Squaw Rock Loop Trail

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South Chagrin Reservation
Cleveland Metroparks

Location

Bentleyville, Ohio (Cuyahoga County)

Park at the Squaw Rock Picnic Area Parking Lot at the eastern end of Hawthorne Parkway. This is south of Miles Road, and north of Cannon Road, just east of Sulphur Springs Drive.

Trail Summary
Length:6/10 of a mile

A winter view of the waterfall across the Chagrin River from the Squaw Rock Trail

A winter view of the waterfall across the Chagrin River from the Squaw Rock Trail

Duration: 1 hour
Surface: Natural, somewhat uneven
Type: Loop
Difficulty: Moderate
Accessible: No. Rough surfaces and stairs make this trail inaccessible to those with mobility challenges.

Trail Description
The scenic Squaw Rock Loop Trail at South Chagrin Reservation is a wonderful path through a mature Hemlock/hardwood forest on the rocky slopes above the Chagrin River. The hiking trail is named after a rock carving done in the late 1800’s that is a focal point of the trail.

Your hike can start either to the left or the right from the parking lot. For this description, we took the trail to the let and followed a clockwise path to Squaw Rock and back. The trail first goes through a younger forest of hardwoods such as Sugar Maple and American Beech, then cuts into the Chagrin River valley and the mature Canadian Hemlocks that line the steep ledges there.

Ice along the rock outcroppings high above the Chagrin River near Squaw Rock

Ice along the rock outcroppings high above the Chagrin River near Squaw Rock

Soon, the trail descends stone stairs and the sound of the river becomes apparent. As you go further down the stairs, you may catch a glimpse of the river and a dramatic low waterfall just below you. The waterfall arches all the way across the river, and during the spring and fall you may be lucky enough to see Steelhead persistently fighting their way slowly up the waterfall.

Every season here holds its delights, but Winter has to be one of the best here. Ice formations abound in this valley during the cold weather. Here and there small tributaries that trickle over the shale and sandstone ledges. These form sheets and cascades of ice beyond description.

Squaw Rock itself sits on the banks of the river on the left. As you approach from this direction, the form of a woman (said by local legend to be a Native American, thus the name) will come into view first. As you examine the rock you will also find carved images of the Capitol building, a log cabin, an axe-wielding pioneer, a papoose, a snake, and a quiver full of arrows. The carvings were done by a man named Henry Church in the 1880’s.

A rock carving showing a woman, a papoose, and other figures

Squaw Rock, a piece of historical outdoor art carved by local artist Henry Church in 1885.

From here, the trail follows the river or a little bit longer, then ascends beautiful stone stairs back to the ridge. Back at the top you will find an easy hike back to the parking lot. Keep your eyes to the right and you will be rewarded with beautiful peeks back down into the valley.

Map

Here is a link to Cleveland Metroparks trail map for South Chagrin Reservation

Nearby Trails

South Chagrin Quarry Rock Trail
South Chagrin All Purpose Trail
Buckeye Trail
Hawthorne Parkway All Purpose Trail