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3News contributor Emily Mayfield combines fitness goals with epic views on Northeast Ohio hikes

Mayfield recently explored Cleveland Metroparks' Bedford Reservation and The Ledges at Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

CLEVELAND — 3News Special Contributor Emily Mayfield is back to help us discover, explore and shop the very best of Northeast Ohio, and we're kicking things off with the perfect activity for a beautiful fall weekend - hiking.

That's right. Northeast Ohio is not only home to some fantastic Metroparks systems, but Cuyahoga Valley National Park is also right in our backyard. And as a fitness enthusiast, Emily has been wanting to explore some local hiking trails. Turns out, there are no shortage of options. So, Emily visited two great spots to work up a sweat, and also check out some stunning fall views.

First stop: Bridal Veil Falls and The Buckeye Trail @ Cleveland Metroparks Bedford Reservation.

This reservation features a deep gorge -- declared a National Natural Landmark -- carved out by Tinker’s Creek, with picturesque vistas and waterfalls. Mature trees and abundant wildflowers are found within its deep forests. It offers trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding, as well as picnic areas and Shawnee Hills Golf Course. At over 2,200 acres, Bedford Reservation gives the appearance of a continuous forest of large trees as it was not logged due to its rugged terrain. Tinker’s Creek, the largest tributary of the Cuyahoga River. A scenic overlook along Gorge Parkway offers a spectacular vista, particularly in the fall. 

Second stop: The LedgesCuyahoga Valley National Park

The Ritchie Ledges are witnesses to change - from creation out of Sharon Conglomerate millions of years ago, to landscapes wrecked by humans and to preservation today. The Ledges drew many visitors in the 19th century who came here to recreate and play. One of those, wealthy industrialist Hayward Kendall, purchased the area and set it aside to become the Virginia Kendall Park. Today, the ledges is a favorite for many, to hike, play in the field, and enjoy the sunset at the overlook. The trail around The Ledges is 1.8 miles and connects to a larger network of trails in the Virginia Kendall Area.