I was staying in Independence, OH for business and decided to spend an evening after work in this National Park. It wasn't what I was expecting for a National Park, but I loved it just the same. It was great to instantly leave the larger suburb and then be in a park with a ton of hiking and biking trails. The history is interesting - it was an effort by residence of the small towns to prevent the urban sprawl so there are residential houses in the park and small country towns. Lots of history about the Ohio & Erie Canal that ran through there. Lots of conservation efforts. A great mixture of county parks that are also within the boundaries. 4 different visitor centers with passport stamps. I drove along the main road from north to south. It was in the evening so I had about 3 hours before it got dark. I stopped for a couple of short walks to some falls. Brandywine Falls was very nice. I drove back on the other side of the park and stopped to see some blue heron nests up in the tall trees. As mentioned, I was there for about 3 hours just doing a driving tour with short stops. I even had homemade ice cream at the historic market as I had forgotten to bring food and snacks with me. I would say if you were visiting from out of town and were actually going to stop and go on the trails, I would want to spend about 8 hours between hiking and driving. As it was though, I would have liked an extra couple of hours to go on more short hikes. Also the visitor centers were all closed while I was there which would have been more time spent looking at the displays.
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