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Best route?

Kansas City...
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Best route?

We are driving from Missouri to Maine in a couple of weeks. We have several stops planned along the way, and we'd like to drive through Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We would probably be interested in doing a couple of small hikes, but we only have a day in that area. We will be coming in from Columbus on I-71. Can any of you tell me the best route to take that would allow us to drive the length of the park from south to north? The way I understand it, there is a visitor center at each end of the park, and we'd like to see both if possible. From the park we will be going on north to get on I-90. I'd love any advice or input on visiting the park. Thanks!

5 replies to this topic
Cleveland
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1. Re: Best route?

Weroadtrip, the CVNP is an atypical national park. Visitors don't drive through the park north to south, but rather drive along periphery public roads to visit certain trail heads, attractions, etc. There are some east-west roads. If you're skipping Cleveland, likely take I-271 off I-71. If you can obtain a AAA Northeast Ohio map before your trip, it would be helpful.

Read about the CVNP here, including the linked forum threads:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g50207-s407/Cleveland…

In the above article, read about Malabar Farm State Park in the Mohican Region, located southeast of Mansfield near Lucas, just off I-71. It might be a great stop if the Big House is open at the time of your trip (call and check times of tours).

Also in the travel article check out Kirtland, where the exceptional Holden Arboretum is located just south of the route 306 exit of I-90.

Presque Isle, just west of Erie, PA, is another nature stop worthy of consideration and is also discussed in the "Day Trips" travel article. In early May, you'll likely experience the spring bird migration there.

Here's another park just north of I-90 perhaps worthy of a visit, especially if you would like to see a rare and beautiful stretch of wild U.S. Lake Erie beach.

ianadamsphotography.com/news/…

lakemetroparks.com/select-park/lakeeriebluff…

If interested in visiting Lake Erie Bluffs, it would be best to take route 91 or route 306 north a few miles from I-90 to route 2, a freeway, and head east on route 2 following the directions provided on the Lake Erie Bluffs website.

Good planning!

Cleveland
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2. Re: Best route?

I read in your Boston thread about your interest in history, and thought that this travel article might interest you.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g60785-c185858/Dayton…

ohio
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3. Re: Best route?

From what I understand, and someone please correct me if I am wrong, the main visitors center is the Boston Store Visitors Center north of Peninsula township. It really is a good place to start a visit to the national park. The Canal Exploration Center is opening on May 17th which is at the northern end of the park in Valley View.

www.nps.gov/cuva/planyourvisit/hours.htm

There is also a place in the Peninsula village called Trail Mix-Peninsula which is run by the Conservancy for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park where you should be able to pick up a trail map of the park. It's more of a store and is usually staffed by volunteers and an occasional park ranger, so if you have specific questions about the park, you may have better luck at the Boston visitor's center. They are about a 5-10 minute drive from each other.

explorepeninsula.com/shopping/trail-mix-peni…

You may want to check out the park's website for information on hiking or call and have them send you a trail map ahead of time so you can plan your hikes.

In general, from Columbus you'll probably take 71 to 271 north to Rt. 303 east to Peninsula. A route I'd suggest to view the park would involve a little back tracking south, but will take you by some very nice areas in the park. That route would be from Rt 303, make a quick right onto Major Rd (Stine Rd will be on your left) near the 303 exit ramp. Major Rd. will loop past Horseshoe Pond with the Tree Farm trail (a nice hike). Continue onto Major Rd. to Riverview Rd and make a right onto Riverview. Drive south onto Riverview to a couple of other nice spots. If you are there on a Saturday before noon you can stop at the great farmer's market in Howe Meadow (opens for the season Saturday, May 10th). http://www.cvcountryside.org

Continue south on Riverview passing the Beaver Marsh on your left. There's a trailhead nearby, Ira Trailhead, where you can park and take a short hike on the Towpath Trail to the beaver marsh.

Take Riverview Rd. further south to Bath Rd and turn left onto Bath Rd. to view the great blue heron rookery, which may still be active in May.

From Bath Rd. turn left onto Akron Peninsula Rd to return to Peninsula. There are a couple more interesting places for hiking off Akron Peninsula Rd in the Virginia Kendall area of the park. I’d recommend the Ledges Trail. Make a right onto Truxell Rd. from Akron Peninsula to reach Virginia Kendall.

When you are back in Peninsula, make a left onto Rt. 303 and take that back to Riverview Rd. Now take Riverview to the right, north, to head towards the Boston Store Visitors Center. Take Boston Mills Rd. from Riverview Rd. to reach the visitors center. The visitor center is also adjacent to the Towpath Trail where you can hike as much as you’d like, north or south.

To drive north from the Boston Store, go back to Riverview Rd. and turn right. It’s a lovely drive through more of the park. In Brecksville, you’ll reach the Station Road Bridge area on your right, and Brecksville metroparks on your left. There are some eagles nesting near this area, and some restrictions in places in the park for that reason.

From Brecksville, continued driving through the park northbound gets a little complicated. It’s not an area I visit very often, so I’m not the best to advise on that, but you can continue on to Valley View and ultimately access 77 north from Canal Rd. there from which you can go on your way. 77 north will take you to 480 east to return to 271 north.

When you actually see a park map, this will all make much more sense.

Hope this is helpful. Have a wonderful time.

Kansas City...
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4. Re: Best route?

Thank you all for your input. We will only have a day, and maybe not even a full day, but we hope to see as much of the park as possible. I'm sure we'll enjoy whatever we can manage to fit in to our schedule.

ohio
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5. Re: Best route?

weroadtrip, in case you haven't left yet, many trails in the park have been closed due to flooding from some serious storms we had recently.

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