Cuyahoga Valley History: Ohio's Cuyahoga Valley

Ohio's Cuyahoga Valley National Park History


Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a United States national park that preserves and reclaims the rural landscape along the Cuyahoga River between Akron and Cleveland in Northeast Ohio. The 20,339.22-acre (8,231 ha) park is administered by the National Park Service and is the only national park in Ohio. It was established in 1974 as the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area.

The area was redesignated a national park by Congress on October 11, 2000, with the passage of the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2001, House Bill 4578, 106th congress. It is administered by the National Park Service. David Berger National Memorial in Beachwood, Ohio is also managed through Cuyahoga Valley National Park.


Many visitors spend their time hiking or bicycling the park's many trails which visit its numerous attractions, including the crushed limestone along portions of the 20-mile (32 km) Towpath Trail, following a former stretch of the 308-mile (496 km) Ohio and Erie Canal.

Waterfalls, rolling hills, caves and winding river scenery attract many park visitors. Steep narrow ravines, a rolling floodplain, and lush farmland contrast with one another throughout the park. Animal life is also plentiful. The Ledges provides a boulder-strewn cliff to relax and watch the sunset over the wooded scenery below. Sled-riding is popular during the winter at Kendall Hills.

The park offers an array of preserved and restored displays of 19th and early 20th century sustainable farming and pastoral or rural living, while catering to contemporary interests with art exhibits, outdoor concerts, and scenic excursion and special event railroad tours on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

The National park includes compatible-use sites not owned by the federal government, including several local regional parks in the Cleveland Metroparks and Metro Parks, Serving Summit County systems, Blossom Music Center, and the Hale Farm & Village. In the mid-1980s, the park hosted the National Folk Festival.

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Cuyahoga Valley Art

Local art by Frank Aubrecht, click here