Buttermil Falls North Chagrin Reservation

Biking the North Chagrin Reservation

The blog is named Walk ~ Pedal ~ Paddle and by the looks of it I have not done much pedaling.  Truth be told, I’m out frequently but 99% of the time I’m either riding around the streets of Painesville or riding the Greenway Corridor from Painesville to Concord.  Part of the reason is the wife recently had a full knee replacement so her riding is limited to just a few miles and I prefer to ride with her.  Last night was an exception as we loaded the bikes into the back of the Blazer and headed to the North Chagrin Reservation to ride the 4 mile multipurpose path.  The North Chagrin Reservation is located in Willoughby Hills, Ohio.

The multipurpose path is a paved path that runs generally in a north south direction for the length of the park.  I found the path to be a bit narrow compared to the Greenway Corridor but you can comfortably ride side by side as long as no one else is around.  This will not be very frequent as the North Chagrin Reservation is a popular park in a suburban area.  We biked from 7:00 to 8:00 and there were many people on the path, mostly walkers.

The path has only slight grades up or down with the exception of the south end of the trail where it drops into the Chagrin River valley to Wilson Mills Road.  While the hill is long the grade is not very steep.  My wife with only a three month old knee was able to ride up most of it.

When riding from the north to the south keep left at all the trail intersections.  The right hand turns will take you to the nature center or out to route 91.  Midway through the ride you will join a relatively unused road, do not worry you are still on the path, just keep heading south until you reach the circle.  On the left hand side of the circle the trail heads down the hill I mentioned above.  It is an absolutely fun , fast and scenic ride down the hill as it follows a mostly dry creek bed.

Most of the path is wooded with a few fields here and there.  One of the highlights is Buttermilk Falls which is more of a cascading waterfall rather a drop.  The night we were there the water flow was minimal but I would imagine there would be a good flow after a rainstorm comes through.  Expect to see wildlife in the evening, we saw a few deer.  One of which nearly ran into my wife as it crossed the path.  I think the whole park heard the scream.

There is a lot more to explore in the park including the nature center and Squires Castle.  One could combine the multipurpose path with park roads for an extended ride.  The path also connects to the bike paths throughout Mayfield.

If you’re looking for a short to extended and relaxing bike ride off roads without huge climbs then I would highly recommend this trail.  I personally look forward to riding it again with my kids exploring more of the area and maybe heading off on the trails through Mayfield.

– Jeff

Buttermil Falls North Chagrin Reservation
Bike path bridge over Buttermilk Falls in the North Chagrin Reservation.


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