Plan your Visit to
Cuyahoga National Park
Wilderness at its Best
Over 2 and a half million visitors each year come to Ohio for the chance to visit one of the nation’s newest national parks. Cuyahoga Valley National Park has only been a part of the national park registry since 2000, so it does not have much of the long history as many of the other parks, but what it lacks in experience, it more than makes up for in pure natural attraction.
Each national park seems to have its own unique opportunities for guests and Cuyahoga Valley National Park is certainly no exception. Where there are geocaching spots throughout the world, there are few places where questing is an option. So many are so focused on the technology based geocaching opportunities that they forget that the notion of the activity was inspired by the average treasure hunt. Questing brings back the notion of the treasure hunt with fun and excitement for families. Questing takes you on a journey through the wilderness in search of stamps. The stamps are hidden in quest boxes throughout Cuyahoga Valley National Park and when you find one, you simply have to sigh the log book and place the stamp back in the box for others to find. It requires no GPS, just your sleuthing abilities to search out the boxes.
A Train Ride
It is difficult to imagine that a train can be an attraction in a national park,but train travel used to be a normal way people traveled from one place to another and therefore many of the trains tracks remain. The Cuyahoga Valley National Park Scenic Railroad takes passengers through the valley and allows them to explore Cuyahoga National Park on a truly unique level. Train tickets are separate from the entrance fee to the park, but it is an experience that should not be missed. General all day passes are $18 for adults and $13 for kids between ages 3 and 12. First class tickets are a little pricier at $23 for adults and $18 for kids, but if you want the best seat on the train, you will want to invest a little more money into your trip and ride in the dome car. This car gives you a panoramic view of the countryside and tickets are $28 for adults and $23 for kids.
While you are out hiking in Cuyahoga Valley National Park you are sure to come across at least one of the many waterfalls that are found there. One of the most popular waterfalls is known as Brandywine Falls. A hike up to the falls takes visitors on a 1.5-mile trail. Once you arrive you can enjoy taking pictures from the overlook or simply staring at the beauty that is Brandywine Falls. The view becomes even more amazing when you visit Cuyahoga Valley National Park during the autumn season and the falls are surrounded by the spectacular colors of the leaves.
If solitude is what you are after on your visit to Cuyahoga Valley National Park you will want to search out Lina Falls. Although this crater type fall is usually dry, a visit during the rainy season will leave you with glorious pictures along with memories that many do not get the opportunity to experience. The hike to Linda Falls will take you across 2 miles of rugged wilderness, but those that make the journey are rewarded with solitude, as this is one of the least visited falls in the park due to the lack of water during much of the year.
Things to Know
You will be pleased to know that there are no entrance fees for Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The park meets it operating budget through attraction fees and donations from private citizens. It also makes much of the budget up by charging camping fees to visitors.
Camping is available in Cuyahoga Valley National Park during the warmer months and a campsite can be yours for the night for $25. Reservations are required as the campgrounds do fill up quite quickly during the busy season. Always clean up after yourself and leave no trace that you or your family were even there after you leave. The Cuyahoga Valley National Park also asks that you take additional precautions from a very pesky parasite.
This part of the country is known for ticks. These pesky creatures are found in woody areas and can attach themselves to you without you even knowing they are there. Check everyone in your group often for ticks and use tick repellent that can be purchased at any store in the area. Light colored clothing will enable you to see ticks crawling on you before they attach to you.