Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
Travel through Ohio's picturesque Cuyahoga Valley National Park in style with the Scenic Railroad. This leisurely way to see this area of extreme beauty allows you to see many of the park's main attractions. These historic trains wind through 26 miles of forests, waterfalls and part of the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath, the park's main trail.
The ride takes three and a half hours, making it a wonderful way to spend half a day exploring the beauty of the area.
A long time before the national park was officially established in 1974, tourists came to the Cuyahoga River Valley area for carriage rides and boat trips along the Ohio and Erie Canal. The Valley Railway was established in 1880 to carry coal from the Tuscarawas River Valley to Cleveland, Akron, and Canton. It also offered a passenger service, which was taken up by numerous tourists looking to escape urban industrial life, attracted by the stunning views and the leisurely pace of the train. After becoming part of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the oldest in the country, and going into decline, the line was revived in 1972, offering leisure excursions.
Today, this line of historic train cars winds through 26 miles of the national park, which encompasses forests, waterfalls, and part of the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath, the park's main trail. The 3.5-hour scenic train ride passes many of the park's top attractions, including Beaver Marsh and the fisher's paradise, Indigo Lake.
Full steam ahead
If you're in the Cuyahoga Valley in late September, then you'll have a great chance to do something entirely unique. The week-long Steam in the Valley event offers visitors a rare treat: a ride aboard a historic "high-stepping, 14-wheeled, time machine."
The Nickel Plate No. 765, a 400-ton steam locomotive built in 1944, is the vehicle for this time travel. Riders are encouraged to come in period clothes (1940s and 1950s) for the special two-hour trip through the park. During this fantastic event, there's a chance to step off the train mid-trip for that perfect snap or selfie.
The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad offers multiple trips on most days, but check the schedule on the website in advance for times. There are three stations within the park, meaning you can hop on and hop off conveniently during the day.
Guests can also bring their bicycles along, allowing leisurely bike excursions through the park before returning on the train. The railroad also offers weekly dining trips, allowing guests to take an evening ride on the rails, fully catered.