Minkin's Music: Beauty beyond music

Jay Minkin Mugshot

By Jay Minkin, Minkin's Music

My love for music is just a few paces in front of my incredible bond with nature. One of the things my children are grateful I taught them was embracing the outdoors. It’s a place I refer to as “getting lost.”

The more remote the better. Living in Northeast Ohio, you can take advantage of the many parks and trails either in the Cuyahoga Valley or in your neck of the woods. Here are a few of my favorite four-season hikes.

Ledges Trail: The Ledges Trail (2.2 mi.) is one of the prized jewels of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, with huge rock cliffs and the gorgeous overlook ledge. The Ritchie Ledges have different hues hiking on the eastern and western expose, and there are several nooks and crannies to explore. Besides the Truxell Road entrance, the loop trail can be accessed via the Happy Days Lodge via the Haskell Run Trail (0.5 mi.) for an extended journey.

Stanford Trail: Behind the Stanford House in the CVNP is the Stanford Trail, an up-and-down hike (4 mi.) that leads to Brandywine Falls. It’s a wonderful loop that con-nects with the Brandywine Gorge Trail, taking you across Brandywine Creek and up to the top of the falls. One of the park’s more picturesque splendors, it’s an adventure to view wildflowers, trees and sparkling creeks along the way.

Kendall Lake: Two wonderful up-and-down CVNP hikes, the Cross-Country Trail (2.5 mi.) and Salt Run Trail (3.3 mi.) connect with the Lake Trail (1.0 mi.) that takes you around the serene lake. Cross-country takes you through trees and open mead-ows toward the Kendall Hills and a view of the lake. Salt Run has an optional but still strenuous journey (1.8 mi.) if you take the short cut.

Contact Jay at Blues4Bird@aol.com or post on his Minkin’s Music Facebook page.