Cuyahoga Valley National Park attracts millions of visitors each year. Whether it’s hiking in the meadows to see wildflowers, biking, canoeing or kayaking, there are many outdoor activities to choose from at this popular Ohio national park. But it may be the waterfalls that make the biggest splash with visitors. Sixty-five-foot Brandywine Falls is one of the most popular attractions in the park, and the Brandywine Gorge Trail, complete with a boardwalk and steps to get up close, allows for more exploring around the falls.
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (CVSR) rolls full steam ahead through the heart of the park, and visitors can ride the rails, or bike, run or hike one way and hop on the train for a ride back to where they started. It’s as simple as flagging down the train at boarding stations by waving both arms in the air and paying the fare once you board.
In early September, Cuyahoga Valley fields are a popular re-fueling stop for monarch butterflies on their way to Mexico to escape dropping temperatures. Keep an eye out for them then, and in winter, head out for snow and an assortment of chilly possibilities, including cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, snow tubing, snowshoeing, sledding and ice fishing.
It’s always a good idea to make a stop at the park’s visitor center when you arrive to get the most up-to-date information on events and activities. At Cuyahoga Valley National Park, there’s a bonus history lesson provided by the center: the Boston Store. Built in 1836, its original purpose was to store items as a warehouse, and through the years it also served as a post office and a residence before finding new life as the Visitor Center.