Mighty River Valley

July 4, 2015
Mighty River Valley


Annie Zaleski

Northeast Ohioans have a variety of places to get their green on each spring and summer, but most start with the 33,000-acre Cuyahoga Valley National Park, located between Cleveland and Akron. The mighty Cuyahoga River snakes through a wilderness of verdant trees, valley landscapes, and historic farms. Much of the history-rich Towpath Trail, which follows the route of the legendary Ohio and Erie Canalway, also winds through the park.

Offering unparalleled access to all of this postcard-perfect scenery is the 51-mile Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (CVSR). It's ideal for a date with nature - especially during the popular wine sampling (Grape Escapes) and beer tasting (Ales on Rails) excursions. Kid-geared entertainment is also on board: During the annual Day Out with Thomas (May 16-17 and May 22-24), the train is transformed into the beloved children's character, to go along with activities suited for fun-seeking families.

Throughout the rest of Northeast Ohio, the sprawling picnic haven Cleveland Metroparks covers nearly 23,000 acres across 18 reservations - from the Hinckley Reservation, home of the beloved buzzards, to the lush, forest-filled Bradley Woods. Park activities such as wildflower and bird walks, two-hour Saturday Hikathons, and golf lessons keep visitors energized. And, of course, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo remains a family-friendly hotspot full of both cuddly and ferocious creatures.

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