Cuyahoga Valley National Park was created in 2000 in Northeast Ohio. We were interested that a National Recreation Area had been created in 1974 primarily at the instigation of Congressman Ralph Regula who was concerned that urban development from Cleveland and Akron was closing in on this beautiful valley. We both remembered him from our Washington days.
The Indians called the river, “Ka-ih-ogh-ha,” or crooked. It winds about ninety miles through the valley but only covers thirty miles as the crow flies. The Ohio and Erie Canal between Cleveland and Akron opened in 1827 and a railroad was run through the area in the mid-1800s.
Today, it is really just a very large urban park with picnic areas, horseback riding, golf, skiing and many hiking trails. The park service restored buildings along the old canal towpath, and a scenic railroad runs through the park on a seasonal basis.
The weather was chilly, so we picnicked in our car before walking down to Brandywine Falls. Then we drove to the little town of Peninsula, nestled within the boundaries of the park, and walked for a couple miles along the old tow path, just enjoying the day and looking at the ruins of some canal locks.