Saturday, April 15: Hemlock to Bridle to Egbert to Buckeye Loops Trail, Bedford Reservation

The temperature in Cleveland has been warm, and the weather has been beautiful! For the long weekend (for some of us) we planned to do a bit of a longer hike. We’ve been steadily working our way through our Best Hikes Near Cleveland book, so the options to choose from are getting smaller. However, neither David nor myself have spent much time at the Bedford park reservation, and it’s actually one of the closer parks to our apartment. So, we picked a 9.1 mile hike out of the book, didn’t bother to read why it was rated difficult due to water crossings, and got on our way.

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The intended hike

The beginning of the hike was at a picnic area in the park. We hopped right onto the Bridle Trail. It was still pretty chilly, and it began to rain, and would continue to do so for a few more miles. However, it was really refreshing to be out in the spring air with all of the new growth popping up. A section of the trail was closed for restoration, so we followed the rerouted trail that zig-zagged its way through the woods and down to Tinker’s Creek, the first of our planned water crossings.

When we arrived at the water crossing location, we realized it was not realistic to do without horses. Since horses weren’t readily available, we decided to trek onwards on our current side of the creek until we found a path across. This seemed like a good idea, until we were hiking up and down steep hillsides and balancing across slippery rocks for more than a couple of hours. We survived, with only a few (…) grumpy moments, one scraped leg, and so many beautiful views of the natural area. There was a celebratory moment of relief when we saw the “bridge” that we could use to cross Tinker’s. On the bridge, we breaked for a snack and watched the train go by.

We continued on, realizing we still had a few miles left to hike until we got back to our cars… The rest of the hike was pretty  low key, flat, and had defined trails. There were some easy to moderate hills, and some more beautiful views of the creek. We felt the same kind of excitement that we experienced when we saw the bridge, when we saw our cars from afar. Little did we know we would still be faced with another water crossing. We also avoided this one, choosing to elongate our hike a bit and follow the road back to our cars. In the end, we were tired, sore, but had experienced some beautiful views throughout the day! The hike ended up being 9.98 miles and didn’t…exactly… follow the book’s suggested path. We headed back to Cleveland Heights to grab a delicious dinner at Momo’s Kebab, watch Jesus Christ Superstar, and play a game of Scrabble and Code Names.

 

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