Canalway works to preserve and improve meaningful public spaces in order to celebrate the historic, cultural and natural assets that represent the story of our National Heritage Area.
Canalway invests in these spaces through programming, fundraising, management, interpretive design or project development.
The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail is a 101-mile path that generally follows the route of the 1832 Ohio & Erie Canal south through Cuyahoga County, Stark County, Summit County and into Tuscarawas County. The Cuyahoga County section of the Towpath Trail was completed in 2021 and includes 11 miles of trail.
Designed as an all-purpose trail, the Towpath Trail in Cuyahoga County connects Canal Basin Park in The Flats south to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Great for biking and hiking, the Towpath Trail in Cuyahoga County is completely paved and offers scenic views of the Cleveland skyline, the Cuyahoga River, the Scranton Flats and the Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation.
The trail intersects with more than 10 miles of connectors trails including the Cleveland Foundation Centennial Trail, Treadway Creek Trail, Mill Creek Trail and Hemlock Creek Trail. In conjunction with these trails, the Towpath connects city neighborhoods to Lake Erie, downtown, and the Cleveland Metroparks Emerald Necklace.
Building the Towpath Trail was a complicated undertaking. Canalway Partners, the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and the Cleveland Metroparks joined together in a project development agreement, each agency bringing their expertise to the effort. Canalway acted as the lead fundraiser on this project. We are extremely grateful to all the partners who worked to help us complete the northern extension project of the Towpath Trail.
In Cuyahoga County, the Towpath Trail is managed and maintained by Cleveland Metroparks.
Canal Basin Park sits where the Ohio & Erie Canal met the Cuyahoga River in the beginning of the 20th century. When the canal was complete in 1832, the canal basin is where Cleveland’s agricultural products were shipped eastward to New York City and where the manufactured items were unloaded for Cleveland consumers.
Today, the 20 acre park includes the northern most trailhead of the Towpath Trail, remnants of historic railroad tracks, native plants and riverfront greenspace.
Canalway is working with public and private partners in the development of plans for Canal Basin Park which will include interpretive signage to recognize the parks important history and increase park amenities. Project partners include Canalway, the City of Cleveland, Cleveland Metroparks, and NOACA.
Canal Basin Park is the only place in the City of Cleveland where you can see the historic canal.
Hart Crane Park is on the east side of Cuyahoga River in The Flats neighborhood.
Named after the Cleveland poet and former Plain Dealer reporter Hart Crane, the park is part of the Ohio Literary Trail. The park features a memorial designed by artist Gene Kangas where sculptures are embellished with Crane's words and inspired by Crane's whimsical, winding way of writing.
The Towpath Trail connects to Hart Crane Park via the Cleveland Foundation Centennial Trail. Hart Crane Park is near the amenities at Rivergate Park including the Cleveland Rowing Foundation, Crooked River Skatepark and Merwin’s Wharf. Canalway has owned Hart Crane Park since 1994. It is the base of operations for the annual RiverSweep and the celebratory Cuyahoga River Rally.
You can find Camp Cleveland Along the Towpath Trail in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood. The location is the historic site of Cleveland’s largest training camp for Union soldiers as well as a hospital during the Civil War.
The Camp Cleveland Interpretive Area features several oversized swings overlooking downtown Cleveland, a replica Civil War cannon, greenspace with picnic tables and grills, and benches representative of barrack beds beneath a metal framework mimicking the size of the Civil War barracks. Canalway regularly programs this pocket park.