• 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 »

Flooding

1913 flood, Peninsula.

1913 flood, Peninsula.

NPS Collection

Farming in a floodplain requires a certain acceptance of natural forces. The Cuyahoga River and its tributaries normally flood throughout the year, especially during the spring. The effects are not all bad. Stormwater washing into the floodplain deposits sediments that replenish the soil.

Periodically, devastating floods sweep the region and beyond. The most famous is the Great Flood of 1913. It swept away homes, barns, livestock, and more. The Ohio & Erie Canal was so overwhelmed that some structures had to be dynamited to release the water and the canal never recovered.

 
2004 flood.

Cuyahoga Valley flood, 2004.

NPS Collection

Click to read a dramatic first-hand account of the 1913 flood. Urvan Murphy and his family survived the 1913 flood, but the rising waters damaged their home and fields. The historic Murphy Farm was located between the Cuyahoga River and the canal, just south of present-day Station Road Bridge Trailhead.

In the 21st century, Cuyahoga Valley farmers continue to deal with high water and crop loss. With increased land development and more numerous severe storms, water now pulses more rapidly into streams that feed the Cuyahoga River, threatening downstream communities. Despite this hardship, farmers find help from their neighbors and work together to rebuild homes and businesses.

 
Oral history audio.

In Their Own Words
Click the topics to hear stories about Cuyahoga Valley life.
Click here to read the text file.

Cuyahoga River (1 minute 13 seconds)
Henry Fortlage, who grew up in Independence, talks about the Cuyahoga River and why it is prone to floods.

Flooding and Help from Friends (1 minute 11 seconds)
Earl Foote, a Valley View farmer, talks about the flooding challenges he faces almost every year.




Did You Know?

Aerial view of the winding Cuyahoga River.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park's namesake river flows north and south. The Cuyahoga River begins its 100 mile journey in Geauga County, flows south to Cuyahoga Falls where it turns sharply north and flows through CVNP. American Indians referred to the U-shaped river as Cuyahoga or "crooked river."