Description - "Ka-ih-ohg-ha" American Indians called it - crooked. And crooked it is, as it twists and turns through its short 100 miles. The Cuyahoga River begins 30 miles east of its mouth in Cleveland and flows in a great "U" along the base of the escarpment on which the city of Akron sits. Deep forests, rolling hills, and open farmlands frame the river valley. Hamlets with historic homes and barns dot the area, giving a sense of times past. Locks, spillways, an aqueduct, and other canal features provide clues to a brief but important period in America's transportation history.
Copyright: - US National Park Service
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) preserves 33,000 acres along 22 miles of this crooked river between Cleveland and Akron, Ohio. In the early 1960s spreading development threatened to take over this valley. Individual citizens joined forces with state and local governments to save the greenspace and historic features. Their efforts crossed paths with the National Park Service, which was then establishing urban recreation areas as a way to bring national parks to people living in cities. In 1974, Congress created CVNP as an urban park of the National Park Service. The National Park Service manages the park in cooperation with others who own property within its boundaries, including Cleveland Metroparks and Metro Parks, Serving Summit County, both of which administer several units within CVNP. Together they protect the natural landscape, preserve remnants of the area's human history, and provide a place where you can relax, play and learn new things in a beautiful outdoor setting.
- Sculpted long ago by water, glaciers, and the persistent forces of weather, the valley landscape is a diversity of river floodplain, steep and gentle valley walls, tributaries and their ravines, and upland plateaus. The Cuyahoga River Valley has attracted visitors for nearly 12,000 years and today visitors are stilling find it a refreshing break from the area's dense population.
This linear national park, spanning more than 30,000 acres offers an abundant number of choices for outdoor enjoyment. A good way to begin your visit to the park is a stop at one of the five visitor centers. Each is an experience within itself. The Canal Visitor Center is one of the most popular due to its multi-level exhibit area illustrating the 12,000 years of history in the valley, including Native American history. Frazee House is one of the oldest homes in the valley, circa 1826. Exhibits at this center explain the architecture of the building and history of the Frazee family. The Boston Store is very picturesque, housing an extensive exhibit on the craft of building canal boats. Happy Days Visitor Center is named for the Civilian Conservation Corps, an industrious group of men from the 1930s. Happy Days is also the place to find out about Ohio's other national sites. This particular visitor center even offers Internet access to the visitor. Hunt Farm Visitor Information Center is the typical small family farm once prevalent in the Cuyahoga Valley area. Exhibits depict the agricultural history of the Valley.
The word "trails" is synonymous with the name Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail follows the historic route of the Ohio & Erie Canal through the Cuyahoga River Valley. It is fully accessible providing a delightful outing for people of all ages and abilities. Bordering the park is a 16-mile hike and bike trail, ideal for families. Equestrians are a popular group within CVNP. Trails range from a quick 20-minute ride to an entire day exploring the Wetmore and Riding Run bridle trails. Riders can also venture into the Cleveland Metroparks Bedford and Brecksville reservations trails. Distance hikers have access to the 1,200-mile Buckeye Trail which passes through the park's various habitats including fields and forests, stream beds, and glacial ravines.
For years the area has been a picnicking destination. There are many developed sites ranging in size accommodating family reunions to tucked away tables making a perfect intimate spot for two. In summer, duffers enjoy four well-groomed public golf courses and in winter, skiers find just as much enjoyment at the two ski resorts. Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a wonderful park for introducing your child to fishing. Several stocked bluegill and bass ponds are scattered throughout park. The ponds typically have shallow edges or piers extending out over the water. The five visitor centers offer a fishing brochure giving directions to specific ponds.
Please note that water sports are not recommended in the Cuyahoga River due to its poor water quality. Pets are welcome as long as they remain on a leash.
Note: The National Park Service manages the park in cooperation with others who own property within its boundaries, including Cleveland Metroparks and Metro Parks, Serving Summit County, both of which administer several units within CVNP. Additional features within CVNP include the 65-foot Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Train, Bedford Reservation, Brecksville Reservation, Furnace Run Metro Park, Hale Farm, O'Neil Woods Metro Park, Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center, Blossom Music Center, Porthouse Theater, and Hampton Hills Metro Park. Private overnight accommodations include a 31-bed hostel and a six-room bed and breakfast inn.
Recreation - Recreations and activities available within Cuyahoga Valley National Park include ranger-guided programs, concerts, special guest speakers, scenic train rides, viewing historical sites, auto touring, biking, golfing, bird watching, cross-country skiing, fishing, hiking, picnicking, horseback riding, nature walks, downhill skiing, snowshoeing, stargazing, swimming, and wildlife viewing.
The national park is open daily from dawn to dusk. The visitor centers are closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
Climate - The Cuyahoga Valley National Park experiences four distinct seasons. Winter lasts from December through February with average temperatures near 25 degrees F. Low temperatures dip to single digits, but do not often drop below zero. The region receives average snowfall amounts of 55 inches. Spring temperatures begin to warm the landscape by mid March and are in full swing by April. Temperatures range from 40 through 70 degrees F through the spring months. This season often brings the most rainfall, before the drying heat of summer. Summer can be hot and humid with temperatures reaching above 90 degrees F frequently through July and August. Cooler fall temperatures don't reach the region until mid to late September.
The Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a linear park in northeastern Ohio situated immediately east of Interstate 77, west of State Route 8, and bisected by Interstates 271and 80.