Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Quick Facts

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Ohio

(330) 657-2752

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

A trip to Cuyahoga Valley National Park offers a diverse array of activities. Whether you prefer attending ranger-guided programs or exploring the park on your own, you can find something to your liking. Just a short drive from the major metropolitan areas of Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park protects 33,000 acres along the banks of the Cuyahoga River. Though such a short distance from urban environments, the park is worlds away. The winding Cuyahoga, the "crooked river," as named by American Indians, gives way to rolling floodplain, steep valley walls and ravines, and lush upland forests. Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a refuge for flora and fauna, and provides both recreation and solitude for Northeastern Ohio's residents and visitors. Park trails, from rugged backcountry hiking trails to the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, a graded biking and hiking trail, offer something for everyone. The park has a rich cultural legacy as well. Remains of the Ohio & Erie Canal, which traveled through the valley in the 19th and early 20th centuries, offer a glimpse into the past. Sustainable farming ventures help preserve the valley's agricultural heritage. Whether you want to hike, bike, birdwatch, picnic, golf, fish, ski, ride Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, explore the history of the Ohio & Erie Canal, or attend national park ranger-guided programs, concerts, and art exhibits, Cuyahoga Valley National Park has it all. Come experience the park today!

Map of Cuyahoga Valley

Latitude, Longitude: 41.288465, -81.573525

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Activities

  • Boating

    The primary waterway within Cuyahoga Valley National Park is the Cuyahoga River. Please use caution when contacting Cuyahoga River water. The river receives discharges of storm water, combined-sewer overflows, and incompletely disinfected wastewater from urban areas upstream of the park. These discharges result in a threat to the health of visitors who come into contact with river water during recreational use (e.g., wading or canoeing). Recreational use of the river is not prohibited, but due to the the threat posed to human health by sewage and pathogen contamination, the park discourages any canoeing, kayaking, swimming, or wading in the river.

    If you choose to use the river, be aware there are no formal put-in points for canoes/kayaks. Two low-head dams exist within the river at Peninsula and south of State Route 82 that require a short portage.

    There are currently no canoe liveries serving the segment of the Cuyahoga River that flows through CVNP. There are canoe liveries upstream in the Mantua and Hiram areas. That portion of the river is upstream from the sewage treatment plant and is therefore much more consistently clean.

    The ponds in the park are open to canoeing. Motorized canoes and boats are not permitted on the ponds.

  • Bird Watching

    Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) has been designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by the National Audubon Society and has long been recognized by bird watchers as an ideal area for observing birds. The great variety of habitats in the national park makes it possible to observe more than 200 bird species throughout the year. Bird watching continues to be one of CVNP's most popular activities. Observing the interesting behavior of something as small as a ruby-throated hummingbird or as large as a great blue heron holds a special appeal to some. To others the reward is in experiencing something totally new, or in seeing so many different kinds of birds in one location.

  • Bicycling

    Ride along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, Cleveland Metroparks' Bike & Hike Trail, the All Purpose trails in Brecksville and Bedford reservations, as well as all roads and parking lots. Bicycling is prohibited on all other trails. Bike Aboard! is a program where you can bike the Towpath Trail in one direction, then hop on the train for a relaxing ride back to your car-or do it in reverse! The train can be flagged down at boarding stations by waving both arms.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    A passenger train runs along the Towpath Trail.

  • Camping

    Open May 28, 2010 through October 31, 2010, five primitive campsites are available for distance hikers and bicyclists using the Towpath and backcountry trails only. Drive-up use is not permitted. There is a maximum of two tents and six people per site, with a maximum 10 nights stay per season. Water and chemical toilets are available.

  • Fishing

    National Park Service (NPS) lands and waters are considered preserves for wildlife. Therefore, Cuyahoga Valley National Park's (CVNP) philosophy in managing ponds and streams is to maintain the predator-prey relationship rather than to stock fish for recreational fishing. Catch-and-release fishing is encouraged to maintain the fish populations needed for continued sport fishing. The Cuyahoga River and numerous ponds are open to fishing. Eating fish from the river is NOT recommended because of poor water quality. CVNP has over 65 species of fish. Steelhead trout and bullhead can be caught in the Cuyahoga River. Bluegill, bass, and crappie can be caught in lakes and ponds.

  • Hiking

    Over 125 miles of hiking trails are available for your hiking pleasure in CVNP. These trails range from nearly level to challenging, and pass through various habitats including woodlands, wetlands, and old fields. Some trails require you to cross streams with stepping stones or log bridges, while others, including the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, are nearly level and are accessible to all visitors. Descriptions of some easy family hikes are provided here. A portion of Ohio's Buckeye Trail also passes through the park. Trail maps showing the park's hiking trails are available at most visitor centers. Several books, leaflets, and maps, including the Trail Guide Handbook: Cuyahoga Valley National Park, 3rd Edition, contain helpful information about hiking opportunities and locations in the park. This book is published by the Cuyahoga Valley Trails Council and is available for sale at all CVNP visitor centers.

  • Horseback Riding

    Viewing the Cuyahoga Valley landscape from horseback is like no other experience. Horseback riding is permitted only on trails signed and designated as horse trails. Horses need to be brought in as there are no horse rentals adjacent to the bridle trails in CVNP. Station Road parking lot, close to Brecksville Reservation, has large pull-through parking spaces that require little to no "backing" efforts. They are designed for horse trailers and buses. Boston Store overflow and Everett Road Covered Bridge parking lot were not designed for horse trailers, and while it is legal for them to park there, it is often a challenge to navigate.

  • Picnicking

    Whether you need an area large enough for a family reunion or an intimate spot for two, you'll enjoy picnicking in the park. Picnic areas are scattered throughout Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP); some provide grills, and all have tables. Alcohol is prohibited in CVNP. All picnic areas are first-come, first-served, with the exception of the Ledges and Octagon Shelters. Both can be reserved for a fee. There are also many picnic areas within the greater boundary of CVNP that are managed by Metroparks, Serving Summit County and Cleveland Metroparks. The following chart indicates the size and type of the picnic facilities managed and maintained by the National Park Service.

  • Winter Sports

    Winter brings its own special ways to enjoy Cuyahoga Valley National Park, including hiking, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, snow tubing, snowshoeing, sledding, and ice fishing. The Winter Sports Center at Kendall Lake Shelter offers snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the Cuyahoga Valley. The center, built from native chestnut and sandstone by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, provides a rustic setting to warm up with a hot drink and relax after a day of outdoor fun. Center staff and volunteers provide visitors with updated weather forecasts, area maps, and schedules of park events.

Seasonality/Weather

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is open every day. Some areas close at dusk. The remaining areas are open 24 hours. All visitor centers are closed, Thanksgiving Day, December 25, and January.

Park Partners

Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park

The Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park's mission is to engage public support for the park and enhance public use and enjoyment of the park. CVNPA accomplishes its mission by developing and operating a variety of programs and services that educate the public, add to the park experience, and reach a diverse community including:

* Environmental education programs provide opportunities and scholarships for area school children to venture outside their neighborhoods and gain a greater understanding of their world. * A variety of arts and culture programming links visitors to the rich cultural resources of Cuyahoga Valley and the scenic beauty of the park. * Health and wellness opportunities abound for the public to experience the joys of outdoor recreation. * Direct support for park initiatives that enhance the individual park experience, including support for the Towpath Trail and other natural and cultural resource projects. * Advocacy for the protection and preservation of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, all national parks, and the environment.

Currently, over 4,000 active volunteers and 2,400 members serve as passionate champions for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the environment, and all living things.

By engaging the public in participation and philanthropic support, Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park energetically and enthusiastically strives to achieve its vision to ensure that Cuyahoga Valley National Park achieves its full benefit to the citizens of Northeast Ohio and the nation.

The conservancy also runs the Stanford House, a lodging facility within the park. For more information, visit www.conservancyforcvnp.org.

(330) 657-2909

Inn at Brandywine Falls

Overlooking Brandywine Falls (a 65-foot natural wonder) in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, this six-room bed and breakfast, built in 1848 is on the National Register of Historic Places. It has been luxuriously renovated and modernized but keeps its historic Greek Revival appearance and character. It is furnished in Ohio antiques and features quality amenities and gourmet foods.

(330) 467-1812

Directions

Driving

Cuyahoga Valley National Park can be accessed by many different highways, including I-77, I-271, I-80 (Ohio Turnpike), and State Route 8. Park signs are visible from each of these freeways as you get close to the valley. For more details call 330-657-2752 or 800-257-9477.

Flying

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Akron-Canton Regional Airport offer many daily flights to the area. Car rentals are available at both airports.

Public Transportation

Bus stations are located in downtown Cleveland and Akron.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(330) 657-2752

Links