Cuyahoga Valley National Park is surrounded by some of the most modern and densely populated areas of the state; like Cleveland and Akron; but it still looks like it did in the early days of ite settlement. The park celebrates the culture and history of the area and maintains a lot of its physical beauty. One of the nice historical areas is the Hale House.
If you go during the right times of the year you may see some nice wildlife.
Fondest memory: I enjoyed looking around Hale House the most. Also liked the covered bridge and Brandywine Falls.
Favorite thing: Take a walk anywhere in the park during the spring and you'll find colorful flowers poking out from under the leaves everywhere. The Towpath trail should offer a variety of habitats to experience the range of flowers. The trails leading from the Happy Days parking lot go into the woods and the ravines. In spring before the leaves have sprouted, the sun is warming the ground and numerous flowers will emerge to make use of the warmth and light. Once the leaves begin to open, these flowers will disappear and become 'green leafy' plants.
This park is seriously confusing. At least it was confusing to me,. There is no one road that runs through the park. Instead, a series of main roads run through portions of the park while other smaller roads are needed to get to the different areas of interest. The roads exit the park and pass through small towns and become quite confusing.
If you only have a short amount of time, its best to look at some of the maps on the NPS website: www.nps.gov/cuva and read about the sights to see. Get an idea of where you want to go and do some route planning beforehand. Also, the two main visitor's centers (Happy Days and Canal) are staffed and the park employees are great with directions.
One other word of caution: if you use I-77 to get to the park from Cleveland, there is no return exit when heading northbound back to this city. Make sure to get directions before leaving the park, or, better yet, before heading out.
Favorite thing: The Canal Visitors Center is a small A-frame house located at the base of the Canal Towpath Trail. It is one of the smallest national park visitor's centers and there is little of interest here. But if you're unfamiliar with the park, its a worthwhile stop as park employees can provide directions and maps to help you navigate around the park.
Cuyahoga Falls is less than a half hour from Cleveland. To get here, take I-77 south and look for the signs indicating the exit to the park. From there, it is only a couple of miles to the first visitor's center.
The park has one of the most unusual and confusing layouts because the park land is intersperced between several small towns. There is no one road leading to and through the park and its confusing to say the least. Your best bet for exploring is to stop at the visitor's center and pick up a map. Despite this zig zag one minute you're in the park the next you're nowhere pattern, its a fairly compact place and most attractions and trails are located only minutes from each other.
Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers