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National Park Passes a Hot Item Before Prices Jump

Rangers at the Boston Store Visitors Center on Boston Mills Rd have a steady stream of pass buyers.

The trails of the Cuyahoga National Park are popular this month with young runners getting in shape for the Fall cross country season.   But an older group is also showing up in droves to buy lifetime passes before the prices go up from $10 dollars to 80 dollars on August 28 th.   

Ranger and park Community Engagement Supervisor Pamela Barnes says the cost of these passes has not risen since 1994. 

 “What brought this about is the Centennial Act for the National Park Service and to think about how are we going to be sustainable into our second century.  And one of the ways is to bring in some revenue and maybe just increase a little bit the prices of the passes.” 

Ranger Pamela Barnes says a benefit for them has been an influx of people who have never been the Cuyahoga Valley park before. 

The senior pass for people 62 or older are good for a lifetime and allow the holder and 3 other adults in a car to get in to parks and forests for free.

Barnes says with the deadline looming sales have been “crazy.”

“At least 200 to 300 a day just in this park."

What would you have done last year?

“Oh, we would have thought it was a big busy day if we had 10.” 

The Cuyahoga Valley park is free but sells the passes at its Boston Store Visitors Center. It’ve been a lot of work but  “We are happy!    What makes us happy is we are getting people to come visit this park when maybe they would have never come to Cuyahoga Valley.”

So what do pass holders get for their $10 or $80?

 “You get free entrance for the rest of your life to all national parks and all federal lands as in bureau of land management, national forests – any place with an entry fee.  Now Cuyahoga Valley does not have an entrance fee but we provide the service of selling the passes.” 

Pass sales are done at the Boston Store Visitors Center on Boston Mills Rd.

That could be good for our local park because the National Park Service says 80-100% of the pass income will go to the park that sells them. 


The lifetime Senior Passes are for people aged 62 or older.  They’re on sale at the Visitor Center on Boston Mills road.