Since I discovered the ledge trails in northeast Ohio, I have slowly been working my way through the list. And since I have already visited Worden’s Ledges in Hinckley Reservation (twice!), I thought it was time to check out Hinckley’s other ledge trail: Whipp’s Ledges.
Whipp’s Ledges feature the same sandstone outcroppings formed when this part of Ohio lay beneath a vast sea over 300 million years ago. The beautiful variations in the rocks’ layers are accentuated by the lush growth of verdant mosses and ferns on and around the ledges. While it’s fun to pick your way over smaller rocks to clamber up and around the ledges, a couple of sections with sheer walls are especially attractive to rock climbers (note: permit needed).
That said, there are a few things about this trail that causes it to fall short of neighboring ledge trails, in my opinion:
–Its very popularity means the place has many people wandering around, not always being sensible or responsible. Litter is a big problem here.
–Graffiti ruins many of the rock faces. Seriously, people?
–Intermittent trail blazes make it easy to get confused. I knew that the Buckeye Trail overlapped the ledges and then headed east, so I was careful to distinguish between the blue Buckeye blazes and the tan Whipp’s ones. Eventually I lost them altogether and had too many options for possible alternate routes, so I decided to turn around instead of stumbling to complete an unknown loop.
The ledges were lovely, don’t get me wrong. But if I had to rank the area’s ledge trails according to levels of enjoyment and ease of use, this trail would sink directly to the bottom.
I think I have only one more ledge trail to explore, at Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park (or State Nature Preserve, I’m not sure which). But I may yet find another!