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The Brecksville Reservation All Purpose Trail offers a pleasant paved pathway connecting the community of Brecksville with the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, a well-loved 81-mile route from Cleveland south to Bolivar. The Valley Parkway Connector Trail was completed in 2018 to extend the Brecksville Reservation Trail and fill in a gap in the trail network - now, trail users can continue their journey to the west along the Mill Stream Run Reservation All Purpose Trail and to even more trails in the Cleveland area.
On the eastern end, the trail forks, so there are two ways to access the trail: in the north from Chippewa Road in the heart of Brecksville and farther south from the Towpath trailhead. The northern route parallels Chippewa Creek Drive, while the southern route parallels Valley Parkway. The two trail routes meet in the middle when those two roadways join together as well and, from there, the trail heads west along Valley Parkway for the remainder of the route, out to the Mill Stream Run Reservation.
The trail traverses the heavily wooded Brecksville Reservation, an emerald jewel in northern Ohio which sprawls more than 3,000 acres. Be advised that the trail features a lot of ups and downs along the route, so be prepared to navigate some hills as the trail follows the pleasant, wooded roadside corridor.
Parking and restrooms available at the eastern end of the trail at the Station Road Bridge Trailhead, where the trail meets the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.
In the north, parking is available at the Chippewa Creek Gorge Overlook at the intersection of Chippewa Road and Chippewa Creek Drive in Brecksville. There is also parking available at the intersection of Valley Parkway and Brecksville Road.
In between, there are parking areas throughout Brecksville Reservation (9000 Chippewa Creek Drive), which the trail traverses. On the western end of the trail, parking is available where the trail meets the Mill Stream Run Trail, just west of the intersection of Valley Parkway and Edgerton Road.
I rode all of this trail, as shown on the Trail Link map, on a warm Saturday afternoon in September, 2019.
1) Started at the intersection of Edgerton Rd and Valley Parkway at the eastern end of Mill Stream Run Reservation,
2) rode east along (but not on) Valley Parkway, into Brecksville Reservation,
3) rode along Chippewa Road east to the Station Road Bridge in the Cuyahoga Valley National park (CVNP),
4) rode west to Brecksville Village along Chippewa Rd,
5) returned east to Valley Parkway then west to my starting point.
There are long up hill stretches in both directions; so, no easy way to do this trail! The payback is the exhilarating down hill stretches. In general, you have to go up out of, or down into, the East Branch Rocky River and Cuyahoga River valleys at the west and east ends of the trail, respectively. The trail is smoothly paved all along, except for the short segment in the CVNP which is damaged by tree roots. Car traffic on Valley Parkway and Chippewa Road was light, so there wasn't much noise. Bicycle and pedestrian traffic on the trail was very light. Even though Valley Parkway is not really a park, strips of woodland and a golf course run along it, making it pleasant. In the CVNP, be sure to take in the lovely view from the Station Road Bridge.
Click on "nearby trails" next to the Trail Link map to see the amazing network of paved bike trails to which this trail is linked.
There are actually two trails here, though, eventually they will probably fall under the name of Brecksville Reservation All Purpose Trail. First there is the Valley Parkway Connector Trail.
The Valley Parkway Connector Trail runs from the eastern edge of Mill Stream Run Reservation to the western edge of Brecksville Reservation. The Valley Parkway Connector Trail was the final and key link in connecting the Westside and Eastside Cleveland Metroparks. It truly connected the "Emerald Necklace" around Cleveland, OH and created about 70 miles of continuous off road trail (which includes approximately a 5 mile connection using the Towpath Trail in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.) This trail parallels the Ohio Turnpike for much of its route. You will pass under the turnpike and over Interstate 77 along the way. For a March Wednesday afternoon ride, the trail was not crowded, but it was moderately trafficked with cyclists and pedestrians. I can imagine that there will be a lot of people using this trail on the weekends particularly as the weather continues to warm up.
The other trail is the Brecksville All Purpose Trail. It is a beautiful tree shaded trail (or at least they will be once the leaves on the trees come out). Traveling east along either the Valley Parkway or Chippewa Creek Drive is easy as you descend into the depths of the Cuyahoga Valley. Heading west along either road presents some challenges with some steep climbs. Such climbs are not unusual in the Cleveland Metroparks but the two routes within the Brecksville Reservation may be among the longest and steepest on All Purpose Trails within the Cleveland Metropark Reservations.
Once you are in the valley if you head east on the trail along Chippewa Creek Drive you can connect to the Station Road Depot and Train Station for the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. The Cuyahoga River flows not 50 yards from the station and the tracks. Should you choose to cross the Station Road Bridge you can walk or cycle the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. On the Towpath you can travel north into downtown Cleveland or south to Akron and beyond. The Towpath Trail is part of the Ohio to Erie Trail cross-state route. Again, this is a popular destination and it attracts lots of visitors on the weekends. You might find fewer people on these trails late in the afternoon and evenings during the summer.
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