Cuyahoga Valley National Park–Rockside Station and Rockside Road Wetland
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
7900 Old Rockside Road
Independence, Ohio 44131
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad website
Cuyahoga Valley National Park website
Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Facebook) webpage
Cuyahoga Valley National Park map
Cuyahoga Valley National Park trail maps
eBird Bar Charts by Season
Tips for birding Rockside Station and Rockside Road Wetlands
In the spring, summer, and fall, the trees and bushes near the train station should be checked for Warbling Vireos, Baltimore Orioles, Brown Thrashers, Gray Catbirds, and other species. A short walk to the pedestrian bridge over the Cuyahoga River can yield Belted Kingfishers and Great Blue Herons. On the other side of the pedestrian bridge is the Lock 39 Trailhead for the Towpath Trail that follows the old canal.
There is a wetland located just to the west of the train station and railroad tracks. It can be accessed by walking a dirt and gravel road from the parking lot. Various waterfowl can be seen during the migration seasons in the pond.
In the spring, summer, and fall, birds like Green Herons, Sora, and Red-winged Blackbirds are found in the wetland. Birders should also watch for Red-Tailed hawks, Turkey Vultures, Swamp Sparrows, American Goldfinches, Indigo Buntings, Eastern Bluebirds, Common Yellowthroats, Yellow Warblers, and Song Sparrows in the areas surrounding the wetlands. Bald Eagles and the occasional Peregrine Falcon have been known to fly over.
From Ken Andrews
About Rockside Station
Open Feb.-May, Sept., Nov.-Dec.: Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; June-Aug., Oct.: Wed.-Sun. 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Take a ride on this scenic railway through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, along the Cuyahoga River and the canalway. Choose from a variety of different excursions and special events. Child $6-$17, Adult $9-$25, Senior $8-$23.
See Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad website for up-to-date schedules
About Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
For thousands of years, Native Americans used the Cuyahoga River and Valley in northern Ohio as a north-south transportation corridor. Later the Ohio and Erie Canal provided the early settlers a slow, but an easy way to move bulk goods and people.
In 1880, the first steam engine chugged its way down the new Valley Railway, signaling an era of progress and prosperity for the Cuyahoga Valley residents. Primarily built to transport coal; from south of Canton to Cleveland’s growing industries, the Valley Railway also served the farmers, merchants, and factories along its route. Depots piled high with farm produce dotted the valley section of the railroad line.
Financial difficulties in 1894 led to the Valley Railway’s acquisition by the Cleveland Terminal & Valley Railroad (CT&V). The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad bought the CT&V in 1915 and continued to provide freight and passenger service between Akron and Cleveland. However, the popularity of the automobile caused a decline in passenger traffic on the line. Passenger service ended in 1963. The last freight train operated by the Chessie System ran in 1985.
Today, the historic rails are owned by the National Park Service as part of its goal to preserve the significant cultural resources in the Cuyahoga Valley. Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad operates the excursion train through Cuyahoga Valley National Park in cooperation with the National Park Service.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is 33,000 acres of land that is part of our National Park system. From river floodplain and steep cut valley walls to ancient stands of evergreen, you’ll journey through a world of historic sites and timeless natural processes. This is a world that still enchants, even after 12,000 years.
Take a seat and watch it unfold. Meadowland, pinery, marsh, river, ravine and wood. Beaver, fox, deer and owl. Amble through small towns. A working 19th-century farm. Miles of smooth Towpath Trail to bike and hike. A fascinating canal museum. Big city shopping and more. There’s a wealth of natural and human history in the Valley. The world where time slows and Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is your ticket in.
From Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad website
About Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Though a short distance from the urban areas of Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park seems worlds away. The park is a refuge for native plants and wildlife and provides routes of discovery for visitors. The winding Cuyahoga River gives way to deep forests, rolling hills, and open farmlands. Walk or ride the Towpath Trail to follow the historic route of the Ohio & Erie Canal.
From Cuyahoga Valley National Park website
Warning: All areas of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park are prone to deer ticks from the early spring until late fall, so prepare accordingly before birding.
Restrooms are available in Boston Store Visitor Center when open. Restrooms at locations identified on Cuyahoga Valley National Park map. Most areas have non-flush toilets; there are flush toilets available at the Pine Hollow parking lot on Quick Road and the Virginia Kendall Lake lodge building.