Frequently Asked Questions


Do you have a question about Cuyahoga Valley National Park? Whether it's your first time visiting the park or you are a repeat visitor, this page is for you. If you do not find an answer here, please contact us through an email or by calling Boston Mill Visitor Center at 440-717-3890. Keep reading for answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

What time is the park and visitor center open and how do I get there?

Boston Mill Visitor Center is open from 9:30 am to 5 pm everyday except Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Years Day. Hours may be extended during the summer season. Visit our Operating Hours & Seasons page for visitor center addresses and seasonal information for Canal Exploration Center and Hunt House.

Most areas of the park are open 24 hours a day. The exceptions are Brandywine Falls, Ledges, Octagon, Kendall Lake, Happy Days South Parking Area, and the Kendall Hills Area on Quick Road. These places close at dusk.

The national park is spread out over 33,000 acres. There are many entry points and no entry gates. Visit our directions page for addresses of trailheads and buildings.

Do I need a reservation or to pay a fee to visit the park?

No, Cuyahoga Valley is a fee-free park that does not require a reservation for entry. Two park shelters are available for reservation, which does include a fee. Other picnic areas are free and first-come, first-served.

Where can I find drinking water?

Our restrooms and drinking water page lists all the locations with drinking water. Many of our outdoor drinking fountains are seasonal. For year-round access to water please visit Boston Mill Visitor Center, the restrooms at Boston Store Trailhead, or Kendall Lake Shelter.

Where can I find more information about accessibility?

Visit our accessibility page for detailed information. For information about accessible restrooms visit our restrooms and drinking water page. The park’s accessibility coordinator, Ranger Arrye Rosser, can provide trip-planning advice tailored to your individual needs. Email or leave a message at Boston Mill Visitor Center, 440-717-3890.

Is Brandywine Falls closed?

The parking lot for Brandywine Falls has reopened after some recent construction. The lot tends to fill between 10 am and 3 pm. Avoid the crowds by coming earlier in the day or access the falls by hiking from Boston Mill Visitor Center to the Stanford Trail. A map of the trails around Brandywine Falls can be found on our maps page.

Where can I ride my bike? Or rent a bike?

Bikes are allowed on several trails within the national park. The most popular is our 20-mile section of the Towpath Trail. Park partners operate the Bike & Hike Trail along our eastern border, the All Purpose Trail at Brecksville Reservation, and the Hemlock Creek Trail near Canal Exploration Center.

The East Rim Trails are for mountain biking only. Other mountain biking trails are at Hampton Hills Metro Park and Bedford Reservation.

Bicycles can be rented from businesses in Peninsula and other nearby communities. More information is on our Biking in the Park page.

When is the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad train operating?

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad operates seasonally and occasionally needs to modify operations due to changing conditions in the park. Visit their website for ticket information and program schedules for detailed planning. Learn more about the railroad on our Scenic Train Ride page.

More frequently asked questions:


Where can I take a photo in front of a park sign?

We have signs throughout the park but the best signs to take a picture in front of are at Boston Mill Visitor Center and at the intersection of Bath and Riverview Roads north of Botzum Trailhead.

Can I provide feedback?

Yes, you can send in your feedback by emailing us.

How do I submit a lost and found ticket?

You can let us know about an item you lost or found by submiting a ticket on our Contact Us page.

Where can I park my RV?

RVs can be parked in several locations in Cuyahoga Valley National Park for the day, but only specific areas have oversize vehicle parking. Those include Rockside Station, Station Road Bridge, Boston Mill Visitor Center (across the street from the main lot), and Wetmore Trailhead. More areas can be found listed on our Oversized Vehicle Parking page. Overnight RV parking is not allowed anywhere in the national park.

Can I buy an America the Beautiful Pass at Cuyahoga Valley National Park?

Yes, you can buy certain passes at Boston Mill Visitor Center. Visit our Fees & Passes page to learn more.

How can I get a park brochure?

Email us and we can mail you a brochure before your visit.

Where can I stamp my National Park passport?

You can find passport stamps at the Boston Mill Visitor Center, Canal Exploration Center, and Hunt House. For locations and hours check our operating hours page. The Ohio & Erie Canalway offers additional passport stamp sites.

Why is this a national park?

Cuyahoga Valley National Park was established as a national recreation area in 1974 and as a national park in 2000. Visit our management page for our mission statement and Strategic Action Plan. Explore the Learn About the Park section of our website for the nature and history of Cuyahoga Valley.

Do you have a park film at the visitor center?

No, we do not currently have a park film.

Do I need a permit for taking photos? Do I need a reservation to use a shelter?

Permits for photography are needed in specific situations. Visit our Permits & Reservations page for more information. Two park shelters are available for reservation. Other picnic areas are first-come, first-served.

Are horses allowed on any trails?

Yes, horses are allowed on several trails throughout the park. Visit our Horse Trails page for more information.

Are dogs allowed in park buildings?

Only service animals and comfort animals that follow our behavioral guidelines are allowed in park buildings. Please check Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad's website for their policy.

Are dogs allowed on trails?

Dogs can go on most of the trails in the park, but they must remain on a leash. Dogs are not permitted on mountain biking trails or on the sledding hills during the winter. Visit our Pets page for more information.

What animals are in Cuyahoga Valley?

Cuyahoga Valley is home to a variety of animals including birds, mammals, insects, reptiles, and amphibians. Discover the many Animals who find their home in the park.

Where can I see wildlife?

Beaver Marsh is a great place to watch for wildlife. However, all of our trails can provide unique experiences to see wildlife.

What are the best birding spots in the park?

There are several great spots for birding in the park including Beaver Marsh, the Ledges, Horseshoe Pond, Station Road Bridge, Bath Road Heronry, and the former Coliseum site.

Is there anywhere to eat in the park?

Yes, you can grab a snack at one of the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park's retail stores. Or visit a local restaurant in Peninsula, Merriman Valley, or Valley View.

Can I camp in the park?

No, Cuyahoga Valley National Park does not offer camping but you can discover camping nearby.

Where can I stay in Cuyahoga Valley National Park?

There are many places nearby to stay, but only two sites owned by the national park. These are Stanford House and the Inn at Brandywine Falls. Visit our lodging page to learn more. More lodging is available nearby in Peninsula, Akron, Cleveland, Fairlawn, Richfield, Cuyahoga Falls, Brecksville, Independence, and other gateway communities.

What is there to see and do here?

For trip recommendations, please visit our Things To Do page. To plan like a ranger, visit our Top Ten Tips for Visiting CVNP.

How do I use the Towpath Trail?

The Towpath Trail is great for walking, running, and biking. Our Towpath page includes information on safety, trailheads, and the trail's history.

Where can I buy tickets for the train?

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad website has ticket information and program schedules for detailed planning.

Where can I hike? Are there trail maps?

There are over 125 miles of hiking trails in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Visit our Hiking page and our Maps page to learn more about our trails and to find trail maps.

Where can I take my boat, kayak, or canoe in the park?

You can canoe or kayak on the Cuyahoga River or on ponds or lakes in the park. Learn more on our Paddling the River page before your visit.

I only have an hour, what can I do?

Our Trip Ideas page has recommendations for things to do and see. Visit or call Boston Mill Visitor Center at 440-717-3890 if you have other questions.

What events are happening this week?

We post all of our events and partner events on our calendar. Be sure to check regularly for new events and links to registration.

How do I become a Junior Ranger?

You can become a Junior Ranger by completing our Junior Ranger Handbook or activity cards. During the summer we also offer Junior Ranger Challenges and Programs. To learn more visit our Junior Ranger page.

Can I fish in the park?

If you have a vaild Ohio fishing license then you can fish in the park. You must follow the laws and regulations of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. For more information visit our fishing page.

What activities are prohibited in the park?

We suggest reading though the Superintendent's Compendium and our Laws and Policies page to learn about park rules and regulations. 

Last updated: April 15, 2024

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15610 Vaughn Road
Brecksville, OH 44141


440 717-3890

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