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Cuyahoga Valley National Park to get $5.9 million visitor center

Cuyahoga Valley National Park bald eagle

Cuyahoga Valley National Park plans to open a $5.9 million visitors center in 2019.

The existing visitor center is based at 1836-built Boston Store, 1550 Boston Mills Road. However, it is not big enough,  according to The Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Ohio’s only National park, Cuyahoga Valley National Park protects the rural landscape along the Cuyahoga River between Akron and Cleveland in the Northeast part of the state.

Wildlife found in the park includes coyotes, skunk, beavers, river otters and bald eagles.

Visitors can hike or ride bikes along the park’s many trails. These take in numerous attractions, including the crushed limestone along sections of the 20 mile Towpath Trail. This trail follows a former stretch of the 308-mile Ohio and Erie Canal.

Other attractions at the park include Waterfalls, caves and the lush scenery along the river. Steep narrow ravines and farmland form a contrast across the park. The Ledges provide an ideal spot for visitors to relax and take in the  sunset over the forest below. In winter, Sled-riding is also popular at Kendall Hills.

In addition, the park has a variety of restored displays of 19th and early 20th century farming/pastoral equipment. There are also art exhibits, outdoor concerts and special event railroad tours on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

Visitors can hike or ride bikes along the park's many trails. These visit numerous attractions,  including the crushed limestone along sections of the 20 mile Towpath Trail. This trail follows a former stretch of the 308-mile Ohio and Erie Canal. Other attractions at the park include Waterfalls,  caves and the lish scenery along the river. Steep narrow ravines and farmland form a contrast across the park. The Ledges provide an ideal spot for visitors to relax and take in the  sunset over the forest below. In winter,  Sled-riding is also popular at Kendall Hills. In addition,  the park has a variety of restored displays of 19th and early 20th century farming/pastoral equipment. There are also art exhibits,  outdoor concerts and special event railroad tours on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. visitor center

Land Purchased for the New Visitor Center

A nonprofit friends of the park group, The Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, will manage the fundraising, planning and construction of the new visitor center. On Monday,  the board, having already raised $4.9 million, voted to buy buildings and land on the southeast corner of Riverview and Boston Mill roads.

This property will be designed to be a central hub for visitors. It will enable them to plan their trips in the park and Ohio & Erie Canalway. About 20% of park visitors come from out of town.

Park Superintendent Craig Kenkel thought the project was a fitting end to 2016’s National Park Service Centennial. “This new Visitor Center will help us better serve the next century of park visitors.”

Images: top Bald eagles courtesy US National Park service, visitor center rendering courtesy Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

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Charles Read

Charles is Managing Director at Blooloop. He attends numerous trade shows around the world and frequently speaks about trends and social media for the attractions industry at conferences. Outside of Blooloop his passions are diving, trees and cricket.

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