• 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 »

Canal Exploration Center

CVNP Canal Exploration Center _Denny Reiser_500w

The Canal Exploration Center is the park's newest attraction

©D.J. REISER

Come immerse yourself in the period between the country's Jubilee and Centennial years, 1825 - 1876.


The Canal Era is a story of working people striving to realize the Founding Fathers' vision. Some prospered as businesses flourished along the watery interstate "highways" of the day. Immigrants and people of color struggled for work, greater freedom, and acceptance. Boats brought new consumer goods into the heartland and carried out raw materials. No longer reliant on homemade things, Americans became shoppers. During the Canal Era, the national identity and the national economy began to gel.

At Canal Exploration Center interactive maps and games, explore why a growing nation needed canals. Meet people who lived or worked along the Ohio & Erie Canal. Read a diary entry by a teenage canal worker.

Listen to John Malvin, a free African American, recall his experiences as a canal boat captain. Try on a captain's frock coat or the simpler coat of a boatman. Decide whose money and whose opinion to trust. What did the notion of progress mean to different people? Canals brought changes in immigration, jobs, communications, and home life. Step into the nineteenth-century pastime of debate as citizens express their feelings in speeches and newspapers. How much should taxpayers invest in public works projects? Who benefits? Questions like these remain relevant today.

 
CEC painting by Don Getz

Painting by Don Getz.

Canal Exploration Center is located at 7104 Canal Road, Valley View, ohio 44125

Hours:
- Daily, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. starting Saturday, May 17 through August
- Wednesday through Sundays in September and October
- Saturdays and Sundays in November.





Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad will once again offer the Canal Explorer train excursion to Canal Exploration Center. Please check www.cvsr.com for details.

Did You Know?

Image courtesy of Cleveland Museum of Natural History

American Indians in the Cuyahoga Valley were influenced by the Hopewell Culture, which created large mound complexes in central Ohio from 100 B.C. – A.D. 500? In the Cuyahoga Valley, American Indians built small mounds rather than large ceremonial centers.