• Photo of the Beaver Marsh by Jeffrey Gibson.

    Cuyahoga Valley

    National Park Ohio

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Valley Picnic Area Park Lot CLosed - Plateau Trail Loop Affected

    Valley Picnic Area Parking Lot is closed for the replacement of the damaged culvert on the Plateau Trail, from dusk on Monday, September 22 to 5 p.m., Thursday, October 2, 2014. Access to Plateau Trail is via the Oak Hill Trailhead. Loop unavailable.

  • Other Closures

    Valley Bridle Trail south of SR 303, across from golf course, is collapsed by river. Hard closure. Plateau Trail Bridge, north of Valley Picnic Area is closed. No detours. Plateau & Oak Hill trails are open. More »

Being a Park Ranger

National Park Service (NPS) rangers care for and protect some of America’s favorite places. They help visitors enjoy and appreciate the nearly 400 national parks, monuments, memorials, seashores, and historic sites across the country.

Yellowstone became the first national park in 1872. For a number of decades afterward, U.S. Army soldiers protected Yellowstone and other new national parks from illegal hunting and trespassing. But as the parks became popular places to visit, a new kind of protector was needed. The parks needed workers who could do more than simply stop troublemakers. Staff was also needed to lead backcountry hikes, study wildlife, map out trails—as well as educate visitors about the nature and history of the parks. Park rangers were the answer. By the time the National Park Service was created in 1916, civilian park rangers worked in most national parks. They became the first NPS rangers.


 
Visitor protection Ranger

Protection ranger talks on the radio to park dispatch.

©SARA GUREN

The Rangers of CVNP
Modern day NPS rangers do all sorts of jobs—from patrolling trails to teaching history. The rangers who work at Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) specialize in one of two careers: protection or interpretation. Visitor and resource protection rangers are like police officers. Their job is to keep park visitors safe, as well as protect the park’s historic buildings and natural areas from harm. These rangers enforce the law and park rules. They are also called on in emergencies to find lost kids, rescue injured hikers, or give first aid.

 
Interpretive park ranger

An interpretive park ranger demonstrates a working lock model at Canal Visitor Center

NPS

Interpretation park rangers help visitors better understand what’s special about CVNP. Their goal is for each visitor to personally connect with the park, learn to appreciate it, and want to preserve it. Interpretation park rangers lead bird-watching hikes or treks that explore canal history, teach fun classes to kids about animals or the Cuyahoga River, plan special historical train tours, and even create web pages.

The rangers of CVNP do not work alone. Park scientists, office workers, maintenance staff, and managers all help the park run smoothly. More than 2,000 volunteers also lend a hand at CVNP. Volunteers do everything from patrolling the Towpath Trail or presenting programs dressed in historical costumes to removing pest plants.

 
VIDEOICON

Kids Asked, We Answered!

Click the questions to play video of real kids getting answers from park experts.

How do you become a park ranger?

Do you have to go to school to be a park ranger?

What do park rangers do?

Do park rangers kill sick animals?


Did You Know?

Photo of Bald Eagle taken in Cuyahoga Valley National Park where an eagle pair built their first nest in 2006. Photo by Martin Trimmer.

November is the time to be on the lookout for bald eagles performing aerial courtship displays. Once eagles have selected each other, they plunge through the air in very high dives, locking their talons and breaking apart just when it looks as though they will crash to the ground.