• Image of bluebells in the spring

    Cuyahoga Valley

    National Park Ohio

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Valley Bridle Trail Partial Closure

    A section of the Valley Bridle Trail is closed across from the Brandywine Golf Course. There is no estimate of when this section will be open. Please observe all trail closures. More »

  • Plateau Trail Partial Closure

    The outer loop of the Plateau Trail is closed at the Valley Picnic Area junction for bridge repair. The bridge is now unsafe for pedestrian traffice due to accelerated erosion around the base. More »

  • Bald Eagle Closure in Effect Until July 31, 2014

    Returning bald eagles are actively tending to last year's nest within the Pinery Narrows area in CVNP. To protect the eagles from human disturbance, the area surrounding the nest tree will be closed until July 31, 2014. More »

  • Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (CVSR) Bridge Construction Closures

    Rockside and Canal Visitor Center boarding sites will be closed through Apr 27. From Jan 18 - Mar 16, CVSR will operate between Akron Northside and Brecksville stations. From Mar 22 - Apr, CVSR will operate between Akron Northside and Peninsula. More »

  • Do Not Feed the Waterfowl and Birds!

    Many people enjoy feeding waterfowl and birds, but the effects of this seemingly generous act can be harmful. Regular feeding can cause: unatural behavior, pollution, overcrowding, delayed migration, and poor nutrition and disease.

  • Closure on Fishing Will Remain in Effect for Virginia Kendall Lake

    Due to the government shutdown, we were unable to survey the fish community in VK Lake as scheduled. Our survey partners (ODNR) will not be able to get into the lake until early spring of 2014. Therefore, the closure on fishing will remain in effect. More »

Late 19th and Early 20th Century

While the canal boom years ended, farming remained as a way of life and work for most Cuyahoga Valley residents. Many were dairy farmers. They could easily ship fresh milk and butter to cities like Cleveland by railroad. Farm life around the turn of the twentieth century remained rougher than town life. When electricity, indoor plumbing, and phone lines arrived in the valley’s villages, these modern conveniences passed over remote farms until decades later. Mothers cooked family meals over wood-burning stoves and lit rooms with lanterns and candles. Farmers plowed fields by mule, transported their crops by wagon, and kids walked or rode horses to school.


Kids Asked, We Answered!

Click the questions to play video of real kids getting answers from park experts.

How much free time did kids have?

Were trains sanitary?


In Their Own Words! To learn more about what it was like to grow up in the Cuyahoga Valley in the early 20th century, read quotes from three long-time residents: Helyn Toth, her cousin Clark Morris, and Helen Conger.


The village of Boston, around 1910, showing its paper mill

NPS Collection

Mill Towns and Tourist Trains

Some stone quarries, mills, and factories stayed open after the canal era. And not all of the valley’s once booming canal towns went bust. A paper mill that made roofing paper and flour sacks expanded the village of Boston between 1900 and 1923. Many of its workers were Polish immigrants who lived in company-built wooden houses. Boston became enough of a company town in the first decades of the twentieth century that its train depot was renamed Boston Mill. Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Boston Store Visitor Center features some historic photos of early twentieth-century life in Boston.


Another company town was Jaite. The Jaite Paper Company built a paper mill along the Cuyahoga River in 1905. Jaite Mill made flour and cement bags for more than 75 years. CVNP now owns the mill site. It converted the remaining company houses and store into offices for park headquarters.

Oral history audio.

In Their Own Words!
Click the topics below to hear stories about working at the Jaite Mill.

Jaite Mill Products (52 seconds)
Working with Friends and Family (33 seconds)
Josephine Davis, who grew up in Brecksville, talks about working for the Jaite Paper Company.


German picnic on canal


A new kind of industry was coming to the Cuyahoga Valley by the late 1800s—tourism. Early pioneers couldn’t imagine that the steep rocky hills and shallow Cuyahoga River they battled would someday became a playground for city folk. But it did! Families from Cleveland, Akron, and other crowded industrial cities saw the valley as a peaceful, natural place to escape to. They came by canal and train—and later car—on weekend daytrips and summer vacations. Inns, boat rides, scenic train trips, roadside stands with farmers selling their produce, and other tourist attractions became part of the valley. The recreational value of the Cuyahoga Valley was what led it to eventually become the national park it is today.

Did You Know?

Drawing of a mule driver on the Ohio & Erie Canal.

A young James A. Garfield, 20th President of the United States, worked briefly as a mule boy on the Ohio & Erie Canal, an important cultural resource within Cuyahoga Valley National Park.