We departed Shepardsville, Kentucky on Wednesday, September 6th bound for Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio with slightly heavy hearts. We could feel our RV Adventure drawing to a rapid close as this was likely to be the final park on this tour. Sure, we still had many more miles to travel and other places to see, but, the reality of this adventure coming to an end was now palpable. Oh well, lets make the best of the rest of it!
We were fortunate to find that Valerie, another Boondockers Welcome club member located near Cleveland, Ohio, was happy to host us for three nights on her property while we explored the area. Valerie is a very friendly RVer who has many interesting stories to share about her exploits on the road. We enjoyed meeting her and gaining her insights into places to go and things to do in the area.
Our first priority was checking out Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Established on October 11, 2000 and covering 33,000 acres, this park is located between Cleveland and Akron, Ohio. This urban park is quite different from the many wilderness parks out west.
We started at the Boston Store Visitor Center, a restored 1836 building located right along side the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. The 84-mile Towpath Trail runs south from Cleveland through four counties, traversing 20 miles through this park. It is one of the park’s primary attractions, used for hiking, biking, jogging and even cross-country skiing in the winter months. You can even find multiple stops to board, with or without your bicycles, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad along its 20-mile route through the park.
We rode our bikes south along the Towpath Trail from the Boston Store Visitor Center to the nearby small town of Peninsula and saw portions of the 1820’s canal that parallels the Cuyahoga River along the way. This canal was used to open a transportation route between Lake Erie and the Ohio River until railroads made it obsolete. Peninsula, a quaint village, has a Visitor Center, a rail station, and a few shops adjacent to the trail that we explored prior to heading back to the Jeep. Just a short drive away, we explored the park’s most famous waterfall, Brandywine Falls. This is a 65-foot waterfall making its way down multiple sandstone ledges. Pretty spot.
Driving back to Valerie’s from here, Siobhan and I were reflecting on the 44 National Parks we’ve visited and all the amazing sites we’ve seen in such a relatively condensed timeframe. Awesome.
Its been quite an adventure, so far!