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Our massive 33,000 acre National Park is a gem of Northeast Ohio that complements Cleveland’s outstanding metropark system. Locals will know the joy of the seemingly endless trails and waterfalls year round, but the nature isn’t all the park has to offer. Even frequent visitors probably don’t know all of the unique ways to explore the nature preserved just south of Cleveland.
If you explore the park through these suggestions you’ll be sure to not miss the forest from the trees.
Ride the Train All Year Round
An easy way to see the massive forest is to hop aboard the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. The train travels north and south bound on a three-hour route from Independence to Akron that has stops along the way so you can hop off and explore the park and various attractions. If you like cycling, you can bike the towpath and store your bike in the train for a cheap ride home. And if you just want to relax and take in the sights while having a drink, sign up for a wine or beer tasting train ride.
Get on the Water
You won’t want to do this park activity during the winter months, but nothing completes a nice spring or summer day like paddling your way down the Cuyahoga River. There are many ways to explore the 100 mile long river like a scheduled canoe ride at Friends of the Crooked River or kayak/SUP rentals from 41º North in Lakewood to explore by yourself.
Quest Along the Canal
Looking to treasure hunt? Canalway Quest pairs rhyming clues with unique maps to send participants on 40 different trips down the trails to find the natural, cultural and human-made treasures along the way. Once you get to the end be sure to take your one-of-a-kind stamp, sign the log book and put the quest box back for the next adventurer.
Find Your Little Slice of Nature
The trend of GeoCaching has caught on across the world, and thanks to volunteers at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park visitors can participate in a nature-based cache while hiking in the park. On www.earthcache.org you can find coordinates throughout the park using a GPS system. Instead of hunting for treasure, this adventure will have you finding the wonders created by earth instead of by humans. You can even complete activities to credit your findings throughout the park online.
Check Out the Sky
Besides offering stunning views of the nature here on earth, a crisp night in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park provides a crystal clear view of six magnitude objects with binoculars. The Western View and the Northern and Eastern Views are the two featured locations to stargaze, find out how to get to those locations here.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park encompasses 33,000 acres along the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron. Managed by the National Park Services, it...