words and photos by Anthony Boarman
When someone asks me about the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, some of the first sites that come to mind are the Beaver Marsh, the Ledges at Virginia Kendall, Blue Hen Falls, and Brandywine Falls. Very seldom does anyone speak of Oak Hill, but it is one of the many hidden gems in Northeast Ohio. Tucked away a little over a mile uphill from the historic Everett Road Covered Bridge, the Oak Hill area of the CVNP offers almost seven miles of hiking trails and multiple landmarks and ponds between the Oak Hill and the Plateau Trails.
Once you arrive at the Oak Hill area, you almost immediately become removed from the fast-paced urban setting of Northeast Ohio and enter a land filled with trees, wildlife, and serenity. The Oak Hill Trail is a lightly trafficked 1.8 mile loop trail that offers a picturesque setting. About halfway through the loop, you will come to Sylvan Pond, which has been rated as one of the best places in the CVNP to view the changing fall colors that reflect off of the water during each day’s golden hours.
The longer of the two trails, the Plateau Trail, offers the most popular destination in the Oak Hill area. The Corridor is roughly one hundred yards of symmetrically lined trees that run on the border of the trail. It offers a unique vantage point from each end of the trail that cannot be found anywhere else in Northeast Ohio.
What our parks in Summit County lack in wow factor, they make up for in the simple, unique beauty that they possess. The Oak Hill area is another great example of this. If you want to get away from the fast-paced world for a bit, or even go to a park destination that isn’t crowded, take some time to explore this area of the park. You will not be disappointed.
Anthony Boarman is a social studies teacher and coach at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. He lives in Wallhaven with his wife Emily and his dog Ava. He is a lover of all things Akron. To check out more of his work, follow Anthony on Instagram at @aboarman.