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Cuyahoga Valley National Park – Dog Friendly Outdoor Adventure Guide


December 12, 2017

Trail Running

Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Peninsula, OH) is one of the most dog friendly national parks. There are so many options for people who want to go hiking, biking, fishing or camping with their dogs. We love how beautiful this park can be to visit during the fall and winter. Many go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing during winter months. The Cuyahoga River runs through the park which brings a lot of water features and waterfalls to explore.

Start your trip by stopping by the Boston Store Visitor Center (1550 Boston Mills Road Peninsula, OH 44264) first to pick up some paper maps and information that will help you plan your day at the park. While maps are provided online by the National Park Service, we always like taking paper just in case our phone battery dies. The National Park Service also provides a really nice list of popular places to visit within the park. The park also provides a useful list of gps coordinates of popular places. Check out current conditions before you go.

See our full list of Dog Friendly Outdoor Adventure Guides made just for dog owners. We give you everything you need to plan your next adventure outing with your dog right at your fingertips. We also pick the best dog friendly trails for you! These destination guides are invaluable one-stop source of information if you have a dog!



Pets must be kept on a leash 6 feet or less at all times. On trails, dogs should be kept to your right. Pets are not allowed in buildings, with the exception of service animals. Please refer to the park guidelines regarding pets for more information.



There are so many dog friendly hiking options at Cuyahoga Valley. We hand-picked a few that we think would be fun for you and your dog!

Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail – The Towpath Trail is the most popular trail in the area and open 24 hours a day. The trail is hard-packed making it idea for bikes and strollers. The total length of the trail is almost 20 miles, however, several trailheads connect to the trail which can make your hike shorter. If you are at the Boston Store Visitor Center, the closest trailhead will be Boston Trailhead. A map of the trail is available from the National Park Service. Want to learn more about this history of the trail? Read more about the Ohio and Erie Canalway.

Ledges Trail (GPS Coordinates 41.2236253, -81.5102377 Map) – For some great views and a gorgeous sunset, try this 2.2 mile trail. There’s a lot of rocks in the area your dog and little ones would love to explore. The trailhead is on Kendall Park Road 1 mile west of Akron Cleveland Road. Expect to see a lot of dogs on the trail. You will have to be careful with your footing after sunset as there are lot of or rock and roots to get around.

Brandywine Gorge Trail Loop – This is a very easy, short 1.4 mile hike just off Brandywine Road (GPS Coordinates to Picnic Area / Parking Lot 41.276347, -81.540262 Map). You’ll get a great view of the 60 foot Brandywine Falls. The trail starts off with a boardwalk, but then becomes somewhat hilly and rocky.  The Summit Metro Parks’ Bike & Hike Trail runs near this trail.

Blue Hen Falls Trail (GPS Coordinates 41.257158, -81.572576 Map)- A very short 0.5 mile hike takes you to an amazing little and unique waterfall. The trailhead is off Boston Mills road. Be sure to head north towards Spring Creek, then keep going and stay right to the Blue Hen Falls Trail.

Other trails can be found on the National Park Service map. Pawtivity members also like the Buckeye Trail (part of which passes through Cuyahoga Valley) and Wetmore Trail.

Pawtivity Members Also Like: Bedford Reservation – Tinker’s Creek Scenic Overlook



Stanford Campground is the only dog friendly campground in the park that allows pets. Dogs must be kept on a 6 foot leash and attended at all times. Reservations can be made on Reserve America.



Biking is allowed on the following trails: Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, East Rim Mountain Bike Trail, Summit Metro Parks’ Bike & Hike Trail, Cleveland Metroparks’ All Purpose trails in Brecksville and Bedford Reservations. No other trails permit bikes. Biking is not allowed on hiking trails in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

If you bike on the Towpath Trail, consider taking the train back with CVSR’s Bike Aboard! service. The trail is not plowed during winter, so it may not be best to go if there is a chance of snow. If you are biking after-hours, you must have headlights. More biking options in the park are available. During winter, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing is allowed on the trail. Ohio Magazine! rated the Towpath Trail as Ohio’s best bike trail in 2015.



Catch-and-release fishing is encouraged in the park to help maintain fish populations, but you will need to get a fishing license to fish in the park. Kendall Lake off Truxell / Kendall Park Road (GPS Coordinates 41.216648, -81.527067 Map) is a great place to go fishing for catfish, bass, and bluegill fish. Ice fishing is allowed on Kendall Lake when the ice freeze to a depth of 7 inches. Hiking around the area includes the Lake Trail and Salt Lake Trail. The Cuyahoga River is well stocked with steelhead trout and bullhead. Lakes around the park also feature 65 more varieties of fish. This is not monitored so be extra careful when venturing onto the ice. Gas-powered vehicles are prohibited. More information about fishing is provided by the National Park Service.


What did do at Cuyahoga Valley? Where did you go? What dog friendly activities would you recommend to other dog owners? If you are a Pawtivity member, share your story by completing the Pawtivity, Related Pawtivity / Event: Cuyahoga Valley National Park, OH.

Is there a great dog-friendly activity or event missing from our list? Contact us so we can share it with the community!

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Related Pawtivity / Event: Cuyahoga Valley National Park, OH
Location: Peninsula, OH | Cleveland, OH
Activities: Hiking, Walking, Biking, Fishing, Camping, Cross-Country Skiing, Snowshoeing

About the Author

Life is an endless journey with a dog at your side. Find your next dog friendly adventure on Pawtivity!  We are a community that inspires and captures the stories of our dogs.

Instagram @pawtivity

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