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.


As the ground defrosts after a long winter, it comes alive with many different types of wildflowers. The most activity occurs from April to May, when 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! Here are just some of flowers you may find:

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.


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 during spring. 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.

For beavers, look out for a dam in a riverbank (specifically at The Beaver Marsh). Listen closely for the sound of rustling leaves or dropped acorns for a chance to see small mammals such as squirrels or chipmunks.


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. Minimize crowds by visiting earlier in the day or later in the evening. If you see a lot of people gathered, head to another great spot in CVNP!