Camping, Christmas Trees, and Cuyahoga National Park: An Ohio Weekend

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A Weekend in Ohio: Camping, Christmas Trees, & Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Want a unique place to stay while visiting Cuyahoga Valley National Park?  How about camping at a nearby Christmas tree farm, Heritage Farms!  We camped here while visiting Cuyahoga Valley National Park for a long weekend.  It was a beautiful setting and we couldn’t have picked a better location.  Our campsite even bordered the National Park!  We were so close to driving in to the park to go on hikes while also able to break up our day with coming back to the campsite during the hottest part of the day.  

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

To start, where is Cuyahoga Valley National Park?  It may not be as well known as some of the other national parks, although it is close to two major cities, Akron and Cleveland, Ohio.    

Cuyahoga Valley’s Location

Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s unique location in between the two major cities in central Ohio mean that you are close to stores, restaurants, and other amenities.  Typically, national parks are pretty far removed from amenities so this was a feature we found remarkable.  After hiking, we stopped off at Starbucks for an afternoon iced coffee! 

CUYAHOGA VALLEY NATIONAL PARK FACTS

Go for a ride on The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, a unique way to get around at a US National Park!

  • LOCATION:  Ohio
  • CLOSEST MAJOR CITIES:  Cleveland and Akron, OH
  • ANNUAL VISITORS:  2.9 million
  • 9th most visited US National Park out of 63
  • BECAME A NATIONAL PARK:  2000
  • TOP THINGS TO DO:  Visit Brandywine Falls and hike The Ledges Trail

Great Things to do at Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Hit the Trail

We hiked the Brandywine Gorge Loop, which is 1.4 miles long.  Starting on the boardwalk, we walked among rock ledges, making our way to the park’s star waterfall.  We observed Brandywine Falls from various points on the boardwalk. 

NOTE:   The boardwalk is accessible up until a point where stairs begin.  You can see the falls before the stairs begin which makes it a nice “trail” for strollers and wheelchairs.

Checking out beautiful Brandywine Falls

We continued on the trail, hiking through beautiful, massive oaks trees.  We found this to be such a beautiful respite, marveling over its urban location.

Another popular hike in CVNP is The Ledges.  Beautiful rock formations and viewpoints along the way make this a popular hike in the park.

The Erie & Canal Towpath is the most popular trail in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  One can bike, run, or simply walk this historic path that used to see mules towing boats.  The Towpath Trail is perfect for those with mobility issues or for strollers.  You’ll likely see butterflies fluttering about the wildflowers edging the paths.  Twenty miles of trail are located in CVNP, although the entire Towpath Trail is 60 miles.  One can do as little or as much as they wish.  There are several entry points to the trail, which makes it easy to access. 

Wildflowers line the paths at CVNP

Other Great Things To Do

Fishing is a great activity to do while here due to the prevalence of ponds and rivers.  We fished at Indigo Lake, spending some time catching and releasing fish in the late afternoon sun.

Indigo Lake train stop

If you want to take a break from hiking, how about horseback riding, paddling in the river, or biking some of the trails?   

Visiting Nearby Akron or Cleveland

Akron has a zoo, civic center with tours available, and the Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens.

If visiting Cleveland, be sure to check out Lake Eerie, one of the Great Lakes, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Camping at a Christmas Tree Farm

We found this to be a fun way to try out camping, something we hadn’t done in years!

Our visit took place in 2020 and social distancing was all the rage. We were looking for a getaway close to home that would keep us generally away from other people.  Camping in the great outdoors seemed to check all these boxes.  When we discovered Heritage Farms on HipCamp and we booked it.

The hills were rolling with varying sizes of Christmas trees, from small ones to ones that would find their way into living rooms in the not-so-distant future. 

Not only was the setting pretty but it was peaceful as well.  While our campsite bumped right up to the National Park (behind our tents were park markers!), the sites were nicely spaced from one another. 

National Park marker, just behind our tent

We enjoyed cooking in the great outdoors, making s’mores over the fire, and falling asleep to the peaceful sounds of nature. 

Our cozy set up

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is unique due to its setting in between two cities.  The park provides respite with paths and trails, waterfalls and lakes.  We had a lovely weekend in the great outdoors, exploring a national park wedged in between two cities.   

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Neuronwriter Following

    This is a very good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere.

    Short but very precise information… Thank you for sharing this one.
    A must read post!

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