this trail.
|Nice people on the trail saw Barley posing and asked if we wanted a picture together!|
The trail around the ledges was great. There were some inclines, so I got my heart rate up a few times, but they weren't as terrible as some of our previous parks, so I didn't wake up sore and regret the hike the next day. If you're ever looking for a great national park to visit, you could spend days exploring CVNP and see many different types of landscape, so Barley and I highly recommend it.
I mentioned last week that we'd worked on getting ahead so that we wouldn't fall behind while I was out of town. Our weekly mileage is calculated from Friday-Thursday (so each FitDog Friday is the start of a new week). Since I missed several days at the beginning of this week, I was worried about how we'd do this week. After a few days of shorter walks in boarding, Barley was ready for adventure this week. This week's mileage: 21.46 miles
Happy FitDog Friday everyone!