“Where history runs deep”
Though a short distance from the urban areas of Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park seems worlds away. The park is a refuge for native plants and wildlife, and provides routes of discovery for visitors. The winding Cuyahoga River gives way to deep forests, rolling hills, and open farmlands. Walk or ride the Towpath Trail to follow the historic route of the Ohio & Erie Canal. The Cuyahoga Valley's waterfalls are among the most popular attractions in the national park. Brandywine Falls is a 65-foot waterfall is the centerpiece of the falls area, but not its only source of interest. Carved by Brandywine Creek, the falls demonstrates classic geological features of waterfalls. The falls once powered a thriving village, later industry, and eventually an artist's colony. History runs deep in the valley, with over 12000 years of human occupation. From the unwritten stories of prehistoric peoples to the environmental disasters and comebacks of the 20th century, humans have left an impact on the valley. Here along the Cuyahoga River, humans have used, shaped, and been shaped by the landscape. Culture and nature interplay here, with each having its impact on the other. The multi-purpose Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath trail was developed by the National Park Service and is the major trail through Cuyahoga Valley National Park. From it visitors can make connections to many of the natural and historic sites in the park and to other trails that intersect it along the way. or through one of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park visitor centers
A particularly great trail if you're a biker or a runner. Tons and tons of bikers along Lock 29. You can also hike to three different waterfalls within 4 miles. The hikes are really peaceful, pretty easy and fun in the summer. If you're an avid runner, go for the Buckeye Trail. It's pretty demanding with lots of hills and milage.
Living in Chicago, I had no idea there was a national park so close (it's about a 6-7 hour drive). Cuyahoga Valley is gorgeous and serene. Definitely check out the Ledges.
While I wouldn't plan a whole week trip around CVNP, it is definitely great to explore for a day or two. It's shockingly close to Cleveland, so it's easy to get there as well.
The park is free to get in to, rather small, and there are residential parts in the middle of it. As of 2014, they don't really have camping - I read there were about 4 sites that could be reserved only within 3 days of camping, so I just couchsurfed instead of risking it. I spent one day at the park, and felt like I saw most of what it has to offer. You're never far from civilization when you're here, which is ideal for some travelers. The hikes all seemed to be pretty easy, making this a great park for young kids or those who have mobility limitations. If you enjoy biking or trail running, this is a popular spot. If you find yourself in the Cleveland area, definitely make a side trip to CVNP!
This is one of the greatest perks of living in northeast Ohio! I love biking and running this trail. If you're visiting Ohio and you don't have a bike, I recommend renting bikes at Century Cycles on 303 in Peninsula. If you go north, you'll see the highway bridges and a lot of beautiful scenery. If you go south, toward Akron, you'll also see some locks and you can stop at Szalay's farm and buy some goodies. When you go back to return your bike, you can eat at Winking Lizard Tavern and get some of their famous wings and a few beers. I go here a few times a month in summer and always have a great time!
One of two free National Parks in the country. Beautiful and gentle hiking trails for all levels.
Very crowded on Sunday. So many bikers and runners on the Tow Path. Definitely a park for the locals. We started at the Visitors Center. No parking for RVs. We parked at the Ski Hill Parking lot near the scenic railway station.
Directions from park attendant were confusing. We wanted to go to Brandywine Falls, but ended up going the opposite way in the Tow Path. Had an enjoyable walk. Would go back if traveling Interstate 80 again sometime.
A nice showcase of Ohio natural beauty. The rail was fun, especially if you have children or can't walk around. While this national park is probably not worth a trip in its own right (compared to other national parks), it's definitely worth seeing if you're within the bordering-state area. My recommendation is to visit in the autumn when leaves are changing.
Absolutely gorgeous area, with tonnes of trails suitable for all levels. Free parking, and if you don't have your own bike, they have bike rentals available too.
Definitely a park for the locals. Very crowded on Sunday with runners and bikers. We started at the Visitors Center. Directions from the Park Attendant were confusing. We wanted to hike to Brandywine Falls but ended up going the other direction on the tow path.
No RV parking or camping. We parked at the ski hill parking lot near the scenic railway.
I would go back to explore if we are traveling Interstate 80 again.
A huge and beautiful National Park just a short distance from Cleveland. You could spend a week exploring it and still not see all of it, but convenient parking and picnic areas make it easy to jump around and see the highlights like Brandywine Falls, Beaver Marsh, the Covered Bridge, or scenic railroad. Great park for hikers or cyclists. I highly recommend going in the fall for the amazing foliage.
Cuyahoga is an interesting National park, especially when you compare it to the greats like Zion or Yosemite, but it's a great getaway in the mid-east states. Beautiful and green. We stayed at one of the few available campsites (6), which were beautifully maintained. Not sure if campfires are allowed though, since there was no fire circle. Looks like there are many beautiful trails, and we loved hiking to Buttermilk Falls.
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Cuyahoga Valley National Park
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