Ohio : Safety by City
- Cuyahoga Falls
- Port Clinton
- Yellow Springs
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, is a vibrant city with a rich history and an array of attractions for visitors positioned between Cleveland and Akron, plus on the southern fringe of Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
This charming city’s roots trace back to the early 19th century when it was established as a manufacturing and milling center due to its strategic location along the Cuyahoga River.
The city’s name itself is derived from the beautiful Cuyahoga Falls, a natural wonder created by the river’s cascading waters.
This suburb of 50,000 people brings fun for all, with a developed downtown holding as much historic charm as modern dining and breweries.
Just a few feet away, the river beckons for adventurers to explore the waters.
The nearby Cuyahoga Valley National Park offers numerous hiking and biking trails, with the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail being a popular choice.
Waterfall-hunting is a favorite pastime, with locations like Brandywine Falls captivating nature lovers.
In Cuyahoga Falls, visitors can explore a unique blend of history, entertainment, and outdoor beauty, while still being centrally located near two major cities in Ohio.
In addition, highways span in all directions to explore some of the amazing scenic byways of Ohio.
Warnings & Dangers in Cuyahoga Falls
OVERALL RISK: LOW
There's a low risk here with crime rates that any traveler would be comfortable with and plenty of things to do. It's largely dedicated to outdoor activities, so if you're an "indoors" person, you might not be as thrilled to be here.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
You can review the Akron METRO bus system maps to see if the public transportation works for you here, but there's a good chance you'll want to rely on taxis or rideshares to get around. I'd recommend having a rental car.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
The city averages 10 pickpockets or purse snatchings a year, which might not sound like a lot, but it's higher than many other cities of similar size. I'll keep it at a low risk, but be sure to exercise caution with your wallet and purse. Limit what you carry, and don't leave any items unattended, even if just dining and placing your purse on the ground.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
This is a medium risk because so many activities here are based on being outdoors, and so many weather issues can ruin those plans and pose a safety risk. Severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, flash flooding, and high winds peak in the spring but run through the summer. Winter can bring heavy snow, blizzards, ice storms, and dangerously cold temperatures. Each risk comes with plenty of advance warning if you're paying attention.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
The robbery rate here is just 11% of the national average, so there's a low risk. You still don't want to let your guard down, but this is about as low as I've seen a robbery rate in a city of 50,000 people across the state.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
You should always be on the lookout for suspicious activity and report anything that doesn't seem right. A standard plea from law enforcement nationwide is "See Something, Say Something." That said, there's a low risk in Cuyahoga Falls.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
Scams here are mostly targeting residents. You can review the Federal Trade Commission website for common signs of scams, just to know the red flags. For example, if someone tries to sell you a "discounted" park pass to Cuyahoga Valley, that would be a scam because only the National Park Service or authorized vendors sell those.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The tap water here is safe to drink or use for bathing. The 2022 Water Quality Report states, "The City of Cuyahoga Falls Water Utilities Department did not exceed any of the federally mandated maximum contaminant levels, nor did it need any variances of exemptions. Also met were all of the requirements of our prescribed Treatment Techniques."
Safest Places to Visit in Cuyahoga Falls
You’ll find that many websites for Cuyahoga Falls don’t have the full name in the URL.
I’m guessing that’s because people have a hard time spelling it correctly.
Goodness knows spellcheck has saved me many times in this article.
The downtown website is DowntownCF.com, and the city is cityofcf.com.
You can find area attractions and a list of things to do on both websites.
For Cleveland, look for the “This Is Cleveland” website, and Akron is under the Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Downtown Cuyahoga Falls has its heart at the Portage Trail and Front Street, right along the Cuyahoga River.
Whether you want to experience nightlife or take a float trip down the river, this is your headquarters for fun in the city.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is one of the top draws to this region, with more than 2.2 million people visiting annually.
Explore the scenic hiking trails, take a ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, and don’t miss the breathtaking Brandywine Falls.
Along the river, you can also explore Discover the Gorge Metro Park, with more unique rock formations, waterfalls, and hiking trails.
It’s smaller than the national park but also won’t have as many people.
Cool off in the summer at the Water Works Family Aquatic Center with slides, pools, and a lazy river.
With the Ohio summer humidity, you’ll love to make a splash on a hot summer’s day.
History buffs should check out the “Historic” section of the downtown Cuyahoga Falls website.
It’s under construction as I write this, but once completed, you can get a walking map of the historic buildings with summaries of each location’s role in the past.
Places to Avoid in Cuyahoga Falls
The east and southeast sides of town have the highest crime rates, but by no means would anyone consider that a dangerous part of town.
You might run into some sketchy neighborhoods as you get closer to Akron.
West of Highway 8 is where the lowest crime rates are, but part of that does include the park, which is under the law enforcement of the National Park Service.
The Park Service does a great job of detailing the trails and includes the difficulty level.
Don’t try a trail if you aren’t sure you can handle the challenge of it.
Some trails can be steep, muddy, long, or slippery throughout the various seasons.
You should also avoid hiking the more challenging trails alone.
Tag along with another group so you’re at least within range of other people.
Avoid going into nature without checking the weather forecast.
There’s a section of the Perkins Trail in the park that has a slew of downed trees from a bad storm in the 90s.
You don’t want to get caught in the wilderness when a thunderstorm or snowstorm is approaching.
Always check “Park Alerts” before you head to the park for road closures or hazards.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Cuyahoga Falls
- Cuyahoga Falls has its own police department. You can find them on Facebook @CuyFallsPolice. If you have specific safety questions, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (330) 928-2181.
- Sign up for Cuyahoga Falls Online Alerts through the city’s website. This helps communicate severe weather information or details of other safety threats. You can choose to get text messages or emails.
- If you’ll be visiting Cuyahoga Valley National Park, download the NPS app to get park alerts, trail maps, and other important information. You can even download maps that will be available when you are out of mobile range.
- Another great app is the Cuyahoga Falls Police Department. You’ll be able to report suspicious activity or find contact information quickly. Real-time crime alerts are also one of the features.
- You can anonymously report criminal activity that wouldn’t warrant a call to 911 by texting ‘CFPD’ and your information to 847411. For example, if you see a group of people spraying graffiti, you would text the location details and descriptions of the vandals. If you don’t want to text, you can call 330-971-TIPS and leave a message.
- Fishing requires a license in any Ohio body of water. The Ohio Department of Fish & Game issues those licenses with an easy purchase system online. Licenses range from one day to a full year. Choose the one that works best for your trip length.
- You’ll need the Ohgo app to get the most reliable traffic information in the Cleveland area. Real-time traffic, weather conditions, and construction alerts are posted. Live cameras are available across the region and state. You can also set your preferred routes and ask for alerts only on those roads if you’d like.
- Potholes can pop up on roads starting in spring, and reporting a pothole can help make the roads safer for everyone. You just call the Pothole Hotline at (330) 971-8FIL (8345). The freeze/thaw cycles of winter can cause these potholes. Don’t assume someone else has reported a pothole, even if it’s a large one.
- Street parking will be banned when heavy snow is in the forecast. This is to allow the snow plows to get through and clear the entire road. A parking ban might be put into effect, meaning you could get ticketed or towed if you leave your car on the street.
- For those traveling with kids 17 or younger, you should know there’s a curfew in Cuyahoga Falls starting at 11:00pm on weekdays and midnight on weekends. Those hours don’t extend in the summer.
So... How Safe Is Cuyahoga Falls Really?
Cuyahoga Falls is a safe suburb and a great central location of the Cleveland and Akron region.
You’ll be close to the national park while also being in a place where the crime rates are less than half the national and state averages.
Normally, I like to give five or ten-year crime rates for comparison, but Cuyahoga Falls has an anomaly in the crime date for 21, with averages that were way too low to be legitimate.
Many departments didn’t get full data into the FBI in a post-pandemic world, so it’s not that unheard of.
In fact, some departments have reported nothing since 2019!
The latest official crime data I have is from 2022, where just 7% of violent crimes happened against strangers.
As one Redditor stated, “The only time I hear of trouble in Cuyahoga Falls is when people go looking for it, e.g., people who get drunk and pick fights.”
Thefts are just 3% higher than the national average, with 22% of those being related to car break-ins and accessory thefts.
Simply locking your car, taking the keys with you, and removing personal items lowers that risk a lot.
It might sound silly to say that, but most police departments blame unlocked cars or keys left in a car as the main reason for car break-ins.
A few cautionary notes include knowing that low crime rates don’t mean a lack of crime or an excuse to let your guard down.
Also, this is one of the few areas near Cleveland with a low crime rate.
We encourage you to read our articles about Cleveland proper before you visit there.
However, Cuyahoga Falls can be enjoyed with basic common sense and standard safety practices.
How Does Cuyahoga Falls Compare?
|Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)||43|
|Siem Reap (Cambodia)||63|
|Phnom Penh (Cambodia)||61|
|Niagara Falls (Canada)||87|
A visa or visa waiver is necessary for international visitors to enter the country. The U.S. State Department website is your go-to resource for determining your eligibility for a visa waiver. You can also use the Visa Wizard module on their site for assistance.
The U.S. Dollar is the only currency you can use here. Credit cards offer the best fraud and theft protection, but you can exchange currency at the Cleveland airport if you need cash. If you are a member of a local bank, you can also use that option. Your home bank will have the most reasonable fees.
With a lot of outdoor activities nearby, you'll want to pack casual, comfortable clothing for adventures. The area has a lot of caves, cliffs, and waterfalls, so bring hiking boots to get the best grip when hiking. You'll also want bug spray. Winters can be bitterly cold, so bring all the cold-weather accessories and a thick coat.
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is 40 miles northwest. Without traffic, that drive will take 30 minutes, but plan for an hour if you're driving during rush hour. Akron-Canton has a regional airport 20 miles south, but it's much smaller (and doesn't have currency exchange).
Travel insurance is smart, especially when visiting a place where the weather can be so disruptive to travel. Insurance will go into effect immediately after purchase, protecting you against last-minute emergencies. Without free healthcare in the U.S., you should have supplemental insurance if your home policy doesn't work here.
Cuyahoga Falls Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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Ohio - Safety by City