About 4 million people live within a half-hour of Cuyahoga, but the Cuyahoga Valley National Park—a 33,000-acre preserve and refuge for native plants and wildlife—absorbs crowds well. Where mules once pulled barges, walkers and bicyclists now stream along the 20-mile Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail. More ambitious hikers can take their pick of an additional 100 miles of trails.
Highlights of the park include the Beaver Marsh natural habitat, scenic 65-foot Brandywine Falls, Everett Road Covered Bridge traversing Furnace Run, and the 1836 Boston Store Visitors Center. Families tour 19th-century farm sites or hop on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad to chug past majestic heron and bald eagle nests. Ranger-guided programs provide more detailed info for those who want to learn more about the park's cultural and historic heritage.
Some features close seasonally, but the park is open year-round and there is no entrance fee.