Cuyahoga Valley Nationwide Park is a 33,000-acre stretch of forests, rolling hills, and open farmlands alongside the Cuyahoga River in Ohio. Two of its hottest sights are the Towpath Path, which follows the historic route of the Ohio and Erie Canal, and the 60-foot-tall Brandywine Falls waterfall.

Final yr, Cuyahoga Valley Nationwide Park was the Seventh-most-visited nationwide park — drawing 2.8 million guests. A part of its attraction is that the park is simply 22 miles from Cleveland, 113 miles from Pittsburgh, and 129 miles from Columbus, Ohio. It’s additionally 230 miles from Cincinnati.

The mix of so many sights to see and potential actions, plus proximity to quite a few metro areas and subsequent crowds makes planning a visit to Cuyahoga Valley Nationwide Park difficult. The workers on the Nationwide Park Service (NPS) perceive that complexity and wish to make your journey planning simpler. That’s why the NPS has released its “High Ten Suggestions for Visiting Cuyahoga Valley Nationwide Park,” written by the rangers who work there.

“Earlier than you come, be sure you plan like a park ranger,” the rangers write. “Learn on for our high suggestions for visiting Cuyahoga Valley Nationwide Park.”

1. Know Earlier than You Go

Since there’s a lot to see and do on the park, rangers encourage guests to plan their journey forward of time. Step one, they clarify, is to go to the park’s web site. Then they advocate persevering with checking the web site to remain up-to-date about alerts, occasions, and proposals — in addition to being knowledgeable about development tasks and adjustments within the park. 

You may examine the park’s web site here.

Professional Tip: Rangers additionally counsel downloading the NPS App, which offers interactive maps, excursions of park locations, and on-the-ground accessibility details about greater than 400 nationwide parks. Rangers clarify that you may additionally use the app to assist navigate across the park.

The free app might be downloaded by way of the App Retailer and Google Play.

2. Make Reservations Early

Cuyahoga Valley has two picnic shelters for giant teams. Rangers counsel making reservations early for those who plan to make use of one of many shelters. The identical holds true for lodging on the historic Stanford Home, which was inbuilt 1843.

Constructed throughout the Nice Melancholy out of American chestnut and regionally quarried sandstone, the country Ledges and Octagon shelters might be booked as much as a yr upfront. You may study extra concerning the shelters here and make reservations here.

Managed by the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley Nationwide Park, the Stanford Home has beds for as much as 30 individuals — making it preferrred for holidays, a small group’s retreat, and even household reunions, the conservancy explains. You may study extra about Stanford Home here.

3. Keep away from The Busiest Occasions

“A lot of our parking tons replenish round noon on heat, sunny weekends,” rangers clarify. “Keep away from the group by approaching weekdays, within the mornings, or later within the day.”

You could find extra suggestions for avoiding crowds on the standard The Ledges, Brandywine Falls, Blue Hen Falls, and Towpath Path here.

4. Verify The Climate

“If you happen to plan to be outdoors, watch the climate forecast and plan accordingly,” rangers clarify. “Being near Lake Erie, our climate can change shortly. Use your favourite app or go to our climate web page for a snapshot of the native circumstances.”

You may see the park’s present climate circumstances here. You too can monitor present park circumstances and examine for alerts here.

Professional Tip: If there have been storms within the neighborhood, rangers advocate checking the park’s web site for potential alerts relating to path and street closures. And keep in mind: “By no means drive by way of floodwater,” the rangers warning.

5. Convey Water

“It’s all the time a good suggestion to carry water,” the rangers be aware. “Then preserve sipping all through the day and refill your water bottle at each alternative.”

Professional Tip: You could find the park’s consuming fountain places on the NPS App, which is one more reason to obtain the app.

6. Cease At The Customer Middle First

Rangers clarify that the Boston Mill Customer Middle — a historic constructing that after was the final retailer for the Cleveland-Akron Bag Firm — must be guests’ first cease. Whereas there, you possibly can choose up a replica of the Cuyahoga Valley Park Brochure, which features a driving map. Copies of the Valley Information newspaper and path maps are additionally out there on the customer heart.

You may study extra concerning the Boston Mill Customer Middle here.

7. Get Your Junior Ranger Supplies Early

If in case you have children or grandkids with you in your journey to Cuyahoga Valley, you’ll additionally must cease on the Boston Mill Customer Middle to choose up free copies of the Junior Ranger Handbook (for ages 7 and up) and Junior Ranger, Jr. Exercise Playing cards.

The rangers counsel that youngsters or grandkids can take as a lot time as they should full the actions. Actually, rangers advocate permitting as much as 3 hours for the actions.

You may study extra concerning the Junior Ranger program here.

Professional Tip: “If you happen to run out of time, don’t fret,” the rangers clarify. “You may mail the finished e book to us after you get residence.”

8. Security Is First, Second, And Third Precedence

“Whether or not you’re visiting for an hour or every week, preserve security high of thoughts,” rangers advise. “If you happen to’re planning to paddle the Cuyahoga River, pay attention to the circumstances and know how one can preserve your self and others protected. No matter sort of journey you’re planning, all the time be ready!”

You may study extra about canoeing or kayaking the Cuyahoga River here, and you may learn to be protected and ready for all actions here.

Professional Suggestions: If you wish to canoe or kayak the Cuyahoga River in Cuyahoga Valley Nationwide Park, you’ll must take your personal gear.

Secondly, the Nationwide Park Service doesn’t preserve the river for leisure use. If you happen to plan to canoe or kayak the river, take into account that you might be answerable for your personal security, rangers be aware.

9. Go away No Hint

When visiting nationwide parks, it’s all the time a good suggestion to “Go away No Hint” by “packing out no matter you pack in,” rangers be aware. Additionally, for those who’ll be visiting Cuyahoga Valley with a pet, rangers remind everybody that “Homeowners should clear up pet waste and throw it in a trash can.”

You may study extra about pet rules here

Professional Tip: The Seven Rules of Go away No Hint are: 

  • Plan Forward & Put together
  • Journey & Camp on Sturdy Surfaces
  • Get rid of Waste Correctly
  • Go away What You Discover
  • Decrease Campfire Impacts
  • Respect Wildlife
  • Be Thoughtful of Different Guests

You could find extra particulars concerning the ideas here.

10. Go to Different Close by Parks

“We’re not the one nationwide park in northeast Ohio!” rangers be aware. “Be sure you additionally learn the ‘High 10’ lists from our buddies at James A. Garfield Nationwide Historic Website in Mentor and First Women Nationwide Historic Website in Canton.”

You may study extra about James A. Garfield Nationwide Historic Website here and the First Women Nationwide Historic Website here.

If in case you have time, the rangers additionally advocate exploring different Nationwide Park Service websites across the state of Ohio. You should utilize the Nationwide Park Service website or the NPS App to study extra about these parks.When you’re planning your journey, be sure you additionally learn all of our Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Ohio protection because you’ll be within the space. You could find all of our nationwide parks protection here.

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