Attendance at Cuyahoga Valley National Park approaches 3 million in 2022

Nearly 3 million people visited Cuyahoga Valley National Park in 2022, making it one of the ten most visited national parks in the country.

Public relations officer Pamela Barnes said the park saw a surge in attendance in 2020 and attendance has continued to rise, surpassing that figure in 2022.

“During the pandemic, when many indoor locations were closed, people found parks,” she said. “We see this trend continuing.”

Barnes also said that the name of the park was changed from “National Recreation Area” to “National Park” in 2000, helping to attract more visitors from other cities over the years.

“There is a bit more recognition of national park status,” she said. “It’s increased our out-of-town visitation over the years to people who want to cross all these national parks off their lists.”

National parks across the country use traffic meters at the entrance to the parking lot to count visitors.

The most popular areas of the park, according to Barnes, are the Brandywine Falls, the ledge trail, and the beaver swamp located along the tow trail trail.

Several changes have been made to the park over the past few years, such as the opening of the Boston Mill Visitor Center in 2019. In addition, efforts have been made to expand access to the Cuyahoga River throughout the park.

Cleveland’s greater social media presence and marketing has also encouraged people to visit Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Barnes said.

“When people plan a trip to Cleveland, they see that there is a national park here,” she said. “They visit the city of Cleveland to visit Rock Hall or sporting events and then add a park.”

Barnes said Cuyahoga Valley National Park is unique because of its location and history.

“If you hear a national park, you think of Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, the Rocky Mountains and the vast wilderness, it’s not the Cuyahoga Valley,” she said. “It’s close to home, between two cities, and it’s a park that tells the incredible story of the Cuyahoga River. […] ecological return.

According to Barnes, the park is an asset to the community.

“This is an incredible resource for the physical and mental well-being of people. That’s 125 miles of trails,” she said. “You can drive for less than half an hour or so down the road and feel like you’re walking away from it all.”

Barnes said she encourages more visitors to come to the park.

“Don’t let the fact that we’ve announced this increase in attendance stop you from coming,” she said. “We love seeing people come to enjoy the national park. We love to receive people.”

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