7104 Canal Rd.
Canal Visitor Center
Cleveland Ohio 44125United States
This pleasant, slow-moving ride along the Cuyahoga River offers pretty scenic views and glimpses of wildlife and small towns.
Considered one of the most scenic attractions in northeast Ohio, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad carves through Cuyahoga National Park, a collection of wildlife, meadows, river bluffs and woodlands that are particularly stunning in fall, when we visited. We'd heard a lot about this train trip and were eager to go. On our Friday morning visit, the train was packed, filled mostly with retirees eager to take in the foliage and preschoolers in love with trains. The cars have facing bench seats, so if you travel alone or with a companion, you're likely to spend the trip with your legs nearly intertwined with the person facing you. The river itself is the picturesque draw, and it's not hard to imagine the Native Americans who navigated this shallow waterway. Today, though, as accustomed as we've become to scenic drives by car, we found ourselves yearning for the privacy of our own vehicle, especially when the train slowed to a crawl for 30 minutes before we arrived in Akron, when the scenery included mostly houses and brush. Rides on the railroad start at $15 per day; for $2 per day, you can hop on and hop off with your bike and travel the crushed-rock Towpath Trail, which also follows the railroad's path. For active travelers, that's probably the best way to experience the railroad. You get enough of the train romance but are able to enjoy the park views at your own pace out on the bike trail.