Bring Your Kayak Aboard the Train

We are unable to accommodate kayaks for the Explorer program at this time. We expect to resume accepting kayaks when the entire route reopens.  

Paddle the river and ride the rails! Ride the train one direction and kayak back to your starting point or vice versa.

Single Kayak: $10
Double Kayak: $15


Are you bringing a group of five or more aboard the train? We look forward to welcoming you aboard! We kindly ask you email us ahead of your trip at so that our Explorer staff will be prepared to welcome you on for your trip!

Cash is preferred; exact change is appreciated. The train can be flagged down at any of our boarding stations by waving both arms over your head. The train will always leave on time from the stations, so please arrive to the station 10 minutes prior to departure time.

For the Explorer train schedule, please visit the National Park Scenic page.

Do you frequently kayak in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park? Purchase an Explorer Seasonal Pass.

Kayak Aboard is proudly presented by:

Months | May – October

Days of Operation | May: Friday – Sunday; June – October: Wednesday – Sunday

Policies and Procedures

  • The train can be flagged down at any of our boarding stations by waving both arms over your head.
  • Plan to arrive 10 minutes before departure time.
  • Pay your fare upon boarding. Exact change is appreciated.
  • All bags and supplies should be removed before loading.
  • Know your destination before boarding.
  • Canoes and stand-up paddle boards are NOT accepted on the train.

Track the Train

Download the app for free on Google Play or the Apple Store. This app allows you to follow the train, view the train’s current speed, heading and even listen to audio clips as you bike along.

Accessing the River

For more information, please review the Cuyahoga River Water Trail brochure.

Lock 29 Access 

Access the river from the Lock 29 Trailhead parking lot in Peninsula.

Station: Peninsula

Boston Store Trailhead River Access 

Access the river from Boston Store Trailhead in the Village of Boston.

Station: Boston

Red Lock Trailhead River Access

Access the river from the south side of the Vaughn Road bridge over the Cuyahoga River.

Station Road Bridge River Access

Access the river via the Station Road Bridge Trailhead in Brecksville.

Station: Brecksville

Lock 39 River Access

Access the river from the Lock 39 Trailhead in Valley View.

Station: Rockside


The park does not maintain the river channel on a regular basis, and stream conditions are ever changing. Paddlers must assume complete responsibility for their own safety.

Swift currents, log jams, and strainers are common and serious hazards on the river. Strainers are downed branches or trees that allow water to pass through. Currents can pull boats into the strainer, trapping the paddler and creating a potential drowning situation. Paddlers should portage around obvious hazards or areas of uncertainty.

After it rains, the water may contain bacteria from combined sewer overflows and storm water runoff. A high level of bacteria in the water can be a health hazard. Check the latest water quality information at Ohio NowCast. Advisories are posted by approximately 9:15 a.m. daily from May through October.

Visit the water trail’s Plan a Safe Trip page before you leave home.

River water temperature and flow are recorded by the United States Geological Survey. The three nearest gages are: USGS Old Portage GageUSGS Jaite Gage, or USGS Independence Gage.

Make sure you are aware of your location on the river in case of emergency. In the event of an emergency call the park’s Communication Center at 440-546-5945 or dial 911.

Rules & Regulations

All paddlers on the Cuyahoga River should be familiar with federal, state, and park regulations that apply to the river. Ohio boating laws apply to all paddlers in Ohio, including visitors from other states. The National Park Service does not allow any alcohol to be consumed on Cuyahoga Valley National Park property without a permit.

  • ORC 1547.54 All boats—including canoes, kayaks, motorboats, and most inflatable boats—must be registered. Ohio law requires that a boat’s registration be carried onboard. Bring proof of residency if you are visiting from a state that does not require canoes or kayaks to be registered.
  • ORC 1547.25 US Coast Guard-approved life jackets are required for every person onboard. They must be in serviceable condition and correctly sized for the wearer.
  • ORC 1547.24 Children under the age of 10 are required to wear a properly fitted, US Coast Guard-approved life jacket at all times while on a boat under 18 feet in length.
  • ORC 1547.11 Operating any boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs is prohibited. Ohio’s limit for impairment is 0.08 blood alcohol content level for persons who are of legal drinking age. It’s 0.02 for anyone who is under 21. (Alcohol is not permitted on the river or in the national park without a permit.)
  • ORC 1531.29 Disposing of any item considered to be litter in any ditch, stream, river, lake, pond, or other waterway is illegal.
  • Children under the age of 12 who are operating a manually propelled boat must be directly supervised by an adult.
  • Only human powered vessels are allowed on the Cuyahoga River. Inner-tubes and inflatable toy flotation devices are prohibited.

Respect the rights of landowners. Be aware that some of the land along the river is privately owned. Seek the owner’s permission before using any private property.

Commercial use of the Cuyahoga River is not being authorized at this time. For more information visit our permits page.

For more information and updates please refer to Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s website.