Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a charming park which features waterfalls, bridges, wildlife, massive rock formations and a historic canal.  Cuyahoga is different from many other parks in that it was named a national park in 2000, therefore human intrusion left its imprint on the park prior to the designation. 

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Brandywine Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in the park.  These pictures show a decent flow but it can be a much heavier flow at different times of the year or after significant rainfall. 

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The area between Cleveland and Akron was very rural in the early 1800’s when the Ohio and Erie Canal was established.  This canal spurred economic development and trade that transformed one of the poorest areas of Ohio into one of the wealthiest areas of the state.

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The Great Falls is located at Viaduct Park in the northeast corner of the park.  As you can see from the pictures, the trip to this area is definitely worth it. The journey starts above the falls and flows to the tunnel where the water disappears. 

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Cuyahoga is a desirable destination during the fall when the leaves are changing colors.  The forest not only allows just the right amount of sunlight to warm the earth, but it also shrouds many roads with limbs that reach across the pavement. 

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The Ledges area is a zoo for enormous rock formations.  Many of these rocks are larger than houses and weigh hundreds of tons. 

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This tree had one root that traveled along the rock and ended in the dirt.  This is what I call survival mode.

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Our last stop is at the Everett Covered Bridge.  This is a bridge that was rebuilt in 1986 to reflect what the original bridge might have looked like in the 1800's. 

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Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a very nice park.  It would not make my top 10 list of best national parks due to some issues.  First, two major highways run through the middle of the park (I-271 and I-80).  Secondly, there is an active rail line running through the park.  There are also many residential roads that cut through the park.  In addition, there are private residences within the borders of the park.  Maybe I am being too nitpicky but I believe that a National Park should have that eye-popping WOW effect.  I didn’t get that feeling at CVNP.  It felt more like a state park or National Forest.  I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go or it’s not worthwhile, but I wouldn’t prioritize it over many other parks in the NP system. 

Have you been to Cuyahoga Valley National Park?  How would you compare it to other parks in the national park system?

For more information about Cuyahoga Valley National Park, click the link below.