Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about Cuyahoga Valley National Park?

Whether it's your first time visiting the park or you are a repeat visitor, this page is for you. If you do not find an answer there, please contact us through an email or by calling Boston Mill Visitor Center at 440-717-3890.

Top Frequently Asked Questions

What time is the park and visitor center open and how do I get there?

Boston Mill Visitor Center is open from 9:30 am to 5 pm everyday except Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Years Day.Our Operating Hours & Seasons page also includes seasonal information for Canal Exploration Center and Hunt House.

Most areas are open 24 hours a day. The exceptions are Brandywine Falls, Ledges, Octagon, Kendall Lake, Happy Days South Parking Area, and the Kendall Hills Area on Quick Road. These places close at dusk.

The national park is spread out over 33,000 acres. Visit our directions page for addresses to trailheads and buildings.

Do I need a reservation or pay a fee to visit the park?

No. We are a fee-free park that does not require a reservation. For information on our hours, please visit our hours page.

Where can I find drinking water?

On our restrooms and drinking water page we have all the locations with listed, many of our drinking fountains are seasonal. For year-round access to water please visit Boston Mill Visitor Center, the restroom behind Boston Store, or Kendall Lake Shelter.

Where can I find more information about accessibility?

Visit our accessibility page for detailed information. For information about accessible restrooms go to our restroom and drinking water page. The park’s accessibility coordinator, Ranger Arrye Rosser, can provide trip-planning advice tailored to your individual needs. Email or leave a message at Boston Mill Visitor Center, 440-717-3890.

Is Brandywine Falls closed?

The parking lot for Brandywine Falls is now reopened. There is still construction in the area for our new restroom building, so please be mindful. The lot tends to fill between 10 am and 3 pm. Avoid the crowds by coming earlier in the day or access the falls by hiking from Boston Mill Visitor Center to the Stanford Trail. The map for the 5 mile hike can be found on our maps page.

Where can I ride my bike? Or rent a bike?

Bikes are allowed on several trails within the national park. The most popular is our 20-mile section of the Towpath Trail. Park partners operate the Bike & Hike Trail along our eastern border, the All Purpose Trail at Brecksville Reservation, and the Hemlock Creek Trail near Canal Exploration Center.

The East Rim Trails are for mountain biking only. More mountain biking trails are at Hampton Hills Metro Park and Bedford Reservation.

Within the national park, bicycles can be rented from Century Cycle in Peninsula. Other nearby communities also have bike rental shops. More information is on Biking in the Park page.

When is the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad train operating?

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad runs its seasonal National Park Flyer from Wednesdays to Saturdays. This departs from Rockside Station and Akron Northside Station. Their website has ticket information and program schedules for detailed planning.

The Explorer shuttle service operates seasonally from Wednesdays to Saturdays. This allows you to hike, bike, kayak, or run in one direction and ride the train in the other. Learn more on our Scenic Train page.

Please check our listing below for more common questions.


Where can I take a photograph in front of the the park sign?

We have signs throughout the park but the best signs to take a picture in front of are at Boston Mill Visitor Center and at the intersection of Bath and Riverview Roads north of Botzum Trailhead.

Can I provide feedback?

Yes, you can send in your feedback by emailing us.

How do I submit a lost and found ticket?

You can let us know about an item you lost or found by submiting a ticket on our Contact Us page.

Where can I park my RV? 

RV's can be parked in several locations in Cuyahoga Valley National Park for the day, but only specific areas have oversize vehicle parking. Those include Rockside Station, Station Road Bridge, Boston Mill Visitor Center (across the street from the main lot), and Wetmore Trailhead. More areas can be found listed on Recreational Vehicle Parking.

Can I purchase an America the Beautiful Pass at Cuyahoga Valley National Park? 

Yes, you can buy certain passes at Boston Mills Visitor Center. To learn how go to Purchase a Pass.

How can I get a park brochure? 

Email us and we can mail you a brochure before your visit.

Where can I stamp my National Park passport?

You can find passport stamps at the Boston Mill Visitor Center, Canal Exploration Center, and Hunt House. For locations and hours check our operating hours page. The Ohio & Erie Canalway offers additional passport stamp sites. for our mission statement and Strategic Action Plan. Explore the Learn About the Park section for the nature and history of Cuyahoga Valley.

Why is this a national park?  

Cuyahoga Valley National Park was established as a national recreation area in 1974 and as a national park in 2000. Visit our management page 

Do you have a park movie at the visitor center? 

Our park movie is only available online. 

Do I need a permit for taking photos? Do I need reservations to use a shelter? 

Permits for photography are needed in specific situations. These include wedding photography; non-low impact filming; in locations where the general public is not usually allowed; and when using models, sets, or props. Large groups can reserve the picnic shelters at Ledges and Octagon. Visit Special Use Permits, Shelter Reservations, and Permits.

Are horses allowed on any trails? 

Yes, we have several trails throughout the park that allow horses. A full list of trails is on our Horse Trails page.

Are dogs allowed in park buildings? 

Only service animals and comfort animals that follow our behavioral guidelines are allowed in park buildings. Please check Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad's website for their policy.

Are dogs allowed on trails?

Dogs can go on most of the trails in the park, but they must remain on a leash. The exceptions include the mountain biking trails, and the sledding trails during the winter. Pets in the Park page provides more information on the most pet friendly trails.

What animals are in Cuyahoga Valley?

Cuyahoga Valley is home to a variety of animals including birds, mammals, insects, reptiles, and amphibians. Discover the many Animals who find their home in the park.

Where can I see wildlife?

Beaver Marsh is a great place to watch for wildlife. However, all of our trails allow unique experiences to see wildlife.

What are the best birding spots in the park?

There are several great spots for birding in the park including Beaver Marsh, Ledges, Horseshoe Pond, Station Road Bridge, Bath Road Heronry, and the former Coliseum site. Find out more on Birding in Cuyahoga Valley.

Is there somewhere to eat in the park?

Yes. Grab a snack at Boston Store or Trail Mix Peninsula. Both are run by the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Or visit a local restaurant in Peninsula, Merriman Valley, or Valley View. Learn more about places to eat in the park on our Dining and Eating page.

Can I camp in-park? 

No, Cuyahoga Valley National Park does not have any in park camping but discover camping nearby.

Where can I stay in Cuyahoga Valley National Park?

There are many places nearby to stay, but only two sites owned by the national park. These are Stanford House and the Inn at Brandywine Falls. Visit our lodging page to learn more. More lodging is available nearby in Peninsula, Akron, Fairlawn, Richfield, Cuyahoga Falls, Brecksville, Independence, and other gateway communities.

What is there to see and do here? 

For trip recommendations, please visit our Things To Do page. To plan like a ranger, visit our Top Ten Tips for Visiting CVNP

How do I use the Towpath Trail? 

The Towpath Trail is great for walking, running, and biking. Our Towpath page includes information on safety, trailheads, and canal history.

Where can I buy tickets for the train? 

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad website has ticket information and program schedules for detailed planning. 

Where can I hike? Are there trail maps? 

There are over 125 miles of hiking trails in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Go to Hiking Locations and Maps to learn more about our trails and to find trail maps.

Where can I take my boat, kayak, or canoe in the park? 

You can canoe or kayak on the Cuyahoga River in the park, learn more on Paddling the River before you arrive. 

I only have an hour, what can I do? 

Our Trip Ideas page has recommendations for things to do and see. Call Boston Mill Visitor Center at 440-717-3890 if you have other questions. It is open daily from 9:30am – 5pm. 

What events are happening this week?

We post all of our events and partner events on our calendar. Be sure to check regularly for new events and links to registration.

How do I become a Junior Ranger?

You can become a Junior Ranger by completing our Junior Ranger Handbook or Cards. During the summer we also have Junior Ranger Challenges and Special Programs. To learn more visit our Be A Junior Ranger webpage.

Can I fish in the park?

If you have a vaild Ohio fishing license then you can fish in the park. You must follow the laws and regulations of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. For more information visit our fishing page.

What activities are prohibited in the park? 

We suggest reading though the Superintendent's Compendium and our Laws and Policies page. 

Last updated: September 1, 2023

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Mailing Address:

15610 Vaughn Road
Brecksville, OH 44141


440 717-3890

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