About Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Designated a National Park in 2000, the Cuyahoga Valley is a protected area between the urban locations of Akron and Cleveland in Ohio. The area provides recreation, natural beauty and a snapshot of American life during the industrial revolution to over three million visitors a year, making it the fifth most popular national park in the US.
It spans nearly 82 km2 (32 sq mi) of land along the Cuyahoga River and encompasses a unique and striking combination of land types, from wetlands to farmland; steep ravines to woodland. 35 km (22 mi) of the Cuyahoga River flow through the park, flanked on either side with steep valley walls which abut deciduous forests and open meadows. On the river itself, popular features include waterfalls, the most famous of which is the Brandywine Falls, a 20 m (65 ft) waterfall used in the past to power industry.
The major trail through the park is the Ohio and Erie Towpath Trail, which follows the route of the canal built between 1825 and 1832 to open up the isolated state of Ohio to the western United States. This connects sightseers to some of the many natural and historic sites in the park and frequent visitors’ centres explain the area’s history.
Flora and Fauna
The park is also a refuge for rare and endangered species. The overall strategy to repair the damage done by industry to the local waters has resulted in cleaner environments for the fish populations. This in turn has attracted the nesting and breeding of the bald eagle and peregrine falcon. Two types of turtle species under threat in the US, the spotted turtle and Blanding’s turtle have also recently been recorded.