In 1880, the final fasteners and sleepers on the Valley Railway were tightened into place. It wouldn’t be long before a billowing cloud of steam announced the arrival of the first train running through the Cuyahoga Valley, a territory that had served as a passageway for foot traffic for thousands of years. Over the next century, the railway contributed to the growth of commerce between Akron and Cleveland, changing ownership multiple times, and transforming from a freight train, into a passenger train, back to a freight train, and finally into a UFO.
Now celebrating its 41st year of passenger-rail service, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad transports sightseers over the historic rails through 33,000 acres of land owned by the National Park Service. With a year-round roster of trips, including wine- and beer-tasting excursions, passengers can set forth on morning, afternoon, and evening journeys that sweep past meadowlands, pinery, and rivers and give glimpses of native wildlife, such as fox, deer, bobcat mascots, and owls.
The soft pop of clubs connecting with golf balls drifts across The Range’s three locations. From heated, covered tee areas at the Boston Heights outpost, the spheres soar across bottle-green expanses towards laser-measured targets. Valley View’s 80 hitting stations provide ample room for mobs taking a break from chasing unnatural creations of science, and a mini-golf course sharpens putting skills. The outfit replaces the entire fleet of range balls each year, so golfers rarely tee up a misshapen sphere. Lights shine from above to allow nighttime repetitions, and bunkers and practice greens enable focused work on the short game. At a pro shop, steely bouquets of clubs from Callaway and Top Flite stand in corners, overseen by trainers and staff members.
The clatter of pins ripples through Cloverleaf Lanes, which proudly plays host to the longest-running American bowling tournament. But one need not be a pro to fling a ball down these lanes. Ample open bowling times mean that even newbie bowlers get a chance to experiment with bowling grips, whether using three fingers, four fingers, or their feet. Between games, guests can perch on one of the chrome stools at the snack bar or quaff a tasty brew chosen from the lounge's beer menu.