Cuyahoga Valley National Park Facts

Cuyahoga Valley National Park Facts
Cuyahoga Valley NP is the only national park in Ohio in the United States. It encompasses an area of 33,000 acres of rural landscape and was established first as the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area in 1974. In 2000 it was re-designated as a national park and is now administered by the National park Service. The park itself runs along the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron, Ohio. More than two million people visit the park each year to hike, cycle, camp, sled, and go bird-watching, sight-seeing and even attend concerts.
Interesting Cuyahoga Valley National Park Facts:
The region has been a recreation attraction for people since the 1870s.
It began to be developed as a park in the 1910s when park districts were established.
Cleveland businessman Hayward Kendall donated 430 acres of land in 1929 to the park. He also established a trust fund for Ohio.
Due to the public's interest in preserving the valley, President Gerald Ford established Cuyahoga National Recreation Area in 1974 and signed the bill, making it law.
A 47-acre dump was acquired by the park in 1985. After thorough analysis it was determined that the dump was extremely toxic and the area was closed off. Lawsuits against GM, Ford, Chrysler, 3M and Waste Management were filed.
Cleanup of the site began in 1987, and still continues as they try to restore it to its natural wetlands.
A former arena, the Richfield Coliseum was torn down in 1999 and the site is now part of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Today it's a popular meadow for bird-watchers.
Entrance to the park is free, and there are also some special events that visitors can attend for a fee.
The 308-mile long waterway, the Ohio and Erie Canal, runs through the park and was dug by hand. Most of the workers were Irish and German immigrants.
There are at least 20 reptile species in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, including skink (a lizard), turtles and snakes.
105 bird species breed in Cuyahoga Valley NP, and there are 250 different species of birds in total that have been seen in the park.
43 different species of fish are found within the park.
There are maple, hickory, spruce, pine, oak, and beech trees in the park, among others, as well as 943 known plant species growing within its boundaries.
Although forest is the dominant landscape in the park, there are also wetlands, meadows, floodplains, valleys, ravines, trails and the canal.
Cuyahoga is a Mohawk word that means ‘crooked river'.
There is passenger train that takes visitors through the park along the Towpath Trail. In those early days, mules were used to tow the boats full of goods and people along the canal. The mules walked along the path, towing the boats down the canal waterway.
There are no drive-to campsites in the park, but there are five campsites where cyclists and hikers can pitch a tent and stay overnight.
Although fishing in the river is allowed, catch-and-release is encouraged. Because of the poor water-quality in the river, people are highly discouraged from eating the fish they catch.

Related Links:
US National Landmarks Facts
Animals Facts