This weekend’s weather promises to be nice. Many people will have an urge to visit Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Just be careful about any other urges you might experience while visiting the 33,000-acre park between Akron and Cleveland.
That’s because the park closed 10 public restrooms this week, citing the federal budget sequester.
The park must find $600,000 in costs to cut and will not hire a seasonal worker to clean the toilets, as would have been done in the past, spokeswoman Mary Pat Doorley said Friday.
It is the first mandated cut to visitor services in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, she said.
The closed toilets are not the most heavily used in the park, generally are located at remote park trailheads and, “None is in primary-use areas,” she said.
The closed portable toilets are at Indigo Lake and Howe Meadow in Cuyahoga Falls; Pine Hollow, Oak Hill, Horseshoe Pond, Wetmore and the Everett Road Covered Bridge, all in Boston Township; Pine Lane in Peninsula; Red Lock in Sagamore Hills Township; and the Frazee House in Valley View.
Only one of the closed toilets — Red Lock Trailhead — is along the heavily visited Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, Doorley said.
The park is keeping 13 restrooms open and most are in the park’s most-popular areas, said Paul Stoehr, the park’s assistant superintendent.
Restrooms along the Towpath Trail remaining open are at the Botzum Trailhead in Akron, the Ira and Hunt Farm trailheads in Cuyahoga Falls, Lock 29 in Peninsula, the Boston Store in Boston Township, Station Road in Brecksville, the Canal Visitor Center in Valley View and Rockside Road in Independence.
Other park restrooms that will remain open are: the Octagon, Ledges and Kendall Lake shelters, all in Boston Township; the Happy Days Lodge in Boston Heights; and Brandywine Falls in Sagamore Hills Township.
The closures have drawn little response so far. Doorley said she has received one complaint and one offer to adopt a restroom to keep it open.
The park is anticipating that visitors will comply with the closures and use the park restrooms that remain open.
“We would hope that people will respect others and nature and not cause problems,” she said.
People going off into the woods in developed park areas to relieve themselves can be cited by rangers, but that usually only happens when it triggers problems, Doorley said.
Additional cuts, including reduced hours at park visitor centers, will be announced soon, she said.
Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or firstname.lastname@example.org.