Jan 25th, 2012 | By | Category: Senior Travel

Cuyahoga Valley

One of my daughters recently came back from Ohio and was raving about the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. So I figured that I just had to investigate for myself and to pass on “the word” to seniors who might enjoy a visit. I found out that the name Cuyahoga is the Indian word for “Crooked River” in the Mohawk language.

Along the “Crooked River”

Though a short distance from the urban areas of Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park seems worlds away. The park is a refuge for native plants and wildlife, and provides routes of discovery for senior visitors. The winding Cuyahoga River gives way to deep forests, rolling hills, and open farmlands. Walk or ride the Towpath Trail to follow the historic route of the Ohio & Erie Canal.

If there is one word that typifies Cuyahoga Valley, it might well be “surprise.” To begin, many people are surprised by the simple fact that a national park exists in northeastern Ohio, between the sprawling cities of Cleveland and Akron. In fact, it hasn’t existed for long: Cuyahoga Valley was given national park status in 2000. Senior visitors find more surprises: Secluded trails through rugged gorges that seem far removed from civilization; vistas of tree-covered hills where the urban world is out of sight; marshes where beaver, herons, and wood ducks thrive. Check out lodging here on this site plus much more.

The park has a heart…

Seniors will discover the heart of Cuyahoga Valley National Park by traveling on the historic Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. From the trail, you can make connections to many natural and historic sites in the Cuyahoga Valley. Beyond the park, you can continue your Towpath Trail journey further along the Ohio & Erie Canal-way. The park is vibrant, captivating and holds a long-standing legacy that’s woven into the historical fabric of the Cuyahoga Valley. The national park unlocks a world of experiences; it’s a place to be proud of. The park is strengthened by the desire of its senior visitors, supporters, volunteers and members who strive to preserve, protect and enhance this treasured civic asset for generations to come. You will find the area “stuffed” with events all during the year.

Seniors Spend A Day in the Valley

Seniors will want to spend more than a day in the Valley as it is a beautiful spot and is a refuge for flora and fauna, and provides both recreation and solitude for Northeastern Ohio’s residents and senior visitors. Park trails, from rugged backcountry hiking trails to the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, a graded biking and hiking trail, offer something for everyone. The Park has a rich cultural legacy as well. Remains of the Ohio & Erie Canal, which traveled through the valley in the 19th and early 20th centuries, offer a glimpse into the past. Sustainable farming ventures help preserve the valley’s agricultural heritage.  Enjoy riding trains through historic territory?  The Cuyahoga Valley scenic railroad is one of the oldest, longest and most scenic tourist excursion railroads in the county.

Cuyahoga Valley truly is a year-round park. Each season seems more beautiful than the previous and brings with it numerous activities for senior visiters. Weekends tend to be crowded from spring to the fall, which happen to be the most spectacular of the seasons. While the spring brings bright wildflowers, the fall boasts amazing foliage. And if you enjoy skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding, plan a visit during the winter months. So now I know why my daughter and her family found Cuyahoga National Park so enthralling… it is truly a year-round park and each season seems more beautiful than the previous.  jeb

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