The Cuyahoga Valley National Park covers 20,000 acres along the winding Cuyahoga River in northeast Ohio. The park is the site of a number of interesting historic and environmental features that draws thousands of visitors each year. The park was established in 1974 and offers a range of activities for people of all ages.
Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath
The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath was once a mule path for the animals that towed barges along the canal that linked Lake Erie to the Ohio River. Today, the towpath is a multi-purpose path for hiker, bikers, and horseback riders. The Cuyahoga Scenic Railroad lies along the towpath, and many visitors cycle one way and meet the train at one of the six stations to ride back to their starting point. A number of visitor centers lie along the path, providing in-depth information about the park and surrounding areas.
Brandywine Falls lies within the park limits, a 65-foot waterfall that lies along the Brandywine Gorge Trail. One of the most popular sites for visitor, it offers a number of classic geological features of waterfalls in the area. It once powered a thriving village, and eventually became the center of an artists’ colony.
The Ritchie Ledges
The Ritchie Ledges are jagged outcrops of rocks that stand as witness to the many geological changes experienced by the Cuyahoga Valley area over time. Hikers like to walk the trail beneath the outcrops and photograph the rock formations.
Everett Covered Bridge
For those who love the interesting variety of covered bridges found in this region of the country, the Everett Bridge is now the last remaining example in Summit County. Visitors enjoy visiting this picturesque remnant of the area’s past.
The park grounds encompass a number of preserved structures that tell of the previous inhabitants of the area and their activities. The Wilson Feed Mill, Jaite Mill, Frazee House, and Stanford House have been preserved to offer visitors a look at life in 1800s.
Outdoor Activities at the Park
Hiking, bicycling, birdwatching, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, golfing, and camping are popular outdoor activities at the park. Many people enjoy sunny afternoons having outdoor lunches with family under the picnic shelters that are available for rent. In winter, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is open for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.