One of our favorite things about being in Ohio is doing stuff with Mom and Dad. In November we made a trip to see the new Visitor Center at Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We didn’t really plan on seeing the new visitor center, but we were going to Cuyahoga Valley National Park and we wanted to get our stamps. When we got to the Visitor Center, we found out it was all new! Sweet!
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is our home stomping grounds. We lived in the Akron area for 30 years and visited Cuyahoga Valley several times a year. We rode the bike trail, hiked, had scouting campouts, went canoeing, and even attended weddings in the park. Tom and I know the park very well. So it surprised me when my mom said she and dad had never been there. She clarified it a little by explaining that they rode the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, but they had never seen the waterfalls or gone to a Visitor Center.
So we finally corrected that oversight. We drove to the Boston Mills Visitor Center and found a completely redone area. There is a huge new parking lot and a lovely interpretive center staffed by lots of volunteers. The new Visitor Center opened on October 25, so we were there during its first month of operation. The Visitor Center is housed in a 1905 General Store, but the inside of the building has been completely redone. There are new interactive displays, great views out the windows, a lovely little NPS store, and modern restrooms. We enjoyed looking at the displays, talking to the volunteers, and using (of course) the restrooms.
After thoroughly exploring the new Visitor Center, we went to Brandywine Falls. Brandywine Falls is the most scenic spot in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. There is a wonderful, handicapped-accessible boardwalk through the woods to the falls. Because it had snowed a couple of days before, the boardwalk was a little slippery, but we navigated to the overlook and enjoyed watching the waterfall.
It was too cold for much hiking, but we took a scenic drive through the area, moving in and out of Cuyahoga Valley. Mom and I both got stamps for our Passport books. It was a good visit to a beautiful place.