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Top Ten Tips for Visiting Cuyahoga Valley National Park

A wooden boardwalk crosses over a wetland with green lily pads dotting its surface and trees in the background; a dozen people walk and bike in both directions along the boardwalk, and some lean against its railing.
The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail becomes a boardwalk where it crosses over the Beaver Marsh, a popular destination for Cuyahoga Valley visitors.

NPS / Tim Fenner

There are over 400 national parks around the country. Many are popular vacation destinations. Before you come, be sure to plan like a park ranger. Read on for our top tips for visiting Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Our Top Ten Tips

Visit our website or contact us for information before you arrive. Download the NPS app to help you navigate once you get here.

If you are bringing a large group, Cuyahoga Valley has two reservable picnic shelters. Be sure to make reservations early before the calendar fills up. Same for lodging at the historic Stanford House.

Many of our parking lots fill up around midday on warm, sunny weekends. Avoid the crowd by coming on weekdays, in the mornings, or later in the day.

If you're planning to be outside, watch the forecast and plan accordingly. Being close to Lake Erie, our weather can change quickly. Use your favorite app or visit our weather page for a snapshot of the local conditions. If it’s been stormy, check our website for alerts about trail and road closures. Never drive through floodwater.

It's always a good idea to bring water. Keep sipping throughout the day and refill your water bottle at every opportunity. Drinking fountain locations are available on the NPS app.

Boston Mill Visitor Center is the place to start. It's open daily, but the operating hours change seasonally.

Aspiring Junior Rangers, pick up a handbook or Junior Ranger, Jr. cards early in your visit. If you run out of time, don't fret. You can mail your completed book to us when you get home.

Whether you're visiting for an hour or a week, keep safety top of mind. If you're planning to paddle the Cuyahoga River, be aware of the conditions and how to keep yourself and others safe. Whatever type of adventure you’re planning, always be prepared.

It's generally a good idea to "pack out" what you "packed in." If you're visiting with a pet, always clean up after them. And if you're in the mood to read another list, check out the Leave No Trace Seven Principles.

We’re not the only national park in northeast Ohio! Read the “Top 10 ” lists from our friends at James A. Garfield National Historic Site in Mentor and First Ladies National Historic Site in Canton. If your travels are taking your farther afield, explore more National Park Service sites around the state of Ohio.

Last updated: June 9, 2021