Paths to Exploration

Discover our region by exploring everything Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and the Ohio & Erie Canalway have to offer on foot, bike, car, train or boat!

The National Heritage Area celebrates the rails, trails, landscapes, towns and sites that grew up along the first 110 miles of the canal that helped Ohio and our nation grow. Today, each of these assets offers a new way to explore the region and learn about our history.

While traveling along the iconic Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail you can see the canal and read about its creation and impact. On the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, you can sit in style and see Cuyahoga Valley from a unique perspective. Or drive along our nationally designated America’s Byway to take in everything from our industrial roots to our historic canal.


Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail

Canal reservation marathon 2020 towpath

The Towpath Trail generally follows the historic path walked by horses and mules while pulling cargo on the Ohio & Erie Canal between 1827 and 1913. Today the path is now a multi-use trail that offers the perfect opportunity to explore the Ohio & Erie Canalway on foot or bike and features many interpretive exhibits to help you learn while you explore.

Learn More about the Towpath


America’s Byway

America's Byway Sign

Not just a single road, the byway is a carefully mapped 110-mile route through four counties and 58 communities in the National Heritage Area. Our America’s Byway connects key cultural, historic, recreational and natural sites of interest by way of two-lane roads.

The drive follows the path of the canal and illustrates the evolution of the transportation systems and industries that grew up in conjunction with the canal. More than 600 blue and orange signs mark the byway and lead drivers through the Canalway. It begins in The Flats neighborhood of Cleveland in the north and ends at the National Heritage Area’s southernmost point of Schoenbrunn Village in New Philadelphia.

Explore America’s Byway


Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad


Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is a tourist excursion railway and nonprofit that offers unique opportunities to experience Cuyahoga Valley National Park. In addition to seasonal and themed rides, the railroad also offers hike, bike and kayak aboard opportunities where you can combine a train ride with other exploration methods!

Visit Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad


Cuyahoga River Water Trail

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The Cuyahoga River Water Trail is Ohio’s 13th water trail, a marked route along the river for recreation. It follows the unique U-shape of the Cuyahoga River through four Northeast Ohio counties to Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland. The five water trail segments offer diverse paddling experiences.

The distances between Akron and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park present challenges but offer miles of beautiful natural scenery. The industrial and shipping channel in Cleveland requires extra safety precautions. You’ll see large shipping freighters and rowing boat crews among the views of the city.

Learn more about Cuyahoga River Water Trail


Ohio to Erie Trail


The Ohio to Erie Trail is a collection of multi-use trails that create a route from the Ohio River to Lake Erie. Also known as Ohio Bike Route 1, the 326 mile route spans the state of Ohio from Cincinnati to Cleveland. The collection of regional trails connects four of Ohio’s metropolitan cities, numerous towns and villages and is primarily separated from major highways. The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail is one of the northernmost sections of the Ohio to Erie Trail.

Read more about Ohio to Erie Trail

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