Boston Run TrailNational Park Service
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Boston Heights, Ohio (Summit County)
Park at the Happy Days Visitor Center lot on State Route 303, just west of Route 8, several miles east of Peninsula, Ohio.
Length: 3.5 miles.
Duration: 2 hours.
DescriptionThe Boston Run Trail traverses the ridges and ravines of one of the least disturbed drainages within the Cuyahoga River watershed. The forest surrounding the stream are home to a wide variety of wildflowers and a diversity of trees. The dominant trees are generally Oaks, Maples, Beeches, and Tulip. Along the stream itself you may see numerous yellow and sweet birches. These trees, with their peeling, rootbeer scented bark, are more characteristic of cooler, more mountainous regions. The forested setting along the cool clear stream keeps the conditions suitable for these trees, much like in the valley beneath the Ritchie ledges along Haskell Run area, just south of Boston Run.
Large White-flowered Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)
While hiking here in the springtime, you are likely to encounter upwards of 40 species of spring wildflowers, including such species as Trillium, Yellow Fawn Lily, Rue Anemone, and a variety of violets. On the north-facing slopes, you will see the ephemeral leaves of the fragrant Wild Leek, or Ramps, as they are known to mountaineers. These onion-like delicacies are fried up and eaten during the spring in certain areas, allegedly resulting in school closures due to the stench of the ramp-eating students. If you are brave enough to experiment with ramps, here are some great recipes for ramps. Try this site for more ramps recipes. Please, do not harvest ramps in the park,as it is illegal. Leave them for others to enjoy.
One of the delights of hiking this trail is that, with the exception of some garlic mustard, most of the forest's plant community is native and in very good condition. Likewise, the wildlife populations seem to be fairly diverse. Squirrels and chipmunks are fairly common, beautiful songbirds may be spied, and several species of woodpecker can be heard, hammering on some of the older oaks which succumbed to the recent gypsy moth defoliation. The longer you stay in this woods, the more you will come to appreciate it. It is especially fabulous early sunday mornings before the traffic begins to break the silence. That is the best time to stand at the top of a ridge and look into the stream's valley far below.
Keep dogs on leash at all times.