CLEVELAND - The government shutdown has closed the 33,000-acre Cuyahoga Valley National Park along the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron.
That means the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, the Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail, visitor centers and restrooms and several other trails will be closed during the shutdown. A CVNP news release said that a decision will be made each day at 3 p.m. if the next day's trains will be cancelled. Tickets for the Polar Express are still being sold
Chief Ranger Chris Ryan said park visitor staying at the Stanford Backcountry Camping Area have to be out by 6 p.m. Thursday.
The Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park will continue to have programs at the Environmental Education Center through a cooperative agreement.
Trail Mix Boston and Tail Mix Peninsula will remain open because they are on private property. Staff are directing people to recreation areas that are not affected by the shutdown such as the MetroParks Serving Summit County and the Cleveland Metroparks.
The Countryside Initiative Farms are unaffected by the closures. The Farmers' Market at Howe Meadow will move to its winter location at Old Trail School Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon if the shutdown is still in effect.
The Cuyahoga Valley National Park hosts an average of 1,650 visitors on the Towpath Trail each day in October and more than 715,000 visitors a day frequent the National Park System.
About 109 employees in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park are on furlough because of the shutdown.
Ryan asks the public to respect the closures so law enforcement rangers can focus on their efforts on response to emergencies involving safety.