Hike the Mill Creek Gorge at Mill Creek MetroParks

Trailhead Location:  (41.072944, -80.688548)  
Distance: 1.8-mile loop hike
Elevation change: +/- 105 feet
Difficulty: Easy

Hike features:

Note: Trail conditions change over time.  If you discover any inaccuracies with this post during your visit, please post a comment below to let me know

The Mill Creek Gorge hike is a great way to see most of what Mill Creek MetroParks has to offer.  This hike will pass large, colorful stone outcrops, waterfalls, a working flour mill, a wooden covered bridge, and the historic suspension bridge.  Mill Creek MetroParks has an interconnected trail system that allows for hikes to be as short (1-2 miles) or as long (13+ miles) as hikers would like them to be.  The Mill Creek Gorge trail can be hiked by itself, as we will review below, or in addition to the Lake Newport Loop hike or the Lake Cohasset Loop hike.

Hikers will experience an elevation climb during the second half of the West Gorge trail as you make your way to Lanterman’s Mill.  Trail conditions include exposed tree roots, slick stones, and muddy conditions so exercise caution with your footing and wear proper shoes.  Hikers should bring water with them as the only water source at Lanterman’s Mill is shut off during the winter months.  I would also recommend bringing a flashlight or headlamp if hiking in the evening hours.  

Hike walkthrough: 

  • We will start the hike at the parking lot next to the suspension bridge (41.072944, -80.688548).  Proceed across the bridge and turn left to see the trailhead marker for the West Gorge Trail

  • (41.06740, -80.68455) Mile 0.70 – The natural, and man-made, stone structures along this trail are covered with moss.  The exposed stone surface has taken on a subtle green and white stain.  Be sure to keep your eyes upstream around this point as a clearing in the trees offer a view of Lanterman’s mill and the 20 ft tall waterfalls.  

  • Mile 0.8 – The trail will split as you get close to the bridge.  Stay to the left and follow the trail under the bridge.  The West Gorge Trail will end shortly after you pass under the bridge and reach the service road for Lanterman’s Mill.  Follow this road across the covered bridge to Lanterman’s Mill to your left.

  • (41.06679, -80.68186) Mile 1.0 – Lanterman’s Mill and Covered Bridge is the halfway point of this hike and a good spot to take a break, use the public restrooms (summer months only), refill your water and take photographs.  Refreshments and souvenirs are sold at Lanterman’s Mill Store.  For a few dollars admission, you can view the history of Lanterman’s Mill and tour the inner workings of the mill.  

  • To start the second half of this hike, proceed to the start of the East Gorge Trail.  Don’t follow the steps up to the top of the bridge as that leads to Lanterman’s Mill parking lot, but proceed down the trail that leads under the bridge and to a wooden walkway. 

  • (41.06904, -80.68680) Mile 1.30 – The trail will pass an old spring and stone seating area.  The spring has since dried up and the seating area conditions have deteriorated over the years.   Shortly after passing the old spring, you will reach a fork in the trail.  Remain on the trail by following the trail to the left (closest to the creek) 

  • (41.07097, -80.68935) Mile 1.5 – East Gorge Trail will end when you reach Valley Drive road.  At this point, you will need to proceed across the field to the parking lot where you started your hike.