A Perfect day in Sagamore Hills (Northeast Ohio)

By George and Katie Hoy, Innkeepers of The Inn at Brandywine Falls


innkeepersbrandywimefallsEarly risers take a stroll on the boardwalk of the 67 ft. Brandywine waterfall, followed by a candlelight breakfast at the Inn (if a guest, or by reservation).


Next, take the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad from the nearby town of Peninsula. With a little planning, take your bikes, or rent them at Century Cycles in Peninsula and ride the train one way, and peddle the other, for only $2. What a scenic trip. And what a bargain, for bikers only! Of course a bike is not necessary for a two-way scenic excursion. The train runs through the park from Cleveland (North) to Canton (South), paralleling the river and the famous Towpath Trail where hikers and bikers are seen experiencing nature up close.

Or, if not at the Inn and not doing a train trip, drive to Fisher’s restaurant for breakfast in nearby Peninsula. It’s a small, canal-era village on the old Ohio and Erie Canal, and the short drive to Peninsula can be a scenic wonder: Drive past ski areas, the Towpath Trail, the Cuyahoga River, and the Park Headquarters which was cleverly developed from the small former company town of Jaite. Also see a Visitors Center in a former Canal store and the beautiful structures that hold highway I-80 far overhead as you drive in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. 

brandywinefallsIn Peninsula, stop at the Downtown Emporium, where owner Ronda Russell knows everything about the town: its artists’ galleries and academy, gift shops, farmers’ market, bicycle shop, restaurants, historic homes and churches (be sure to check out the Bronson Chapel, built in 1918) and the Python that Panicked the town in 1944. Also consider a bike ride or casual hike on the canal towpath. It could be just the right amount of exercise before lunch at the Winking Lizard, a renovated former dance hall. 


halefarmandvillageFor the afternoon, options include visiting Hale Farm and Village, which is a recreated 19th century hamlet; or Stan Hywet house and gardens, a beautiful estate built by rubber baron Frank Seiberling and now a museum; or the quaint town of Hudson, with its historic main street and a new “First and Main” outdoor shopping center just west of the historic district. Of course more interaction with nature is also possible in the parks’ 33,000 acres. (Birders will be impressed that the National Park has been designated an Important Bird Area.) And some ideas that spring to mind include the six waterfalls, the Ledges Overlook, the Heron Rookery, the Eagles’ Nests, the Carriage Trail, the boardwalk over the wetlands, or, close by the Inn, The Brandywine Gorge Trail.


Well over 100 restaurants serve the immediate area, from pizza to palatial dining. The Inn at Brandywine Falls has a descriptive list of 18 non-chain favorites, but some guests prefer to purchase the necessities at a local grocery and picnic on The Inn‘s front porch or at any of a number of picnic areas in the park.

After dinner there are Park programs, live theaters, Blossom Music Center, and many mega movie theaters, but most guests at the Inn at Brandywine Falls are delighted to return for a quiet time to read, to munch a cookie and have a cup of tea, maybe make some new friends, and then surrender to the luxury of softly ironed sheets.



In the unlikely event of bad weather there are museums of art, natural history, fashion, botanical gardens, rock n roll, science, first ladies, antique autos, wood carving, inventions, marbles, health, and football…ENJOY!