Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Survey finds Cuyahoga Valley National Park users want more trails; feds to study requests

October 6, 2009, 9:06 am

Many of the most avid users of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park are clamoring for more trails, especially for mountain bikes.

It's possible that the National Park Service will grant those wishes, too -- but not for a few years, and only if its experts see no harm in expanding trails and uses.

The Park Service just kicked off a two- to three-year study of the 22,000-acre park's trails, their condition and whether more are needed. It's the first time in 24 years that park officials have undertaken such a review, which is a prerequisite for any trail changes beyond minor ones.

The initial step in a long process: an informal survey of about 90 outdoor-activities clubs, local governments and other "stakeholders." Trail-study leader Kevin Skerl, a Parks Service ecologist, sent them out in August and asked for responses by Sept. 15.

Skerl said he just started reviewing replies last week. But many survey respondents and heavy trails users presented their wish lists informally in interviews with The Plain Dealer last week.