Cuyahoga Valley National Park, located in north-central Ohio between Cleveland and Akron, is a wonderful place to visit. There are several beautiful natural areas to see including The Ledges, a series of moss covered rock cliffs, and the Beaver Marsh, a restored wetland teeming with wildlife. Several beautiful waterfalls can be found within the park boundaries, most notably powerful Brandywine Falls and graceful Blue Hen Falls. Cuyahoga Valley National Park also preserves some wonderful history with a restored section of the Erie and Ohio Canal and excellent interpretations of canal life and travel. Some of the surrounding towns are full of charming buildings and make pleasant detours.

A friend of mine recently passed through Cuyahoga Valley National Park and commented to me that it wasn’t worthy of the National Park title. At first glance, I might have agreed with him but I really warmed up to the area during the two days I spent there. Having grown up in an east coast city, we simply don’t have the grand scenery of the west. My time spent in Shenandoah National Park and more locally in Rock Creek Park as a kid, however, were instrumental in helping me form a deep and lasting love of our National Parks and Monuments. City kids (and adults for that matter) need natural areas to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life. We need places where we can breath deep and listen to the sounds of insects and rushing water. I found all of these things and more in Cuyahoga Valley, and I’m glad I took the time to explore it. No, it’s not Yellowstone or Glacier, but it is a beautiful area with a fascinating past and I’m glad it is protected as a National Park.

This is one in a series of “In Focus” posts in which I hope to capture the magic of each of our wonderful National Parks. You can find the others by typing “In Focus” into the search bar in the footer of this blog. As with any of my posts, you can click on the individual photo if you want to make it bigger. Please support our National Parks - they really are our greatest treasures.

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