National Park Service’sCuyahoga Valley National Park
Credit: Sarah Guren
15610 Vaughn Rd
Brecksville, Ohio 44141Website
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A short distance from the urban bustle of Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park seems worlds away. The Cuyahoga River winds its way from deep forests to rolling hills and open farmland creating a refuge for native plants and wildlife while presenting routes of discovery for visitors.
Formed by the mingling of two diverse geographic regions—the Appalachian Plateau and the Central Lowlands—and the comings and goings of multiple glaciations, Cuyahoga Valley contains a truly unique physical environment. High above the Cuyahoga River, the landscape is rugged with steep-sided valleys backed by high, narrow hills. The land’s closely spaced ravines funnel tributaries, some dropping 600 feet over a few miles, toward the crooked river.
The Nature Conservancy has been active in this area for decades, protecting the upper headwaters of the Cuyahoga River at places like Burton Wetlands and its Lucia S. Nash Preserve, which provide important habitat for migratory birds. In addition, the Conservancy’s policy work in support of the Land & Water Conservation Fund which has steered financial resources to this popular national park.
Why It Matters
A 22-mile stretch of the Cuyahoga River, fed by more than 190 miles of permanent and temporary streams, flows through the park. The park’s numerous, protected wetlands help to naturally filter pollutants from the river, which empties into Lake Erie—one of the world’s most important sources of fresh drinking water. With nearly 15 percent of Ohio’s population living within the Cuyahoga River watershed, Cuyahoga Valley National Park is an oasis of green space in the interface of an urban-rural landscape.
Natural Treasures Landmark
Join hundreds of others who have chronicled their adventures! Take a picture of yourself at the Blue Hen Falls at Cuyahoga Valley and upload it to our site
Fun Things to Do and See
While on the hunt for the landmark, enjoy the abundant adventures this Ohio treasure has to offer. The thrill of nature can be experienced at any level!
- Constructed in 1836 along the Ohio and Erie Canal, the historic Boston Store Visitor Center welcomes you. Tell us which exhibits intrigued you the most.
- Follow Spring Creek .5 miles and embrace the serenity of Blue Hen Falls. Artists: Bring your tools and attempt a rendering of the utopian scenery shaded by the sycamore trees.
- Revel in the nostalgia of a vintage train ride through the heart of Cuyahoga Valley. As nature unfolds, be sure to keep watch for the different plants and wildlife you encounter along the ride. You may even spot a bald eagle!
- Make overnight reservations for the recently renovated Stanford House located within the beautiful setting of Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
- Stop by Trail Mix for ice cream, sandwiches, and baked goods from local producers. It also carries a selection of Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) souvenirs, books and apparel.
- Get a better view than at the zoo when you visit the wetland boardwalk of Beaver Marsh. Keep your camera handy to snap shots of the beavers, otters, muskrats and waterfowl that frequent the area.
- Grab your fishing pole and direct your concentration toward reeling in some steelhead trout and bullhead catfish in the Cuyahoga River. How many did you catch?
- Put on your sleuthing hat! Follow rhyming clues and a curious map to hidden quest boxes along the Ohio & Erie Canalway. Be sure to tell us which of the area's natural and cultural gems you uncover throughout your mission.
- Experience the breathtaking view of the second-highest waterfall in Ohio when you hike the 1.5-mile Brandywine Gorge Trail. Be sure to keep an eye out for salamanders in the nearby vernal pools. How many did you spot?
- Brush up on your fire making skills and reserve a spot at one of the primitive Stanford Backcountry Campsites. Lodge under the stars after an invigorating hike through the Valley and see if you can locate Orion or the Big Dipper.
- Take in picturesque rock formations when you hike 2.2 miles along Ledges Trail.