From Ohio History Central
During the 1960s and 1970s, urban expansion threatened rural areas in northeastern Ohio, especially between Cleveland and Akron. Facing pressure from local citizens and conservation groups to preserve the natural environment, the United States Congress and President Gerald Ford established the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area in 1974. United States House of Representatives members Ralph Regula and John Seiberling, both from Ohio, played a major role in the recreation area's creation. The federal government placed the area's management under the control of the National Park Service, which worked jointly with Cleveland Metroparks and Summit County Metroparks to preserve the site. In 2000, the federal government converted the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area into the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It is the most recently established national park, and the National Park Service continues to work with local agencies to protect and maintain the site.
Today, the park consists of thirty-three thousand acres of land between Cleveland and Akron. Twenty-two miles of the ninety-mile-long Cuyahoga River flow through the protected area. Over three million people visit the park each year. Visitors can enjoy a wide number of activities. They can hike along miles of trails, including along portions of the abandoned Ohio and Erie Canal. Guests can also swim, picnic, golf, canoe, and kayak, among numerous other activities.