Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley became a national park in October 2000. It’s currently the only national park that originated as a national recreation area. The park is a refuge for native plants and wildlife. The Cuyahoga River, meaning crooked river, gives way to deep forests, rolling hills, and vast farmland.

While visiting Cuyahoga Valley, we opted for a more passive park experience than normal. We took a ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, which covers a span of 51 miles. The track hugs the Cuyahoga River, and provides an eagle-eye view of the landscape from the comfort of a vintage railcar.

After our 3.5-hour journey on the railroad, we were headed for Marietta, OH. This night, we would be staying with my mom’s childhood best friend, whom I’d actually never met before. While this could’ve gone a variety of different ways, it was actually the best surprise of the trip! We had so much fun getting to know her, her husband, and daughter. We had drinks and lots of laughs on their immaculate back porch area, took a tour of Marietta and saw where my mom grew up, and then had some tasty homemade soup for dinner. So very thankful for my mom’s lifelong friends and the way they took us in like family ❤

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