COVID-19 Response—Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and local public health authorities, access and services are being increased in a phased approach across all units of the National Park System. Before visiting a park, please check the park website to determine its operating status. Updates about the overall National Park Service response to COVID-19, including safety information, are posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Mailing Address: 15610 Vaughn Road, Brecksville, OH, 44141 Phone: 440-717-3890 Website: https://www.nps.gov/cuva/index.htm
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a hiker’s paradise. With more than 125 miles of hiking trails, from nearly level to challenging, hikers can explore the thick forest, deep gorges, green wetlands, and rocky waterfalls that are part of this national park, located just a short distance from Cleveland and Akron in northeast Ohio. But the park is more than just somewhere to stretch your legs.
It’s also a place to explore historic villages, view the 22 winding miles of the Cuyahoga River that pass through the park, and enjoy the native plants and wildlife, which includes more than 900 plant species, 194 species of birds, 91 aquatic macroinvertebrates, 43 fish, 32 mammals, 22 amphibians, and 20 species of reptiles.
The Cuyahoga Valley has been home to human inhabitants for 13,000 years, from prehistoric peoples to pioneers to twentieth-century immigrants to current residents. The Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area was designated as an urban National Park site, thanks to the efforts of the citizens and their members of Congress. Then, in 2000, the park was renamed Cuyahoga Valley National Park, marking it as one of the parks in the National Park System.
Hours and Fees
While the Boston Mill Visitor Center, Canal Exploration Center, and Hunt House are all closed due to COVID-19, Cuyahoga Valley National Park is open every day of the year. Some areas close at dusk, while others are open 24 hours.
There are no entrance fees to visit Cuyahoga Valley National Park, although activity fees are charged for most concerts and some additional programs. There are also facilities and two picnic shelters available for public rentals.
Events and Activities
Due to COVID-19, some park activities have been canceled. Visit this page for links to outdoor activities for kids and grown-ups as well as information about the status of the Scenic Train Ride and the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. But there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in the park, from hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and picnicking. Throughout the park, visitors can find picnic areas, all with tables and some with grills.
The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail is open 24 hours with multiple access points. The trail has a level compacted gravel surface and is wheelchair, bike, and stroller accessible. (To check for potential towpath trail closures visit the Alerts page.)
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is committed to being available to those with disabilities. The park is accessible to those with physical or mobility issues and intellectual disability issues, as well as those who are hearing or visually impaired. (Read more about Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s accessibility at wheelchairtraveling.com.) Service animals may accompany their owner to all park locations.
The park has three parking lots: the Boston Mill Visitor Center Main Lot, Brandywine Falls, and Ledges Trailhead Parking. (Check this page for hours and other information.)
Boston Mill Visitor Center Main Lot has 106 spaces including six accessible, one carpool, two limited mobility, and six fuel-efficient vehicle spaces. The main lot also provides access via paved pathways to the main visitor center and information plaza. Additional parking is located across the street from the main Boston Mill Visitor Center parking area, with six oversized vehicle spaces, nine additional vehicle spaces, one fuel-efficient vehicle space, and one accessible vehicle space.
Brandywine Falls is a midsized paved parking area with 90 spaces (none oversized) and four ADA van-accessible parking spaces. Brandywine Falls also has ADA accessible restrooms, an ADA accessible boardwalk to view the waterfall, and access to Summit Metroparks Hike and Bike Trail.
Ledges Trailhead Parking is a 223-space parking lot that includes eight ADA accessible spaces, but no oversized spaces. The lot also offers access to the Ledges shelter, trail, and restrooms, although the trail to the Ledges is not ADA accessible.
There is no camping within the park and no backcountry camping, and camping or overnight stays in parking lots is prohibited. However, there is recreational vehicle day parking in the RV and Trailer Parking area across from Boston Mill Visitor Center and in the larger parking spaces at Canal Exploration Center, Station Road Trailhead, Pine Hollow, Wetmore, Everett Covered Bridge, and Ira Trailhead parking lots.
There are state parks and other campgrounds within driving distance from Cuyahoga Valley National Park, including Ottawa Overlook Backcountry Site, Nimisila Reservoir Metro Park, Punderson State Park, Portage Lakes State Park, and West Branch State Park. For other Towpath Trail camping opportunities contact Summit County at 330-867-5511 and Stark County at 330-477-3552.
Northeastern Ohio has a four-season climate, with summer temperatures that can reach 95 degrees Fahrenheit, while winter weather conditions can rapidly change, due to the lake effect snow from Lake Erie, with temperatures varying from the mid-30s to below zero.
Pets are welcome in the park, but they must be restrained on a leash that is six feet or shorter in length on all parklands at all times. While they are permitted on 110 miles of hiking trails, they are not permitted in any park building, with the exception of service dogs.
For more information about the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, visit the Digital Brochures page.