With 125 miles of hiking trails, Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a popular destination for Ohioans looking to take a nice, long walk in the woods — or through a meadow, or even in a cave. These can be simple day hikes, overnight backcountry camping, ranger-led expeditions or interactive self-guided canalway quests.
Select hiking trails are ideal for families, combining short transit times (generally an hour or less) with opportunities to view wildlife, waterfalls and other attractions. Some of the park’s most popular hikes are to Ritchie Ledges and along Beaver Marsh — a must-visit destination for bird watchers. There is also a system of designated horse trails in the park.
Since Cuyahoga Valley is open all year, there are lots of fun, family-friendly winter activities to try out. Snowshoeing on the park’s hiking trails is a popular form of recreation. Some trails, such as the scenic Ledges and Brandywine Falls systems, are not recommended for snowshoes, but they are open for hiking during the winter. Many areas of the park are ideal for cross-country skiing, ranging form 1.5- mile loops to 19.7-mile trails. The Boston Mills Ski Resort in Peninsula offers downhill skiing, which is somewhat rare in Ohio.
The Cuyahoga River is known to contain pollution from wastewater drainage upstream. For this reason, the park does not recommend recreation use of the river. However, activities like canoeing, kayaking, swimming and wading are not prohibited. Certain ponds in the park are also open to canoeing.
Fishing is also allowed in the park’s waterways, subject to state regulations. Due to water contamination, the park recommends limiting your consumption of sport fish. Catch-and-release practices are encouraged to help maintain local fish populations, such as steelhead trout and bullhead. Ice fishing on the park’s pond is popular in the winter.