• 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 »

Mammals

Coyote

Coyotes are more often heard than seen in CVNP.

COURTESY MPSSC


The comparative wilderness of Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) in a sea of urbanity provides a refuge to many mammals. Click here for a complete list of CVNP's mammals.


Coyotes
Thirty-nine mammal species have been identified in the park. Coyotes, recently returned (naturally) to the valley after a long absence, are the dominant predator in the CVNP ecosystem. The park offers coyote good edge habitat with open meadows and fields surrounded by forests, and plenty of food in the form of fruits, nuts, grains, and small mammals. Coyotes are present in all 88 counties in Ohio. No one is sure how many coyotes are living in CVNP, but recent surveys estimate between 100 to 150.

Red and gray foxes take advantage of these same food sources, though gray foxes are considered rare in the park.

Read more about coyotes in our Coexisting With Coyotes site bulletin.

Coyote Research
Working with a coalition of regional partners, researchers from Metro Parks, Serving Summit County are tracking coyotes throughout the Cuyahoga Valley as part of a multi-year project aimed at learning about the wild canines' range, diet and overall health. They are currently in their second year of a three-year research project.

Presently researchers have radio collared fifteen coyotes, some with VHF collars and others with GPS collars. The coyotes' daytime whereabouts are recorded daily using a vehicle-mounted antenna, which picks up the radio signals, and once a week staff and volunteers go out at night to determine their evening locations. Those animals outfitted with the GPS collars allow biologists to simply download the animals' locations.

The University of Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and nonprofit conservation foundation Wild4Ever are providing partial funding and/or field biologists for the project. Support is also being provided by The Ohio State University and Cleveland Metroparks. For further information contact Metro Parks, Serving Summit County.

 
CVNP_Chipmunk_NEIL EVANS_285 size

A chipmunk is a small, squirrel-like rodent.

©NEIL EVANS

Small Mammals and Deer
Small mammals make up the majority of the mammal population in CVNP. With much of the park covered with fields or forests, mice, moles, voles, chipmunks, squirrels, and other small mammals are abundant. If you hear rustling leaves while hiking through the woods, one of these small critters is usually the culprit.

Along roadsides, white-tailed deer and woodchucks graze on grasses and forbs in open fields. At night, you may catch a glimpse of raccoons or opossums scurrying across the road, in a hurry to find food or shelter before the day begins.

 
Mink

A mink has a luxurious fur coat.

NPS COLLECTION

Many of the park's wetlands are filled with beaver and muskrat activity. Where a tree once stood, there may be nothing left but a stump and woodchips, signs of the beaver's need for food, shelter, or a dam. Mink, in search of fish, snakes, or other foods, often visit wetlands or streams are occasionally seen. River otter sightings usually occur in the very early morning when there is minimal human disturbance. In general, these mammals are also very active at dusk and throughout the night feeding on fish and at times, other aquatic animals.

Bat Population
Seven species of bats have been found in the park, three of which were identified in a 2002 bat survey. A federally endangered species never before identified in the park, the Indiana bat, was found during the survey.

Unfortunately, biologists from Metro Parks, Serving Summit County detected a bat-killing fungus, white-nose syndrome (WNS), at the Liberty Park Reservation in Twinsburg, when they discovered a dead little brown bat outside one of the park's off-trail caves in January 2012. White Nose Syndrome was confirmed in the specimen by researchers at the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study in Athens, Georgia.

This emerging fungal disease has killed millions of bats in the northeastern and eastern United States and could soon threaten bats in CVNP. Read more about our bat population and WNS.

Did You Know?

Historic photo of canal boat on the Ohio & Erie Canal.

Lock 27 along the Ohio & Erie Canal became known as Johnnycake Lock after several boats ran aground due to flooding. While stranded, supplies ran low and canal passengers and crew ate only corn meal pancakes, known as "johnnycakes".