The City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Cleveland Metroparks and Canalway Partners celebrated the opening of the Towpath Trailhead at Canal Basin Park on Thursday September 8. The completion of this trailhead marks the end of construction on the Towpath Trail in Cuyahoga County and the first phase of the transformation of Canal Basin Park.
The Canal Basin Trailhead is the northern terminus of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, a 101-mile trail following the path of the historic 1832 Ohio & Erie Canal. Canal Basin Park includes parcels that were once occupied by the canal itself.
“The connections the Towpath Trail creates between people, place and history are essential. We’re excited to bring those connections into downtown Cleveland with the trailhead at Canal Basin Park,” said Mera Cardenas, Executive Director of Canalway Partners. “We look forward to further marking this historic location with the park improvements coming in future years.”
The addition of the trailhead is an early phase of the Canal Basin Park Framework Plan adopted in 2015. The park’s framework plan includes the addition of 20 acres of greenspace, riverfront connections, and interpretive areas to highlight the creation of the Ohio & Erie Canal and its significance to the region’s history.
“We are delighted to see the Towpath Trail extended into Downtown Cleveland. The trail’s new northern terminus creates a vital connection between the city and the region, ” said Mayor Justin M. Bibb. “We look forward to working with partners to advance the vision for Canal Basin Park and invite Clevelanders to come out and enjoy the many events happening at the park this weekend.”
The Canal Basin Trailhead was funded through NOACA utilizing $550,400 of savings realized during construction of Towpath Trail Stage 4 as well as a funding match from the City of Cleveland.
“The Canal Basin Park trailhead provides critical access to our riverfront, lakefront and regional trail network,” said Brian M. Zimmerman, Cleveland Metroparks CEO. “As an established corridor, the Towpath Trail, underscores the tremendous impact partnerships such as this have on the quality of life of our residents and the vitality of the region.”
“Cuyahoga County is excited to celebrate the opening of the Towpath trailhead at Canal Basin Park,” said County Executive Armond Budish. “What a long time this has been coming—the completion of Canal Basin brings together over five miles of recreation created by the Towpath Trail. I am grateful for the work of our partners to create such a valuable resource and look forward to residents enjoying this new greenspace and historical site in Cuyahoga County.”