Have you explored Ohio?
If you haven’t, it’s definitely time to take the trip.
That’s because this dynamic state is home to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
National parks in Ohio have long been known as some of the most beautiful in the country, and Cuyahoga National Park is no exception.
Here you’ll find a number of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy. Get back to nature with hiking, swimming and biking as you explore the park and the rich history that surrounds it.
Get Out and Explore at Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Cuyahoga Valley offers an experience rich in Ohio nature. Come here in any season to experience outdoor adventures of all kinds.
In the Waters of Cuyahoga Valley National Park
The Cuyahoga River is the main waterway in the park, and it’s open for you to play around in.
Here you can canoe or kayak down 100 miles of gorgeously roiling waters, with not a soul around to witness how cool you are.
Explore the ponds (all of which are open for you to paddle through) or float down the main waterway when the water levels permit.
You can bring your own unmotorized boat, or rent one from surrounding facilities.
cuyahoga valley national park waterfalls
Crashing down 65 feet, Brandywine Falls topple over layers of sandstone and shale. Sourced by Brandywine Creek, you can enter the gorge and see the Cuyahoga waterfall up close. You can also take the boardwalk to see the sandstone and examine it’s ancient surface.
Settlers have used the falls to power saw mills, grist mills, and woolen mills since the early years of the 19th century. Although the village is gone, you can still visit the Inn at Brandywine Falls, a bed and breakfast housed in one of the old homes.
cuyahoga valley national park trails
Cuyahoga Valley National Park trails are ready for your feet! Over 125 miles of trails stretch through the CVNP, offering you the hike of a lifetime through a variety of natural habitats.
Vast fields, thriving wetlands, and green forests await you here. Hike across trickling brooks on your way to enjoy the view from the tall hills surrounding the park.
You can take on easy trails or difficult trails. Hikes can range from minutes to hours to days, so there’s sure to be something here for you.
Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail
The Towpath Trail is perfect for any visitor, whether you’re biking, running, or riding on horseback.
You can meander the trail to watch the wildlife or take a boat ride along the trail. For nearly 100 years, the path was used by mules to pull boats up and down the Ohio and Erie Canal. The trail today follows the same path as close as they can. Surveyors examined historic maps and the remains of the trail to model the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail as closely as possible to the original trail.
The Towpath trail is almost 20 miles long, and you’ll find 10 trailheads throughout the park with access to the path. The trail is finished with crushed limestone and is wheelchair accessible.
Buckeye Trail North leads you to landmarks such as the Frazee House and Station Road Bridge. To see the Everett Covered Bridge, hike the Buckeye Trail South. It’s only about 4 miles long, but it’s a hilly and rocky trail.
Brandywine Falls Trails
There are two trails to reach Brandywine falls. The first, Sandford Trail, is about a mile and half long and features a rocky terrain. The Brandywine Gorge Trail loop is wheelchair accessible and offers a boardwalk that reaches to the falls overlook.
Get Your Wheels in Gear
The CVNP is a great place to bring your mountain bike. There are 5 biking trails for your enjoyment. Check out the Bike Aboard program, which lets you bike along the Towpath Trail before riding the train back down again.
The bike paths span most levels of difficulty. No matter what your preference is, the park has a trail for you.
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
See the park from the comfort of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. You can watch out the window as train follows the river and winds through the valley. Look for local wildlife and see deer as well as beavers and otters busy in the river.
You can choose a variety of seating options for the two and a half hour trip, inlcuding coach, first class, and even suites. You can even book charters for special events or get group rates by coordinating with the park.
Stay for Days in Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Once you get to the valley, you won’t want to leave.
That’s ok. You don’t have to.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park camping is a fun way to experience the best of the park. There are a few options for staying in the park.
There are five primitive campsites in the park. These can be used from Memorial Day to October 31st (Halloween in the park? Yes, please!). You can reserve your space ahead of time. Spontaneous campers can walk-in up until May 1st, from which time reservations are required ahead of time.
The price is 25 dollars per night. Reserving ahead of time costs an additional $3.50. The campsite can house 2 tents or up to 6 campers.
Recreational Vehicle Camping
Recreational vehicles are welcome to park in trailhead parking lots during the day. Overnight RV camping is prohibited.
Lodging for Non-Campers
For those who may not want to get primitive, Stanford House is open year-round. This historic building provides comfortable accommodation and a look into the past.
The Inn at Brandywine Falls is another great option for lodging inside the park. Originally built in 1848, the inn offers easy access to the falls, luxurious accommodation and great food.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park Historical Exploration
The park is home to quite a few historical sites. Visit these to learn about the history of the area:
- Canal Exploration Center: The Canal Center has been around since the mid-1800s. Here you’ll be able to see what life was like during the era of economic prosperity brought by the canal. Listen to stories, see reenactments, and simply enjoy the view!
- Everett Covered Bridge: The Everett Covered Bridge was instrumental in the transportation and economic growth of early people. It’s the only bridge left in the county, and one with a colorful history at that. Learn about the lore of the bridge on-site and maybe have a photoshoot if the weather is nice!
- Jaite Mill: The Jaite Mill came under construction in 1905. It was the basis for the town to grow and become prosperous, providing employment and economic stability in the area. Operational until 1984, the mill had a long and rich working history. Learn more on-site during your next visit.
Enjoy Everything Cuyahoga Valley National Park Has to Offer
Cuyahoga Valley is truly a gem of the United States Midwest region.
The park provides hours, days and weeks worth of fun for millions of visitors every year. There’s no reason why you can’t join the ranks of those that return time and time again.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park awaits you and your family this year!