• Image of bluebells in the spring

    Cuyahoga Valley

    National Park Ohio

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Valley Bridle Trail Partial Closure

    A section of the Valley Bridle Trail is closed across from the Brandywine Golf Course. There is no estimate of when this section will be open. Please observe all trail closures. More »

  • Plateau Trail Partial Closure

    The outer loop of the Plateau Trail is closed at the Valley Picnic Area junction for bridge repair. The bridge is now unsafe for pedestrian traffice due to accelerated erosion around the base. More »

  • Bald Eagle Closure in Effect Until July 31, 2014

    Returning bald eagles are actively tending to last year's nest within the Pinery Narrows area in CVNP. To protect the eagles from human disturbance, the area surrounding the nest tree will be closed until July 31, 2014. More »

  • Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (CVSR) Bridge Construction Closures

    Rockside and Canal Visitor Center boarding sites will be closed through Apr 27. From Jan 18 - Mar 16, CVSR will operate between Akron Northside and Brecksville stations. From Mar 22 - Apr, CVSR will operate between Akron Northside and Peninsula. More »

  • Do Not Feed the Waterfowl and Birds!

    Many people enjoy feeding waterfowl and birds, but the effects of this seemingly generous act can be harmful. Regular feeding can cause: unatural behavior, pollution, overcrowding, delayed migration, and poor nutrition and disease.

  • Closure on Fishing Will Remain in Effect for Virginia Kendall Lake

    Due to the government shutdown, we were unable to survey the fish community in VK Lake as scheduled. Our survey partners (ODNR) will not be able to get into the lake until early spring of 2014. Therefore, the closure on fishing will remain in effect. 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.


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


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.


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?

Image courtesy of Cleveland Museum of Natural History

American Indians in the Cuyahoga Valley were influenced by the Hopewell Culture, which created large mound complexes in central Ohio from 100 B.C. – A.D. 500? In the Cuyahoga Valley, American Indians built small mounds rather than large ceremonial centers.