History & Accomplishments
Since its founding in 2007, TRAILS FOREVER has accomplished a number of important projects to preserve, maintain, and enhance the trails of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Together, the National Park Service and the Conservancy have engaged volunteers, advocates, and other partners to repair damage, install benches, build staircases, and resurface trails—among many other projects. We’ve highlighted a few key accomplishments below.
Current Project: Tabletop Trail
Currently, the Conservancy and the National Park Service are partnering to restore and reopen Tabletop Trail, a key connector trail in the Wetmore Trail system. This trail has been closed since 2003 due to heavy flood damage—until now. Thanks to donations from TRAILS FOREVER supporters and the hard work of volunteers and NPS trail crews, Tabletop Trail will reopen in the late fall of 2014 with a cleared trail corridor, repaired bridge, and measures to improve drainage and stabilize erosion. You can help with this project by donating to the Tabletop Trail project or signing up as a trail volunteer.
Together, the Conservancy and the National Park Service co-manage the third-largest national park volunteer program in the country. Through Days of Service, Alternative Spring Break, and other trail-specific volunteer programs, our volunteers help ensure that you can continue to enjoy all 104 miles of trails in your national park.
In 2013, 460 volunteers donated almost 9,000 hours to support trails—a total of 244 individual maintenance projects. One of our annual events is the celebration of National Trails Day, where volunteers gather to perform maintenance and restoration projects around the park. During our most recent event, 70 volunteers performed trail sweeps at the Ledges, Pine Grove, and Haskell Run trails, including:
- Improving water control on Haskell Run Trail.
- Controlling erosion on the stairs at Pine Grove.
- Re-aligning stones near the Ledges parking lot.
- Spreading trail covering on the Ledges Loop.
Getting to trails that need repair can sometimes be tricky—and hauling the necessary equipment to make those repairs is even trickier. Thanks to funds generated by the TRAILS FOREVER Legacy Fund, however, the National Park Service was able to purchase a trailer in 2013 to haul tools and equipment to project locations along the trails. As of the spring of 2014, the trailer is now in service and will continue to help both staff and volunteers reach the far-flung places of the national park for important trail maintenance.
Using additional funds from the TRAILS FOREVER Legacy Fund, NPS also hired a trails volunteer coordinator in 2013. This position has been instrumental in coordinating and implementing a number of trails restoration projects—including park staff initiatives to clear downed trees, re-route damaged trails, resurface the Towpath Trail, repair trail signs, and add benches along the trails.
This summer, nearly 700 people attended Elevation and Topography, raising nearly $120,000 for the park’s trails. On both evenings, guests enjoyed a unique experience in the national park while enjoying gourmet food, camaraderie, hiking, music, and campfires. All proceeds from the events were allocated to TRAILS FOREVER.
Unlike many fundraisers, there was no fundraising at the events themselves. Instead, donations came primarily from ticket sales and corporate sponsorships, so guests could simply enjoy the experience of an evening in the national park, with fantastic food and drink—all for a great cause.
Even with all these accomplishments, there is still work to be done. Learn how you can support CVNP trails >