Place

Rockside Station

Park sign at the entrance to a large parking lot. On the right side is a yellow train station.
Rockside is the closest Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad station to Cleveland.

NPS/Tim Fenner

Quick Facts

Accessible Sites, Audio Description, Baby Changing Station, Benches/Seating, Bicycle - Rack, Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Information - Maps Available, Information Kiosk/Bulletin Board, Parking - Auto, Parking - Bus/RV, Restroom, Restroom - Accessible, Toilet - Vault/Composting, Trash/Litter Receptacles, Wheelchair Accessible

Passengers in the Cleveland area can catch Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad at Rockside Station. The station has ample parking and is a primary starting point for train excursions and events.

Historically, Thornburg Station once stood nearby and served Independence, Ohio. Small train depots were found all along the Cuyahoga Valley Line at every little hamlet of any size. In the early 2000s, the National Park Service built the modern Rockside Station for passengers waiting for the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

Visions for a train line through the valley began in the 1850s. Competition and economic slumps delayed its completion until 1880. This became the shortest route between Akron and the coalfields of Tuscarawas County to the south and Cleveland’s ports in the north. For the valley, these train stations were a lifeline to the outside world. They provided passenger service and allowed farmers to ship out their milk, cheese, grain, and lumber. Exhibits inside the station describe the area’s railroad history in more depth.

From this point, visitors can get on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad or head east over the river to access the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail and Cuyahoga River Water Trail at Lock 39 Trailhead.