• 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 »

Stories

Gilson Family

John Gilson and family at their farm on Oak Hill Road. The house is now part of Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center.

NPS Collection


"What's a human being without a story?" wrote author Tom Spanbauer.

The Cuyahoga Valley resonates with stories of people, past and present. They tell of discovery, self-expression, hardship, gain, love, and humor. Some describe how people modified their environment to make a living or how American history unfolded here. Many stories were never recorded and have become lost or dimmed through time. Whenever possible, Cuyahoga Valley National Park tries to preserve stories or their remnants. These stories can teach us where we have been and may help determine where we are going.

 
Vaughn Farm at Jaite railroad crossin.

Vaughn Farm at Jaite railroad crossing.

NPS Collection

Farming in the Valley
For several years, the national park has partnered with Cleveland State University's Center for Public History and Digital Humanities to collect, archive, and share oral histories about different aspects of valley life. Since the park's last major effort was in 1980, not long after park establishment, we have many gaps in our collection.

In 2011 Cuyahoga Valley National Park received a Parks as Classrooms grant from the National Park Service to collect about 50 oral histories from current, former, and descendants of local farmers. Farming has long been an occupation here in the Cuyahoga Valley, beginning as early as 2,000 years ago with the prehistoric peoples. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, farming was the dominant way of life for most residents.

 
Gleeson House rehabilitation.

Gleeson House rehabilitation.

©SARA GUREN

Starting in the late 1990s, the national park began rehabilitating historic farmsteads and leasing them to farmers who use sustainable practices. This program, the Countryside Initiative, helps preserve the agricultural landscape, as well as sensitive natural and cultural resources. The valley is also home to vibrant farms on private land that sell a broad range of products: from fruit and vegetables to Christmas trees and Belgian horses.

Follow the links to the left to learn more about the history of local farming, and hear incredible stories of success and hardship as farm families struggled to make a living in the Cuyahoga Valley.

To learn more about our Parks as Classroom project, click the links below.

What is an oral history? Whom did we interview?

Who worked behind the scenes?

Did You Know?

Monarch Butterfly - US Fish and Wildlife Service Photo

Early September is the time to watch monarchs feed in Cuyahoga Valley fields rich with goldenrod and New England aster. These places serve as important re-fueling sites for these long distance travelers on their way to oyamel forests near Mexico City more than 2,000 miles away.