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One Day at Cuyahoga Valley National Park

I'm not gonna lie.... I came to Cuyahoga Valley with super low expectations. Most posts and reviews I read of this Midwestern national park gave lukewarm or poor feedback due to what they felt was lacking.

But, instead of any more negativity before diving into this post, I want to let you know that my friends and I really enjoyed our day trip to this park! Sure, it may not have tall mountains or breathtaking cliff sides, but instead has its own charm and fun trails to trek on.


Where to Get Started

If you're not a fan of driving through the middle of nowhere, then you're in luck, because Cuyahoga Valley is only about a half hour drive from Cleveland. It's easy access right off of the highway and there's plenty of signage to get you there without hassle.

The best place to start out is the Boston Mill Visitor Center. There's a free parking lot right in front of it, but plan to arrive early if you can - It fills up fast and is small!

There's so much you can do in this little area before getting started with your day - Check out the visitor's center, see the creek, grab a snack at the convenient store, or hop on the train! (Sadly, the train was not operating during our trip in July 2022 due to an erosion on the tracks.)

What's even better is that if you're planning to hike, a couple of the trails are right there in the area. The original trailhead to Brandywine Falls was closed, however there is a detour by the visitor's center that'll only add a bit more to the trail. There were also multiple park rangers parked all over who helped us stay on track!


See Brandywine Falls

If there is one thing that you must do while at Cuyahoga Valley, it is see Brandywine Falls. Nothing felt more rewarding than ending our hike through the forest than a giant, beautiful waterfall like this one.

Topping off a 60 ft tall, this natural attraction has become a popular sight to stop for in Northern Ohio. What I really loved were that there are different areas to view it from - We found at least 3 that offered a variety of perspectives.

After adding the detour from the Boston Mill Visitor Center, the Brandywine Falls trail came close to 5 1/2 miles for us.


If you have extra time to kill, I'd also recommend checking out some of the other great activities that this park has to offer:

- Check out the beaver marsh, which offers some of this park's best wildlife sight-seeing!

- Take a scenic train ride (Again, this was closed as of July 2022, so be sure to check for updates!)

- hike one of the other great trails, such as Blue Hen Falls and the Ledges trail


While Cuyahoga Valley isn't the most popular or talked-about national park, it still gave us a day full of adventure. It's cute in its own way and offered sights that I had not seen at other parks I have visited. A great plus that I like is that it is easy to do just about everything you want here in one day without feeling like rushing. So if you're ever visiting the Cleveland/Northern Ohio area, make sure to carve at least a day out for this lovely place!




Hey there, I'm Shelby! Traveling has been one of my biggest passions in life, and so I'm here to share all of my great finds, tips and advice that I discover along the way. When I'm not on a plane, you can find me in Kentucky with my husband and fur child, Zoe (My adorable kitty!) 

I have always loved to write, and after many attempts at blogging again, I find myself here and inspired to share the world. My husband and I both work a typical 9 to 5, but make it a priority to plan as many trips as possible each year. I want to show others that it is totally possible to live a travel-filled life full time or on the side!

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you enjoy!


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