Trip Planner

Trip Planning Basics

Visitor Facilities

Most visitors will start their visit at Boston Store Visitor Center. The Boston Store Visitor Center is open seven days each week, year round except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day. See Operating Hours and Seasons for detailed hours.
  • Location: 1550 Boston Mills Road, Peninsula, Ohio 44264
  • Parking: There is a small parking lot near the visitor center. Overflow parking is located just east of the visitor center in a large gravel and grass lot.
  • Oversized vehicles and trailer parking: Recreational vehicles, trailers and buses should park on the corner of Riverview Road and Boston Mills Road adjacent to the Boston Mills Ski Area.
  • Accessibility: Accessible parking is located in the main Boston Store lot. The visitor center is fully accessible. The visitor center is along the Towpath Trail, which is also fully accessible.
For an in-depth experience centered on canal history, take a trip to Canal Exploration Center in the northern part of the park. Hours vary throughout the year.
  • Location: 7104 Canal Road, Valley View, Ohio 44125
  • Parking: There is a large paved parking lot suitable for bus, RV, and vehicle parking at Canal Exploration Center.
  • Accessibility: Accessible parking is located in the main Canal Exploration Center lot. The Exploration Center is fully accessible. Audio descriptions and assistive listening devices are available for all exhibits. The visitor center is along the Towpath Trail, which is also fully accessible.
Hunt House is a great place to stop along the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail. Family-friendly exhibits and activities await visitors.
  • Location: 2054 Bolanz Road, Peninsula, Ohio 44264
  • Parking: A small parking lot is located across the street from Hunt House. Crossing Bolanz Road can be hazardous during times of heavy traffic. Visitors should use the crosswalk or plan to access Hunt House via the Towpath Trail on foot or bicycle.
The Winter Sports Center at Virginia Kendall Lake is open during winter months when there are 4 or more inches of snow.
  • Location: Truxell/ Kendall Park Road, 2 miles west of Akron Cleveland Road
    Peninsula, Ohio 44264
  • Parking: A large parking lot is located near the center and Virginia Kendall Lake.
 

Popular Attractions and Activities

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.

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.
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 is a steep half-mile hike.

Tips for a great visit to the falls:
  • Blue Hen Falls parking is a relatively small, dirt lot. The lot often fills by 10 a.m. and requires an unmarked road crossing to the main trailhead. Please cross with caution.
  • Visitors can also access the falls by hiking 1.5 miles from the Boston Store Visitor Center if the Blue Hen Falls parking area is full.
  • Stay on the main trail. This is a sensitive habitat and staying on the trail helps preserve plants and reduce erosion.
  • Parking outside of designated areas or along the roadway is prohibited.
Beaver Marsh
The Beaver Marsh was created by beavers that moved in along remnants of the Ohio & Erie Canal. The area had been a farm and later a junkyard, which was cleaned up by a community effort. Today the area offers visitors the chance to explore a wetland first-hand and up close by a boardwalk thorugh the marsh.

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.
 
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.

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 availble 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.
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 to these lots early in the day or consider accessing the trail from Canal Exploration Center, Rockside Road, or Station Road.
  • From April through October, you can bicycle one way and return by train for $3 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 at www.CVSR.com.
  • Weekends on the Towpath Trail can be crowded. Hikers and cyclists share the trail with the sections between Boston Store and Hunt House being the busiest.
  • Share the trail, keep pets on a 6 foot leash, and stay alert.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

15610 Vaughn Road
Brecksville, OH 44141

Phone:

(330) 657-2752

Contact Us