1. The Cuyahoga River (meaning crooked river in Native American language) flows through the entire length of your trip. You will see the river bend and wind its way toward Lake Erie. You can see its sandy banks and point bars where it makes sharp turns. You will also see glimpses of the Towpath Trail (in yellow) which runs parallel to the canal and railroad.
2. Canal Exploration Center built about 1827, this building has served as a tavern, grocery and residence. The NPS restored its exterior to reflect the 1850s, when the canal was in its heyday. Discover canal heritage and enjoy interactive exhibits and activities for both adults and children.
3. The Meadow About 25% of the park is in field habitat. This field is one of many examples of habitat restoration. The field had been a fly ash dump site. Restored with plantings of native switchgrass, the meadow now supports a wide variety of wildlife including deer and fox.
4. Jaite This company town was built in 1906 to house some of the employees of the Jaite paper mill. At the peak of production the factory operated around the clock. Some workers slept in shifts in the dormitory on the top floor of the company's general store. Now, the restored yellow buildings serve as National Park Service Headquarters.
5. Pinery Narrows As the valley narrows to less then 1000 feet you enter the Pinery Narrows. The white pine trees that gave their name to these steep slopes were logged long ago for the masts of sailing ships. Wildlife abounds in the narrows and along the river. It is also the site of several great blue heron rookeries (breeding colonies). You may be able to see one of these majestic birds. Look for their nests which resemble a platform of sticks.
6. Route 82 Bridge This graceful bridge spans the Cuyahoga Valley at a height higher than the Statue of Liberty. Built in 1931 using a relatively new building material in this area, concrete, it illustrates the evolution of bridge engineering. Concrete allowed elegant bridges built with less weight mass and cost. Just south of the Route 82 bridge is the newly restored Station Rd Bridge, originally built in 1881. Both bridges can be seen in our poster.
7. Canal Feeder Dam The original dam was built in 1827 to provide water for the Ohio and Erie Canal. Today the dam still diverts water into the only watered section of the canal in the valley.
8. Boston Home of the infamous counterfeiter Jim Brown, Boston bustled with activity after the opening of the Ohio and Erie Canal. Mills, boat-building yards, small factories, grocery stores, a tavern and a hotel clustered around the canal and river. The terrible flood of 1913 washed the canal, the mill dam and Water Street out of existence. A canal boat museum is located in the Boston Store.
9. Peninsula As the Cuyahoga River curled its way through this part of the valley, it met steep walled hills that turned it back to within 60 feet of itself, creating a series of peninsulas. The village of Peninsula once rivaled Cleveland in size during the early days of the canal. Many of the lovely buildings still stand as witness to that era when the canal was Ohio's lifeline to prosperity.
10. Deep Lock The deepest in the valley section of the canal, this lock had a lift of 17 feet, Ferdinand Schumacher of Quaker's Oats fame owned the nearby sandstone quarry. He used grindstones taken from the quarry in his Akron mills. The railroad crosses the dry canal bed and runs parallel to it for several miles.
11. Upland Forest On the hillsides you can see an example of the upland forests of the Cuyahoga Valley. Dominated by huge Oaks, this forest is, nonetheless, a second growth forest. These woods were cut for their timber during the canal era of the 1800s. Virtually all of the CVNP trees were cut at one time or another. The result is forest that are still undergoing various stages of change.
12. Everett Officially known as Unionville, the village was better known as Johnnycake Lock. The name stems from an 1828 flood on the canal which stranded several boats. Within a few days the crew and passengers had only johnnycake (cornbread) to eat. Later, the village changed its name to Everett in honor of T.S. Everett the railroad's vice president.
13. Beaver Marsh This is the parks most prominent beaver marsh. This marsh was once a junkyard, cleaned up by the NPS and local volunteers. Following the cleanup beavers moved into the area to create the marsh you see today. Now it is one of the park's most productive bird watching locations.
14. Hale Farm Jonathan Hale established this farm in the wilderness in 1810. It proved to be a prosperous venture for the Hale family. Today the Western Reserve Historical Society runs the farm as a living history museum depicting rural life on a mid-1800s farm.