Cuyahoga Valley National Park Travel Guide

January 20, 2022

Cuyahoga Valley National Park Travel Guide

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a peaceful retreat in the urban area of Cleveland and Akron Ohio, with a broad choice for varied recreational opportunities. The heart of the park is a 22 mile section of the Cuyahoga River, which is undergoing extensive restoration projects. The Cuyahoga has gone from a source of shame to one of inspiration.  

Stop by for a day and discover a historic site or hiking trail in one section of the park, or make plans to spend a week exploring and riding the train. Cuyahoga Valley NP has something for everyone and is one of the most diverse sites managed by the National Park Service. 

Get to Know Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Region: Midwest
State: Ohio 
URL https://www.nps.gov/cuva/index.htm 
Webcams: none 
Established October 11, 2000 
President: Bill Clinton 
By the numbers:  

  • 2.2 million+ visitors per year (2019)
  • 33,000+ acres
  • Lat. 41.2626, Long -81.56031
  • Many park entrances
  • 3 visitor centers
  • Highest elevation 1,164 ft.
  • Lowest elevation 590 ft.

welcome to Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Entrances 

Cuyahoga Valley National Park has not entry fee and therefore has MANY ways to gain access to the park. We’ve made pins for several of the entrances on our interactive map, but there are many other ways to get in and explore.

Visitor Centers

There are three visitor centers within Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Each has historic exhibits and information about the surrounding area.  

Boston Mill Visitor Center is located at 5793 Boston Mills Rd, Peninsula, OH 44264. Phone 440-717-3890. It is open all year, except for major holidays.  

Canal Exploration Center is located at 7104 Canal Rd, Valley View, OH 44125. Phone  216-524-1497. This facility is closed for the winter season of December-February each year. 

Hunt Farm Visitor Information Center is located at 2045 Bolanz Rd, Peninsula, OH 44264. It is open daily during the summer season from Memorial Day to Labor Day and open weekends in the spring months of March - April - May.  

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Peninsula Depot is located at 1630 Mill St W, Peninsula, OH 44264. Phone 330-439-5708. Trains run through the park and passengers can choose a variety of seating options. 

lock and canal visitor center

Entrance Fees   

Cuyahoga Valley National Park does not charge an entrance fee, although there may be some activity fees for concerts and programs. Support the park by donating to the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park. 

Park Hours and Access 

Cuyahoga Valley NP is open daily, 24 hours a day, year-round, although activities and services are limited at night and at certain times of the year. Check the NPS website for details about the season you will be visiting. 

Open all year? Yes, with some road closures for each entrance, depending on the weather.

Closest Airports:

If you are not close enough to drive to Cuyahoga Valley NP try flying into one of several airports and then renting a car and driving to the park. 

  • Akron Fulton International Airport (AKC) is 22 miles - approx. 28-minute drive 
  • Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) is 25 miles - approx 30-minute drive 
  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) is 249 miles - approx 3 hrs 50 min drive 
  • Tri-State/Milton J. Ferguson Field (HTS) is 262 miles - approx 4 hrs 25 min drive

ledges overlook

Things to do:  

Cuyahoga Valley is known for its plentiful outdoor activities, be sure to take time and appreciate the varied wildlife around you. There are opportunities for birding, wildlife viewing, and of course viewpoints to stop and take amazing photography.

Kids will like the junior ranger program, which gets them involved in hands-on activities. 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. Some provide grills, and all have tables. Alcohol is prohibited in the park.

Enjoy getting around the park with one of the guided tours or venture out on your own by hiking, biking, horseback riding, or canoeing.

My Bucket Journals Top Yellowstone NP Picks:

  • Walk Towpath Trail
  • Take a ride on Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
  • Access the river from Lock 29 or Lock 39
  • View Brandywine Falls
  • Everett Covered Bridge
  • Hunt House

a narrow trail through rock outcroping

Hike the Trails 

There are over 125 miles of trails inside the park. You can find a hike for every level of experience, from boardwalks to back-country adventures. These are the most common areas to explore: 

  • Ledges Area Trails
  • Brandywine Gorge Loop
  • Towpath Trail walks
  • Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail
  • Buckeye Trail
  • Calley Trail
  • Old Carriage Trail
  • Kendall lake Area Trails
  • Tree Farm Trail
  • Wetmore Area Trails
  • Everett Area Trails 

Find out details about each route at the NPS website.  

Scenic Drives

Loop 1 Central CVNP is a scenic drive through the central part of the park and Loop 2 takes you through the southern area. Download the driving tour map made available by the Conservancy for CVNP

Experience the park through the eyes of The Adventures of Trail & Hitch as you follow their driving tour recommendations starting with the Boston Store VC. 

Don’t miss the Scenic Trail Ride! For more than 100 years, trains have been moving through the scenic wonders of what is now Cuyahoga Valley National Park. In 1989, a mutually beneficial partnership began for Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad and the National Park and it has brought a proud distinction to each.

There is no other national park in the country with a non-profit heritage railroad operating within it and providing educational and entertainment programs to enhance the accessibility of the park for tens of thousands of people each year. 

Find out about the history of the rails that traverse the park as you plan your train ride, then get your tickets here.  

winding wooden staircase through the woods

Lodging in the park:  

Stanford House - 6093 Stanford Road, Peninsula, OH 44264. Phone 330-657-2909 

Inn at Brandywine Falls - 8230 Brandywine Road, Sagamore Hills, OH 44067. Phone 330-467-1812

Outside the park but near enough 

Happy Days Lodge -  500 W Streetsboro St, Peninsula, OH 44264. Phone 330-657-2909 

Shady Oaks Farm Bed and Breakfast - 241 W Highland Rd, Northfield, OH 44067. Phone 330-468-2909 

Cuyahoga Valley Inn - 3758 Brecksville Rd, Richfield, OH 44286
Phone 330-730-2350

Campgrounds:  

Cuyahoga Valley NP no longer offers camping within the park and staying overnight in parking lots is prohibited. The closest campground is the Ottawa Overlook Backcountry Site located by the Buckeye Trail, Brecksville, OH 44141. 

In addition, there are several Ohio State parks that offer camping within an hour of driving time. We’ve noted many of them in our interactive map below.

Get Connected

The National Park Service App (NPS App) features downloadable information for all the national park sites in the country, including [park name].  This includes an interactive map, self-guided audio tours, and information to make your trip smoother and more interesting. It does not yet include live updates to lodging, campground, road status, or geyser predictions. 

Cuyahoga Valley’s park map and guide is available in several formats: printed brochure, braille booklet, audio-only audio description, and text-only audio description. You can get the park map at any visitor center, or order it online

Online Map of the Park

Use our interactive map to plan your trip and view details about visitor centers, campgrounds, lodging, hiking trails, and attractions 

How to Use This Map: Click the tab in the top left-hand corner of the map to view the layers. You can click the checkmarks to hide or show layers. If you click the icons on the map, you can get more information about each point of interest.  

If you click the star next to the title of the map, this map will be added to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

 

 

Pin it for Later!

 red covered bridge over a river with fall leaves in the background in cuyahoga valley national park






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