Popular Attractions and Activities

the beaver marsh in the summer
The Beaver Marsh

NPS/ D.J. REISER

Beaver Marsh

The Beaver Marsh is among the most diverse natural communities in Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP). The exceptional scenery and wildlife make it one of the park’s most popular destinations. Here you can enjoy photography, bird watching, and sharing nature with family and friends.

Tips for a great visit to Beaver Marsh:
  • The trail to Beaver Marsh is fully accessible via the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail.
  • Visitors can access the Beaver Marsh from the Ira Trailhead (3801 Riverview Road, Cuyahoga Falls 44264). This trailhead typically fills on fair weather weekends by noon.
  • Wildlife is most active in the area early morning and late evening.
 
brandywine water fall in the summer
Brandywine Falls in the Summer

NPS/ TOM JONES

Brandywine Falls

Brandywine Falls is one of the most popular locations in the park. This 65-foot waterfall is accessed via a partially accessible boardwalk. For a more challenging trip, take the steep stairs to the lower viewpoint or the 1.4-mile Brandywine Gorge Trail. During peak hours parking here will be limited, view our parking tips page here for more information.

Tips for a great visit to the falls:
  • The Brandywine Falls parking area serves both the Summit Metroparks Bike and Hike Trail and Brandywine Falls, making it a very busy location. During nice weather and throughout the summer, the parking lot is generally full between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Arriving early or later in the day may improve the likelihood of getting a parking space.
  • Parking is not permitted outside of designated parking spaces or along the roadway.
  • Pets are permitted on all trails in the park, but must be kept on a 6 foot leash.
 
the ledges in the summer
The Ledges

NPS / D.J. REISER

The Ledges

The Ritchie Ledges are witnesses to change - from creation out of Sharon Conglomerate millions of years ago, to landscapes wrecked by humans and to preservation today. The Civilian Conservation Corps created the park you see today, building trails and shelters throughout the area. During peak hours the ledges are the best place to visit to find parking.

Tips for a great visit to The Ledges:
  • The trail around The Ledges is 1.8 miles and connects to a larger network of trails in the Virginia Kendall Area.
  • The trail is not accessible to visitors with mobility impairments.
  • The Ledges area has a covered shelter available through a reservation system.
  • There is typically parking available in the large lot adjacent to the shelter and trailhead. Additional parking and access to the area's trail system can be found at Virginia Kendall Lake and The Octagon shelter.
 
blue hen water fall in the spring
Blue Hen Falls in the Spring

D.J. REISER

Blue Hen Falls

This 15-foot waterfall is a beautiful hike every time of year. There is a small parking lot located across the street from the main trailhead. From there, the falls are a steep half-mile hike.

Tips for a great visit to the falls:
  • Parking at Blue Hen Falls is very limited. Parking is prohibited along the road. Vehicles have been damaged, ticketed, and towed. The lot often fills by 10 a.m. and requires an unmarked road crossing to the main trailhead. Please cross with caution.
  • Parking is rough and the back part of the overflow lot may be rutted and require high clearance.
  • Visitors can also access the falls by hiking 1.5 hilly miles from the Boston Store Visitor Center when the parking area is full.
  • Stay on the main trail to help preserve plants and reduce erosion.
  • Parking outside of designated areas or along the roadway is prohibited
 
Towpath Trail in the summer
The Towpath Trail in the summer

NPS/ RICK MCMEECHAN

The Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail

The Towpath Trail is open 24 hours, giving you the chance to explore after dark. Within the national park, the trail is level and hard-packed for people using wheelchairs, bicycles, or strollers. The National Park Service does not plow the trail in the winter to permit cross-country skiing.

Tips for a great visit on the Towpath Trail:
  • There are many access points for the trail throughout the park. Many parking lots fill early in the day or are congested throughout the day. Lock 29 in Peninsula, Boston Store, Hunt House, and Ira Trailheads are some of the busiest in the park. Plan to arrive early in the day or consider accessing the trail from Canal Exploration Center, Rockside Road, or Station Road.
  • From May through October, you can bicycle one way and return by train for $5 using Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad's Bike Aboard! service. Runners and hikers pay $9. You can catch the train at any boarding station. There are no guaranteed seats. Schedules are available at boarding stations, visitor centers, and online atCuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad's website.
  • Weekends on the Towpath Trail can be crowded. Hikers and cyclists share the trail. The sections between Boston Store and Hunt House are the busiest.
  • Share the trail, keep pets on a 6 foot leash, and stay alert.

Last updated: June 11, 2019

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Mailing Address:

15610 Vaughn Road
Brecksville, OH 44141

Phone:

(330) 657-2752

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