Karen Patterson talked to our garden club about National Parks in general, and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in particular. Karen is a retired history teacher, former seasonal park ranger and currently a volunteer with the CVNP. The park has so much to offer and is just a short drive from anywhere in the greater Cleveland area. The CVNP encompasses 33,000 acres along the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron, OH. Managed by the National Park Service, it combines cultural, historical, recreational and natural activities in one setting. The Ohio and Erie Canal is located within the park along which the Towpath trail is located. The Towpath is used for hiking, running and biking. Also located within the park is the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. Visitors can ride the excursion railroad from Rockside Road to Akron with many stops in between. The railroad offers a Bike Aboard option where bikers can board the train at any station with their bike and ride as far as they want for $3. There are many hiking and bridle trails in the park as well as historic buildings and the historic canal locks. The Countryside Conservancy has reestablished working family farms in CVNP through the Countryside Initiative program. If you have not visited the national park in our backyard, please put it on your bucket list. We have a real gem just a short drive away that offers something for everyone to learn from and enjoy.