• Photo of the Beaver Marsh by Jeffrey Gibson.

    Cuyahoga Valley

    National Park Ohio

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  • Valley Picnic Area Park Lot CLosed - Plateau Trail Loop Affected

    Valley Picnic Area Parking Lot is closed for the replacement of the damaged culvert on the Plateau Trail, from dusk on Monday, September 22 to 5 p.m., Thursday, October 2, 2014. Access to Plateau Trail is via the Oak Hill Trailhead. Loop unavailable.

  • Other Closures

    Valley Bridle Trail south of SR 303, across from golf course, is collapsed by river. Hard closure. Plateau Trail Bridge, north of Valley Picnic Area is closed. No detours. Plateau & Oak Hill trails are open. More »

Changes in Daily Life

Lock 29

Lock 29 along the Ohio & Erie Canal

NPS/Tim Fenner

The land that today makes up Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) has been home to humans for thousands of years. American Indians were the first inhabitants. Different American Indian cultures hunted and built villages in the valley during different periods. By the middle 1700s, Europeans were establishing trading posts in the valley and a few decades later settlers from New England started coming to stay. Those frontier communities eventually became towns, their growth helped along by first the canal, then the railroad, and later interstate highways.

 

The American Indian villages, pioneer settlements, and canal worker communities are long gone. But each wave of residents left their mark. The artifacts, trails, farms, old mills, and canal remains of the Cuyahoga Valley provide clues to how past peoples lived their lives. Visiting the CVNP's many historical sites is like visiting different time periods in the valley. Thanks to the park, those special places are preserved.

Click to learn more about the history and culture of the Cuyahoga Valley. Also read and hear stories about daily life on some of the valley's historic farms.




 

Let’s investigate what life was like in the Cuyahoga Valley during different periods of time.

American Indians—Click here for information about the Paleo Indians, the Hopewell, the Whittlesey and other late-prehistoric tribes, and the historic tribes who lived in the valley.

Western Reserve Pioneers—Click here for information about the New Englanders who settled in Northeast Ohio starting in the late 1700s.

Ohio’s Canal Era—Click here for information about 19th century life when the Ohio & Erie Canal was in operation.

Late 19th to Early 20th Century—Click here for information about valley life during the end of the 19th and start of the 20th centuries.

 
 

Did You Know?

Image of Civilian Conservation Corps statue outside Happy Days Visitor Center.

During the Great Depression, the "boys of Company 567" of the Civilian Conservation Corps helped shape the landscape that would later become Cuyahoga Valley National Park by constructing buildings, playfields, and a lake, as well as planting over 100 acres of trees.