Enjoy Hiking, Fishing and Kayaking at Virginia Kendall Lake in CVNP

Virginia Kendall Lake CVNP Park

Virginia Kendall Lake at Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a great place for fishing, kayaking, hiking, picnicking, and family fun.  This park is part of the 530 acre Virginia Kendall Park which is also home to The Ledges (Ritchie Ledges) where you can enjoy a scenic overlook, hiking trails, picnic areas, and pavilion. 

There are several trails at Virginia Kendall Lake including the 1 mile hike around the lake. We take this path year-round for the beautiful views of the Kendall Lake. It is an easy trail that even kids and pets can walk with little difficulty. there are occasional small hills along the path and one some-what steep hill along Truxell Rd but it has built-in steps making it easy enough for everyone to tackle.

Year-round, this trail offers scenic views and plenty of green space to enjoy. I love seeing the wildflowers growing along the lake!

The views through the woods are fantastic as well.  My kids and dog like to stop by the stream to explore along the East side of the path too. We usually spend 20 minutes just letting them play in the shallow stream.

You’ll find amazing old trees along the path as well. If these trees could talk….

My kids are adventurous and love exploring off the path as well. This park is pretty safe to let kids explore – there are ledges or huge drop offs like Ritchie Ledges. The photo below is of the stream at the bottom of the lake – of course, we don’t let the kids walk in or through the drain. Walking through the stream is a timeless sort of fun all kids should enjoy.

The scenic views along the lake are priceless. There are places to sit and take in the beauty along the path. I encourage you to at least try to take a break to take in the beauty – if your kids and/or pets will allow you the break from exploring!

There is always plenty of wildlife at Kendall Lake – there are always ducks and geese around the lake. We see beavers nearly every visit as well – you’ll see the results of their handwork with gnawed off trees along the path and even a dam on the south side of the lake.

There are coyotes, red fox, owls, deer, and other creatures in CVNP park, so you might get lucky enough to see one of them too. We even saw bluegill fish spawning on a recent visit!


If you like to fish, Kendall Lake is a great place for you! You can fish from the pier or along the lake. CVNP encourages catch-and-release to protect the 65 species that live in the CVNP waters. You can also kayak or canoe at Kendall Lake at your own risk. No motorized boats are permitted.

There are picnic tables around the lake but mostly near the pavilion that also houses the restrooms. In the winter, you can rent cross-country skis and snow shoes at the pavilion as well.

If you are visiting Kendall Lake, make sure to drive the 1/2 mile away to The Ledges (Ritchie Ledges) too. You won’t want to miss the overlook!

Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Virginia Kendall Ledges Scenic Overlook
405 Truxell Rd
Peninsula, OH 44264

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