• Photo of the Beaver Marsh by Jeffrey Gibson.

    Cuyahoga Valley

    National Park Ohio

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  • Towpath Trail Closure

    Towpath Trail is closed from Mustill Store to Memorial Parkway for riverbank reinforcement. Detours posted. Closure will last 1 - 4 weeks into August. More »

  • 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 »

  • Riverview Road Repaving

    Riverview Rd is being repaved from the Cuyahoga-Summit Cty line to Peninsula through Mon, 9/15. Road is open but there are still delays due to construction. Allow extra time. More »


1913 flood, Peninsula.

1913 flood, Peninsula.

NPS Collection

Farming in a floodplain requires a certain acceptance of natural forces. The Cuyahoga River and its tributaries normally flood throughout the year, especially during the spring. The effects are not all bad. Stormwater washing into the floodplain deposits sediments that replenish the soil.

Periodically, devastating floods sweep the region and beyond. The most famous is the Great Flood of 1913. It swept away homes, barns, livestock, and more. The Ohio & Erie Canal was so overwhelmed that some structures had to be dynamited to release the water and the canal never recovered.

2004 flood.

Cuyahoga Valley flood, 2004.

NPS Collection

Click to read a dramatic first-hand account of the 1913 flood. Urvan Murphy and his family survived the 1913 flood, but the rising waters damaged their home and fields. The historic Murphy Farm was located between the Cuyahoga River and the canal, just south of present-day Station Road Bridge Trailhead.

In the 21st century, Cuyahoga Valley farmers continue to deal with high water and crop loss. With increased land development and more numerous severe storms, water now pulses more rapidly into streams that feed the Cuyahoga River, threatening downstream communities. Despite this hardship, farmers find help from their neighbors and work together to rebuild homes and businesses.

Oral history audio.

In Their Own Words
Click the topics to hear stories about Cuyahoga Valley life.
Click here to read the text file.

Cuyahoga River (1 minute 13 seconds)
Henry Fortlage, who grew up in Independence, talks about the Cuyahoga River and why it is prone to floods.

Flooding and Help from Friends (1 minute 11 seconds)
Earl Foote, a Valley View farmer, talks about the flooding challenges he faces almost every year.

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.