The Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area is full of public parks, visitor centers and exciting museums that celebrate the area’s diverse heritage.
We’ve curated this list of parks and public spaces in Cuyahoga County that will help you discover the history of the Ohio & Erie Canal history, engage with the canal and the Towpath Trail, and learn more about the area’s broader culture and history.
Canal Basin Park is the northern gateway to the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. The park is the only place within the City of Cleveland where you can see the remnants of the canal architecture. Here is where the original canal met the Cuyahoga River at Lock 44. Much of the original canal was eventually filled in and covered with railroad tracks as the modes of transportation change. Today, it is a trailhead for the Towpath Trail and is being developed into a 20+ acre park.
The Cleveland Metroparks’ Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation follows a portion of its namesake, the historic 309-mile Ohio and Erie Canal. Together with the Cuyahoga River, the northernmost remaining 4.4 miles of watered canal offer wildlife management areas, fishing opportunities and scenic beauty throughout the reservation. Picnicking, hiking trails, an All Purpose Trail, and a bike park and pump track.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a refuge for native plants and wildlife, and provides routes of discovery for visitors. The winding Cuyahoga River gives way to deep forests, rolling hills, and open farmlands. Walk or ride the Towpath Trail through the park and follow the historic route of the Ohio & Erie Canal.
In the Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation, visit the Cleveland Metroparks’ CanalWay Center to discover the connection between nature and history. The center highlights the natural and cultural history of the surrounding area and features a children's features children’s play area with a replica canal boat play area, a bird viewing room, and live animal wildlife species for viewing.
The Canal Exploration Center in Cuyahoga Valley National Park takes an in-depth look at the canal’s heyday. The visitor center is in a historic building that was once a tavern, store, and residence on the banks of the canal. During the summer months, guests can interact with maps and games to discover why a growing nation needed canals and meet people who lived or worked along this watery interstate “highway.”
The Boston Mills Visitor Center severs as the “front door” to Cuyahoga Valley National Park. All visitors, local or from around the world, are invited to explore the new exhibits in the center, plan their CVNP adventure with advice from staff and uncover the history of Ohio’s only national park and our National Heritage Area.
The Cleveland Cliffs Steel Heritage Center celebrates the industrial history of the Cleveland. The center is an old clock tower that was moved next to the Towpath Trail, and features several outdoor, interpretive exhibits that explore the city’s connections to the steel industry. You can find the Steel Heritage Center along the Towpath Trail at Steelyard Commons.