Winter Sports

Woman and two children play in the snow; snow-covered trees and hillside behind them.
The Kendall Hills area is great for sledding when there's snow on the ground.

NPS / Sue Simenc

Winter weather can provide special opportunities for recreation in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Cross-country and downhill skiing, snowshoeing, snow tubing, and sledding are just a few of the options. Below is information about some of the ways to experience winter in the national park.

 

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Young girl bundled in pink winter coat and red pants stands with her foot in a blue snowshoe; a man in a black hat squats to tie her shoe.
Snowshoeing can be a fun family activity in the winter.

© Sara Guren

Hiking

Over 125 miles of trails are open for hiking year round. The Ledges Trail is among the most scenic due to dramatic icicles that form on the rocks. In winter it is especially important to consider safety while hiking. Always use caution where ice and packed snow make footing hazardous. Pick up trail maps before venturing into unfamiliar areas. Inform family or friends of your intended locations and estimated time of return. Do not climb on the rocks at the Ledges and stay back from the bluff edges. As a courtesy and for the safety of everyone, always yield to skiers and avoid walking in ski tracks.

Snowshoeing

Snowshoe rental is seasonally available at Boston Mill Visitor Center when snow is four inches or deeper. Before visiting, check the visitor center's operating hours. Snowshoes may be used on nearby trails. When sharing a trail with cross-country ski traffic, yield to skiers and take care not to walk in ski tracks.

Ice Fishing

Large-mouth bass, crappie, and bluegill are among the fish caught in Cuyahoga Valley lakes and ponds. Ice thickness is not monitored for ice fishing, so be extra careful when venturing onto the ice. Thin spots can occur on the ice, causing it to become unstable. Ice fish at your own risk. Catch-and-release fishing is encouraged to maintain the fish populations needed for continued sport fishing. Fishing guidelines follow federal and state regulations. For more information visit our fishing page.

 
Three people in winter coats and gloves smile as they ride down a snowy hill on a wooden toboggan.
Tobogganing down the hills in the park can offer a wintry thrill.

NPS / D.J. Reiser

Sledding

Sledding is available at Kendall Hills on Quick Road in Peninsula, about one mile east of Akron Peninsula Road. Parking is located at Pine Hollow, Crow Foot Gully, and Little Meadow parking lots. Separate areas are designated for sleds and toboggans. Some areas are closed to sledding to prevent conflicts with cross-country ski trails.

 

Cross-Country Skiing

Suggested areas and trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing include:

  • Bike & Hike Trail: Follows the eastern border of the park for 10 miles and many miles beyond. Straight, flat, and maintained by Summit Metro Parks. A favorite section is north from State Route 303. (Cross-country skiing)
  • Boston Run Trail: 501 Streetsboro Road, Boston Heights 44236, is 3.5 miles. Access from Happy Days north parking lot on State Route 303. Advanced intermediate route with steep terrain through mixed woodlands. (Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing)
  • Cross Country Trail: 5249 Quick Road, Peninsula 44264, is 2.5 miles and designed for cross-country skiing. Access the trail from Kendall Lake Trailhead on Truxell Road or Little Meadow parking lot on Quick Road. This intermediate-to-difficult trail passes through mixed woods and old fields. It has several steep hills. (Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing)
  • Ledges Field: 405 Kendall Park Road, Peninsula 44264, is adjacent to the Ledges Shelter off Truxell Road. Large, flat open field. Excellent for beginners. (Cross-country skiing)
  • Oak Hill Trail: 3901 Oakhill Road, Peninsula 44264, is 1.5 miles. Loop trail accessed at Oak Hill Trailhead on Oak Hill Road. Easy-to-moderate trail through mixed woods and past a pond. (Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing)
  • Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail: 19.7 miles, with many access points. Easy multi-purpose trail. The Hunt House to Peninsula section is especially scenic. (Cross-country skiing)
  • Pine Grove Trail: accessed via Kendall Lake Trailhead, Kendall Park Road, Peninsula 44264, is 3.5 miles with some drainage steps. It is moderately strenuous. (Snowshoeing)
  • Plateau Trail: accessed via Oak Hill Trailhead, is a 4.9-mile outer loop around the Oak Hill plateau. It is moderately strenuous with two steep hills. (Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing)
  • Tree Farm Trail: 2075 Major Road, Peninsula 44264, is 2.75 miles. Loop trail accessed at Horseshoe Pond on Major Road. Easy-to-moderate trail through open fields, across gently rolling hills, and into coniferous tree stands. (Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing)
 
Snowboarder travels down Boston Mills ski slope.
A snowboarder coming down a hill.

NPS / Robert George

Downhill Skiing and Snow Tubing

Brandywine Ski Resort, 1146 West Highland Road, Sagamore Hills 44067, and Boston Mills Ski Resort, 7100 Riverview Road, Peninsula 44264, offer downhill skiing. Polar Blast Snow Tubing Park is next to Brandywine. Equipment rental and instruction are available. For resort information call 330-467-2242.

 

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    Last updated: January 18, 2022

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