• Kendall Hills in summer bloom by Jeffrey Gibson

    Cuyahoga Valley

    National Park Ohio

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Temporary Bridge Installed at Brandywine Creek

    A temporary bridge has been installed over Brandywine Creek and visitors will be able to complete the Brandywine Gorge Trail, during good weather. The bridge may be flooded and impassable during heavy rains. Caution signs are in place. More »

  • Trail Closures

    Towpath Trail is closed from Mustill Store to Memorial Parkway for riverbank reinforcement. Detours posted. Closure will last 1 - 4 weeks into August. Valley Bridle Trail south of SR 303, across from golf course, is collapsed by river. Hard closure.

  • Road Closures

    Quick Rd is closed from Akron Peninsula Rd to Pine Hollow Trailhead in Peninsula, from Wednesday, 7/16, for 6 weeks. Detours posted. Hines Hill Rd is closed from Tuesday, 7/29 through Tuesday, 8/12 for resurfacing from I271 to the Boston Township Line. More »

  • Riverview Road Repaving and Closure

    Riverview Rd is being repaved from the Cuyahoga-Summit Cty line to Peninsula through Mon, 9/15.Road is open with single lane closures. Riverview Rd is closed from Boston Mills Rd to the Cuyahoga Cty line starting Mon, 7/14 for for 3 weeks. Detours posted. More »

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Educational Programs

Children looking out window of train

©SARA GUREN


Bring your students aboard Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (CVSR) for an educational program while riding through Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP).


All Aboard for Animals
All Aboard for Animals invites you to climb aboard and journey through your national park by rail. Peering outside the windows of the train you may catch the glimpse of a white tailed deer running from our train, a lodge constructed by hard working beavers, or a great blue heron soaring over the valley. Through the use of American Indian stories, pelts, and skulls we’ll explore the railroad that runs through CVNP and the animals who call this valley home.


Transportation in the Valley
The Cuyahoga Valley has been used as a transportation corridor from prehistoric to modern times. The topography of the valley has presented challenges that have been overcome by individual efforts and changing technologies. The result of these factors has left its impression on the land and the people who live here.

In 1825, Ohio saw a surge of workers digging, cutting stone, and plying timber to create a new age for a youthful state. By 1832, the canal reached the Ohio River in Portsmouth. This first national inland waterway connected Ohio with markets from New York City to New Orleans fueling the growth of a national economy. The canal attracted businesses and industries to its banks, spawning the growth of villages and cities making Ohio the third richest state in the union.

The popularity of the Ohio & Erie Canal wained in the mid 1800s as development of railroads increased throughout the state. Soon it was the iron horse that carried goods and people throughout the valley, leaving the slower moving canal boats behind. Railroad steam was first seen in the Cuyahoga Valley in 1880. Fueling the industrial revolution, the Valley Railway transported coal from central Ohio to factories in Cleveland and Akron. Valley residents used the line for transportation, and depots became a hub of small town life.

Eventually railroads would give way to automobiles, and bridges would scale the valley as the pace of transportation increased once again.


The Underground Railroad and Cuyahoga Valley National Park
The National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Act of 1998 gave the National Park Service the honor of preserving the stories of the Underground Railroad (UGRR) throughout this nation. Northeast Ohio played a pivotal role in the abolitionist movement and the UGRR. CVNP shares these special stories of conflict, adaptability, ingenuity, and interdependence.

The UGRR is a mixture of historical facts and myth. Begun by Quakers in the late 1700s, it existed until the Civil War. The UGRR encompassed every slave to tried to escape, slaves who offered food and direction, runaway slaves who returned south to help others escape, and free blacks and whites who joined to assist others in their quest for freedom. Most slaves were headed north toward the safety of Canada, traveling by any means available. The Ohio & Erie Canal was a possible route followed by runaway slaves. The 308-mile canal that connected the Ohio River to Lake Erie, which had to be crossed to reach Canada and freedom, parallels the train track and can be seen out the windows.

Many times the runaway slaves traveled to freedom with little help. Others were assisted by abolitionists, people who believed that slavery should be ended. These abolitionists risked large fines and prison time to assist runaway slaves. Antislavery organizations, abolitionist newspapers, and lecturers made Northeast Ohio a hotbed of abolitionist activities.


Departing and Arriving Times
Schools should arrive at the boarding station by 10 a.m. Your group will be greeted by park rangers and national park volunteers who will provide an introduction to the day’s program. After a brief outside activity your group will board CVSR at 10:30 a.m. for a 1.5-hour journey through the national park.

Self-Guided Trail Activities
The National Park Service encourages school groups to explore the trails of the national park. Park Rangers will have trail activities available for teachers who wish to take their students out on the trail at the conclusion of the program. Please contact Park Ranger Pamela Machuga if you would like a copy of the activities prior to your arrival at e-mail us or (330) 657-1914.

For more information about the CVSR, go to www.cvsr.com.

To schedule CVSR education programs, call (330) 657-1905.

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.