Signs of Spring in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Beaver image by Bruno/Germany from Pixabay

Spring is in the air! This means warmer temperatures, blooming flowers, and wildlife sightings in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. At the Conservancy, we look forward to seeing people get out and enjoy all of the beautiful scenery. Here are some things to look out for this season as you walk along the trails.

Wildflowers

As the park defrosts after a long winter, it comes alive with many different types of wildflowers. The most activity occurs from April to May, while the flowers try to soak up as much sun as possible before the tree canopy shades the ground. This is the perfect time to visit the park and capture this beautiful display of nature! Some examples of flowers you may find are:

Bluebells near the Environmental Education Center
  • Virginia Bluebell: These blue, trumpet-shaped flowers can be found blooming from April to May, and are a recognizable staple of spring. They can be most easily found along Furnace Run Trail.
  • Bloodroot: The Bloodroot flower develops in early spring and can be identified by its white petals and bright yellow center. Look out for this beautiful flower as you walk along the Towpath Trail.
  • Marsh Marigold: The bright yellow petals of the Marsh Marigold flowers are hard to miss! The stems can grow up to 2 feet tall and are most commonly be found along the Towpath Trail and Haskell Run Trail.

Wildlife

Indigo bird sits on a bird feeder with a seed in its mouth
Image by heronworks from Pixabay

CVNP also provides refuge to many species of wildlife. A visit to the park any time of year offers visitors a close glimpse of the diversity that lives there, but it is truly abundant in spring. During this time multiple species of birds begin their migration to the park, with May being the busiest month for sightings. Some of the birds you can expect to see are the American Woodcock, Metallic-blue indigo buntings and many species of Wood-Warblers.

You can also see signs of other wildlife. For beavers, look out for a dam in a riverbank (specifically at The Beaver Marsh). You can also listen closely for the sound of rustling leaves, or dropped acorns, as they are most likely due to small mammals such as squirrels or chipmunks.

Waterfalls

Spring is the perfect time to catch all of the recently thawed waterfalls CVNP has to offer. The rainy weather may not always be ideal, but the increase in precipitation allows for beautiful, picturesque cascades. The park has many waterfalls, the most popular being Brandywine Falls, the tallest in the park.

Brandywine Falls
Photo: Sue Simenc

***Please keep in mind that waterfalls are a popular park destination. Masks must be worn on federal property when it is not possible to socially distance. Please minimize crowds by visiting waterfalls earlier in the day or later in the evening, and if you see a lot of people gathered, head to another great spot in CVNP to search for more signs of spring!

Whether you enjoy hiking, biking, birding, or just simply getting outside, visiting the park in spring is the perfect way to appreciate all of the scenery CVNP has to offer!

Spring Playlist

While we can’t always be outside, that doesn’t mean we can’t still stay connected to nature from our homes or offices. Do you have a song that makes you feel ready for spring? For us, it’s “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles. Send your spring song to us at connect@forcvnp.org and we’ll share all of the answers below so you can create a spring playlist for your day!

  • “Im Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves submitted by Carolyn M.
  • “Green Grass” by Gary Lewis & the Playboys submitted by Paul G.
  • “The Four Seasons: Spring Movement” by Antonio Vivaldi submitted by Frank K.

Looking for fun activities to do this spring with your family? Check out some of our favorites here.

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