Cuyahoga Valley National Park
It would take you a long time to explore the more than 125 miles of hiking, skiing, bicycling, and horseback riding trails within CVNRA. Hiking along the lush hemlock ravines in the Virginia Kendall unit, skiing in the moonlight along the Tree Farm Trail, or walking a short way along the Brandywine Falls boardwalk all offer rewarding experiences. For information about trails, regulations, and to purchase maps and guide books, stop at a visitor center.
Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail
If there is anything that says CVNRA, it is the Towpath Trail. This 20-mile trail follows the historic route of the Ohio & Erie Canal through the Cuyahoga River valley, from Lock 39 at Rockside Road in the north to Indian Mound near Bath Road in the south. The fully accessible trail of crushed limestone provides a delightful outing for people of all ages and abilities. Keep your eyes open for wildlife, especially early in the morning, as you pass meadows, forests, and wetlands. There are picnic areas, restrooms, and train access points along the way. From the Towpath Trail, you can explore nearby natural and historic sites and connect to other trails.
Bike and Hike Trail
Nearly 16 miles of this trail border the park. Ideal for family bike rides, this crushed stone trail is managed through a partnership with Cleveland Metroparks and Metro Parks, Serving Summit County. A connector trail near Holzhauer Road provides access to the Towpath Trail.
A portion of the 1,200 mile Buckeye Trail passes through CVNRA. You can follow this blue-blazed trail through hardwood forests and fields, across streams, and into steep ravines for a strenuous, but rewarding, hike.
Viewing CVNRA landscape from horseback is like no other experience. You can take a 20-minute ride or spend the day traversing the Wetmore and Riding Run trails or Cleveland Metroparks Bedford and Brecksville reservations trails. Horse trailer parking areas are located at the trailhead at Wetmore Road. There are no horse rentals available in the park.
Whether you need an area large enough for a family reunion or an intimate spot for two, you'll enjoy picnicking in the park. There are picnic areas scattered throughout CVNRA; many provide grills and all have tables. Alcohol is prohibited in CVNRA. Covered shelters must be reserved in advance.
Four public golf courses are in CVNRA. Cleveland Metroparks offers Shawnee Hills in the Bedford Reservation and Sleepy Hollow in the Brecksville Reservation. Other privately operated golf courses include Astorhurst in the Bedford Reservation and Brandywine, with 9-hole and 18-hole courses, on Akron Peninsula Road, south of Peninsula.
Introduce your children to the sport of fishing at one of the park's ponds, where you may catch bluegill and bass. Anglers need an Ohio fishing license. Boats with motors are not allowed on park ponds. Contact a visitor center for a fishing brochure with a list of ponds and regulations.
Canoeing & Kayaking
Water sports are not recommended because water quality in the Cuyahoga River varies. However, there is paddling near Cleveland on three rivers featuring woodlands and even a little whitewater.
Kendall Lake Winter Sports Center
This is the hub of winter activities in the park. The center, built of native chestnut and stone by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, is open on weekends in January and February. It offers programs, maps and information, and a cozy place to relax with a cup of hot chocolate. Nearby are the Kendall Hills for sledding and tobogganing, cross-country skiing trails, winter hiking, and snowshoeing. Snowshoe rentals are available. Overlooking Kendall Lake, the center is on Truxell Road, east of Akron Peninsula Road.
Some of the best sledding around is at Kendall Hills on Quick Road. You may park at Pine Hollow, Crow Foot Gully, and Little Meadow lots. Parking is prohibited on Quick Road. The hills are open for sledding during daylight hours only.
Cross-Country Ski Trails
There are miles of open space and cross-country trails in the park suitable for both beginning or advanced skiers. You can rent equipment nearby and ski into the park. Ask a ranger or check at a visitor center for information about trails and trail conditions.
Boston Mills/Brandywine Ski Resorts
The resorts feature 16 lifts, grooming and complete snowmaking coverage on all slopes, ski and snowboard rentals, snow tubing, instruction, and night skiing. Ask about season passes and special programs for adults and children.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication