Salt Run Trail / Lake Trail Loop (Cuyahoga Valley National Park)
TRAIL DISTANCE - 4.25 miles
TYPE - Day Hike
We haven't been to Cuyahoga Valley National Park in 8 long years, and it was time to go back. We chose the Salt Run Trail / Lake Trail Loop, which is an easy stroll through the woods and then around Kendall Lake. After about an hour and a half drive, we pulled up to the Kendall Hills parking area and the lot was just about empty. This trailhead is also for the Cross Country Trail and for the sledding hill. After getting our boots on and checking out the trail map, we headed across the top of the sledding hill to get onto the Salt Run Trail.
We got to the trail intersection and took
a left and went clockwise around the Salt Run Trail. There were plenty
of fallen leaves on the trail, but it still was not at peak color yet.
This trail must be popular for trail runners because quite a few passed
us by today. This trail was interesting because it had a lot of bridgework
and wooden steps
for most climbs. A lot of work has gone into this trail, that's for sure.
We finished the first loop of 3.25 miles, and we then started on the Lake
Kendall Lake as well as the Kendall Lake Shelter were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The shelter was built to cater to swimmers in the summer and to snowshoeing and cross country skiing in the winter. The shelter is now a Winter Sports Center. Swimming is no longer permitted at the lake but fishing is popular at this stocked lake. The shelter is located on a side trail from the Lake Trail and Cross Country Trail intersection. Another interesting feature of the Lake Trail was the tunnel. Toboggan chutes were also built by the CCC and this tunnel was constructed so that people could hike the trail and walk under the chutes. The tunnel is all that remains of these toboggan chutes.
It was lunchtime and our goal was to find
a nice quiet spot near the lake to relax and refuel. We ended up hiking
almost the complete one mile loop before we stopped near the edge of the
dam to take a little break. It was nice to sit there and watch the fish
swimming in the lake, and all of the Canadian Geese in the water.
Since we had less than a half mile left to our hike, this was a peaceful
end to today's hike.