"Cleveland's National Park" Top 5 Page for this destination Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area by goingsolo

Most people would be surprised to learn that there is a national park in Ohio. Its even more surprising that this park is located in between Cleveland and Akron. But this practically inner city park does, in fact exist, although its status as a National Park is so recent that even the VT staff is unaware of it.

Cuyahoga is an American Indian word which means "crooked". It is used to describe the river that flows through this park. But Cuyahoga is also a good word to describe the confusing layout of this unusual national park. In fact, while driving, or attempting to drive, from one destination to another, you might find yourself using this word, or one considerably more profane, if you get lost in the web of streets and small towns which this park borders.

Cuyahoga Valley became a park due to the efforts of citizens to protect the scenic valley from encroaching development. Congress designated the valley as a National Recreation Area in the 1970s. After a massive cleanup of the Cuyahoga River and the creation of the scenic trail and that fact that no one in Ohio knew what a recreation area was, lobbying began for national park status. In 2000, Ohio's wish was granted and the national park was born.

Cuyahoga Valley is not a well known park nor are there sights here that millions of visitors will flock to see. No smoky mountains, no grand canyons and no abundant wildlife grazing by the side of the road. But the park does have some scenic areas and some great trails.

I traveled to Cleveland for business and spent a brief amount of time exploring the park. Since much of this brief time was spent getting lost on the confusing road system, I didn't get to see it all. So this page is pretty incomplete. But I did get to see some of the highlights of one of the more unusual national parks and I'll share them with you on this page.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The great outdoors within city limits.
  • Cons:I'd say "its in Ohio", but, if I do, I'll get hate mail.
  • In a nutshell:The most scenic area of the midwest.
  • Last visit to Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area: Aug 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (7)

Comments (4)

  • WheninRome's Profile Photo
    Jan 24, 2009 at 8:08 AM

    Nice CVNP page. It is a hidden oasis for us locals.

  • Faiza-Ifrah's Profile Photo
    Nov 3, 2007 at 4:29 PM

    great tips and nice pics. thanx for introducing Vters to this little known and recently made np. taking the train seems to be best course if you say that road network is confusing, right?

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo
    Nov 29, 2005 at 3:14 AM

    Have wanted to see this park since I first heard REM's song of the same name. Thanks for a glimpse into that world.

  • Sep 8, 2005 at 4:58 AM

    The falls are pretty weak because we've had no rain. They are quite beautiful most of the time! Did you hike or bike the towpath??


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