Enjoy Both Nature and History in Ohio’s Own Cuyahoga Valley National Park
When you think of a typical National Park it’s probably placed out west, huge sequoias, grand mountain ranges, and epic landscapes that seem otherworldly. Northeast Ohio is usually not one of the first places that come to mind, but there is a hidden gem tucked in the region that is a beautiful National Park. It’s called Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and has been in existence from the mid-1970s. What separates this park from many others is that it has a number of very unique benefits and attractions.
Of course, the main draw is a natural beauty. With over 20,000 thousand acres under federal management, there are many hiking and mountain biking trails that wind through the forest. Not to mention, there are a number of spectacular waterfalls inside the park, including the most popular the 65 foot Brandywine Falls along the Brandywine Gorge Trail.
One of the most popular features of Cuyahoga Valley National Park has to be the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail. This trail follows alongside the once famous Erie Canal, built in the mid-1800s it was designed to move goods such as crops from the Midwest to the East Coast in a fashion that would take less time. The vessels were pulled in many spots by horses and mules, along the towpath trails.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park has quite a few exhibits on the history of the canal and the towpaths to check out as well. If you and your family is interested in learning more about the history, then stop by Hunt House, either of the Boston or Peninsula Visitor’s Centers or the Canal Exploration Center. Each of these will have tons of great information on the canals, and can really turn your day out at the park into much more than a few hours hiking or biking.
The Towpath Trail is maintained all year long and is perfect for people of all ages and abilities. Be sure to check it out during the various seasons to enjoy everything from the changing leaves, to snowfall. Not to mention, you can get an up close and personal view of the wildlife that has overtaken the canal. Watch beavers build dams, various waterfowl, and birds all enjoying the water. As you can see, there certainly is something special about this National Park. You can bring the family and enjoy a full day of both nature and history. If you’re looking for a great weekend getaway in Northeast Ohio, this secret National Park should be very high on the list. Have you been to Cuyahoga Valley National Park? Let us know some of your favorite parts of it in the comments!