Tour a National Park on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

Boston Mill
Boston Mill | © k_e_lewis / Flickr
Laura Dorwart

Travel back in time, and into the only national park in Ohio, with the Cuyahoga Scenic Valley Railroad, a tourist excursion train that makes regular stops from Independence to Akron, OH.

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (CVSR) offers a wide variety of train tours of Northeast Ohio, whether you’re looking for a fun time with the kids or a boozier outing with colleagues or friends. The railroad has a customer service office in Peninsula, OH, and a nine-station route that spans all the way from Akron to Independence.

The most popular tour offered by the CVSR takes visitors through Ohio’s only national park, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The park sprawls across 33,000 acres of wildlife and natural beauty, including forests, farmlands, and hills, as well as the 100-mile Cuyahoga River. The train ride offers soaring views of waterways and land thick with trees, as well as wildflowers, coyotes, raptors, and even the occasional bald eagle.

The National Park Scenic train tour has various options for a comfortable ride. Visitors can purchase Premium Upper Dome seats for a bird’s eye view of the sights, First Class tickets for extra leg room and wider seats, or Executive Class tickets for access to a cozy lounge area.

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad options for children include a fun-filled Day Out with Thomas, in which kids can learn about train history from their host, Sir Topham Hatt, alongside magicians, balloon animals, and a bounce house.

Little ones will also love watching their favorite holiday book come to life as they hop aboard the Polar Express between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The train ride to the North Pole comes complete with visits from Santa and the elves, book readings, holiday lights, and hot cocoa.

If you’re looking for fun that’s a bit more adult, the Grape Escape and Ales on Rails offer themed wine and beer tastings (Kentucky ales or Great British beers, for example) as riders take in the picturesque sights of Northeast Ohio.

And if you’re the athletic type, take advantage of the Bike Aboard! program that runs every season starting in April. Bikers, hikers, and kayakers can flag down the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad with a single arm to take the train back after a trek down the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.

Weekly events on the CVSR include four-course brunches and lunches aboard the train catered by Creekside Restaurant of Brecksville, hosted caboose rides that will give you a guided tour of the history of the caboose, and onboard story times and art activities.

Weekly trips to the Hale Farm & Village begin in June. Hosted by the Western Reserve Historical Society, these trips from the Rockside Station to the Indigo stop end in a tram trip to a replica of a 19th-century farm and village, complete with cooking and gardening demonstrations, vintage crafts, and farm animals.

Other special events on the CVSR include murder mystery nights, rides accompanied by live music, paint and wine nights, and shorter family fun loops designed specifically with younger children in mind.

No matter what your needs are, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has you covered!

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