OHIO,  Road Trips

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio is the only national park in the state. It’s a unique experience. Many privately owned homes and properties are peppered throughout the area. However, the train came first and the town was built up around it. When the area was designated a national park in 2000, so when the national park declared boundaries it had to work around the privately own land and buildings giving it a strange structure. The best way to experience the park is to take a train tour.

It also has over 125 miles of hiking trails.


Address:Cuyahoga Valley National Park
6947 Riverview Road
Peninsula, OH 44264
(41° 15’45.3″ N) (81° 33’37.3″ W)
(440) 717-3890

It is one of the few National Park that is open 24 hours a day. Except, Brandywine Falls, Virginia Kendall Ledges, Octagon, and Lake which are closed from dusk until morning opening. The visitors center is open from 10 AM- 4 PM, with rangers available for information or aid.

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

Cuyahoga Valley National ParkTrain tours operate January-May, the National Park Scenic excursion is a two-and-a-half hour round trip through Cuyahoga Valley National Park with stops at Rockside Station, Peninsula Depot, or at Akron Northside Station.

However, from June through October, the train runs Wednesdays-Sundays. Tickets are available with a variety of seating options such as coach, table-top, first class, lounge, upper dome, executive class, or suites. Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad also offers group rates, private charters and regular special events.

The railroad goes through the park giving visitors a complete view of the whole park without having to hopscotch around private homes.

National Park Scenic Passes

Coach Ticket $15 Adults/$10 Children (all day pass)Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Coach tickets are valid for a round trip ticket in our coach seating. Secondly, passengers seated in coach may de-board the train at any station and re-board at a later time based on the train schedule.

First Class Ticket $23 Adults/$18 Children

First-class car. This car offers additional leg room, head rests and comfortable seating. Passengers in this car may get off throughout the duration of their train ride, but are NOT guaranteed a seat upon re-boarding.

Upper Dome Ticket $28 Adults/$23 Children

Seating is in our upper dome panoramic observation car. This car sits just above our train and offers a “birds eye view” of the park. Passengers in this car may get off throughout the duration of their train ride but are NOT guaranteed a seat upon re-boarding.

*Ticket prices do not include delivery and preservation fees.

Bike And Ride

Bike Aboard is available during the late spring and summer months. I’d suggest renting a bike and taking the Towpath Trail in one direction then take the train to get back. All it takes to flag the train down is to wave your hands above your head at the conductor. More importantly, please arrive 10 minutes prior to the train’s scheduled arrival, you can pay your fare when you board.

Passes are $50 and are not included with the National Park Annual Pass which can get you into every National Park and Monument in the country.


Towpath Trail

Towpath trail is the original Erie and Ohio canal and follows the canal for 19.5 miles. It is open to all sorts of traffic including bicyclists and horses. Also, Pets are allowed but must be leashed.

Map of the Towpath Trail

As the most popular trail it is open 24 hours with several access points. It’s a level, compacted gravel path with wheelchair, bike, and stroller access. As a result, the park service will tag a car as abandoned if they aren’t notified you’re going to go on a multi-day trip otherwise it will be towed at your expense. Call (440) 546-5945 to let them know in advance.

Brandywine Falls

Cuyahoga Valley National ParkBrandywine Gorge Trail is 1.4 miles and is wheelchair accessible to the first boardwalk overlook. However, a spur off the main boardwalk has numerous steps that lead to an overlook of the waterfall without wheelchair access.




The LedgesCuyahoga Valley National Park

The Ledges trail area has 5 separate trails, some in loops. It’s 2.2 miles.

Also, something of interest, you can rent kayaks and paddle boards to float the river. It’s an easy activity for beginners.


At this time there are two places to stay inside the park itself.

Inn at Brandywine Falls
Open All Year
8230 Brandywine Road
Sagamore Hills, OH 44067
(330) 467-1812

Stanford House
Open All Year
6093 Stanford Road
Peninsula, OH 44264
(330) 657-2909


Cuyahoga Valley National ParkThere are no RV camps in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Whereas, RV’s can be parked at the ranger stations and visitor center during the day but there are no overnight parking available inside the park, no exceptions. Also, there isn’t any public lands available in Ohio either so no free camping spots are accessible in the state.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park
In addition, there are camping spots available with a permit near the park, all within driving distance too.

Ottawa Overlook Backcountry Site
Nimisila Reservoir Metro Park
Punderson State Park
Portage Lakes State Park
West Branch State Park

Towpath Trail Camping Opportunities

For Summit County, please call (330)867-5511 For Stark County, please call (330)477-3552

Absolutely NO Backcountry camping allowed.

Calendar of Events

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a wonderful getaway for every type.
TripAdvisor has other excursions and lodging in the area if you’re interested in visiting more sites as well.

More From Dashboard Destinations

As usual, I took way more pictures than I could possibly post on here so if you’d like to see more I have several accounts that I’ve posted more images on.

P interest

Happy Travels
See You Out there
Oh, Hey, look, it’s me.

Dashboard Destinations Travel Writer

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  • Diane S

    The Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio is very beautiful, actually, it reminds me of the water falls where I grew up at.  I personally feel listening to waterfalls is relaxing.  The Cuyahoga Valley National Park looks relaxing, very scenic, and a place to spend days to enjoy the hiking, bicycling, trails, and loop trails.  What a wonderful place.  This park  have a lot of history with its railroad.  The railroad was there every before the homes were there that is history.  What if someone did get off the train but not guranteed a seat on reboarding, how would they get back?  I am satisfied to see that all these trails have access points for wheelchairs, bikes, and strollers, additionally,  parking for multi day trips as long as they are notified so their car would not be towed. Actually, you can further enjoy yourself by renting a kayak and paddle board to float down the river.  This would be an exciting and happy day at this park.  Thank you for sharing this beautiful place, beautiful trails, beautiful waterfalls, and a beautiful place to travel to.

    • NJKuhr

      I feel the same way. This place is a great weekend getaway for a quiet relaxing place to enjoy nature and get away from the city life. 

  • Nina

    Thank you for this great presentation of Cuyahoga Valley National Park with all the attractions and sights worth seeing.
    Because I love to walk, I really like that it has 125 miles of hiking trails. I like to take a few days off from time to time and spend them with my family in nature. This way of vacationing is my favorite.
    If I am ever on your continent, I would definitely like to visit Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Based on what I’ve read and seen in this article, I agree that Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a wonderful getaway for every type.
    Friendly greeting,

    • NJKuhr

      It definitely is. It’s one of the few remaining historical places where you can really feel what the US was like during the industrial age. it’s relaxing and beautiful. Totally worth a visit.

  • Rose

    I like your passion and your blog!

    You are hitting three birds in one shooting. 

    First, you are enjoying your travels, second, helping others choose their next destination and third, you are earning with this passion.

    Oh! What a lifestyle!

    One more thing I thought of, you will definitely gain extra muscle strength with this passion. 

    I would like to congratulate you for your choice niche!

    • NJKuhr

      Thanks so much. You always leave the best comments. It’s definitely a work in progress but I hope it gains momentum and I can do more with it. 

  • Geoff

    Thanks for giving us this glimpse into Guyahoga Valley.

    While it looks pretty cold, it also looks beautiful.

    The train journey through the park would be an excellent way to speed a day.  It looks so peaceful and quiet.

    The Brandywine Falls look like that would be worth visiting in every season.  It is enchanting in winter though when totally frozen.

    It would be lovely to stay inside the park in one of the two places you recommend.  Believe me, I am not too worried at not being able to camp, as it wouldn’t be a choice of mine and definitely not when there is snow on the ground!

    • NJKuhr

      I agree, camping in the winter is something that would take specific circumstances to make it worth it and Cuyahoga isn’t one of them. Although I was really disappointed I couldn’t take the train while I was there. I’m already planning a return trip.

  • Cogito

    Hi Norma. What a beautiful, wild place. To be fair I never heard before about Cuyahoga Valley, but looking on your pictures and review definitely this is a place I would love to visit. With so many crowded, commercial places this one is perfect for peaceful relax without wifi and cellphone. Thank you for your post, looking forward to travel there, hopefully soon.

    • NJKuhr

      I hadn’t either, I was already going to be in the area for work so I looked up places nearby. I was pleasantly surprised at what I found.

  • Anastazja

    This is another beautiful set of images to get us excited about our road trip east.  I am from Western Pennsylvania so this would be right on the way for us. I had never heard of the national park but it looks spectacular in winter.  I can imagine how beautiful it will look in the summer.  Thanks for explaining the train pricing.  You have added another stop to our trip.

    • NJKuhr

      That’s the idea behind Dashboard Destinations. Showing people new things they may not have known about or overlooked before they miss out.

  • Alketa

    Hello, Norma, I enjoy so much reading your article about Cuyahoga Valley National Park. You described it so glamorous as it is. If I will visit the USA one day, I would like to visit this beautiful park, too. 

    Thanks to you I have all the necessary and detailed information about everything. You shared your experience with us and it is really helpful. 

    thank you


  • Abel

    This park gives a sense of times past, a certain something hard to explain. Do you agree with me? It’s an interesting feeling. It indeed has a rich cultural legacy! From an environmentalist standpoint, the park is a refuge for flora and fauna. And it also provides recreation and solitude for Ohio’s residents and visitors like me.

    • NJKuhr

      Absolutely, its like frozen in time. being here is taking a break from the modern world and living in a simpler time.

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