• 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 »

Growing Vegetables

Beets and beans.

Courtesy/Countryside Conservancy

Farming vegetables in Cuyahoga and Summit counties began with American Indians as early as 800 BC. Ohio's American Indian cultures grew corn, beans, squash, melons, apples, and a variety of garden produce. Corn remained the most important crop for 19th century farmers, who also grew wheat, oats, potatoes, apple trees, and other garden plants and vegetables.

As the industrial boom of the early 20th century lured farmers away to Cleveland and Akron, agriculture in the valley became more focused on truck farming. Truck farming meant that the farmer grew a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and sold these products on a smaller and more local scale. Truck farms and gardens often provided families with all the food they needed for themselves, as well as provided additional income from roadside stands and markets.

 
Szalay cornfield.

Szalay cornfield.

NPS/Arrye Rosser

Corn has been grown in the Cuyahoga Valley for almost 1,500 years, beginning with Ohio's American Indians. Valley farmers in the 19th century continued to raise corn and passed the tradition along to later generations. Since 1931, the Szalay family has picked and sold sweet corn at their farm along Riverview Road. The cornfields are a familiar sight to visitors in the Everett area. In Sagamore Hills to the north, the Polcens also operate a full-time sweet corn business, which Gerald Polcen's grandfather founded over 90 years ago. Gerald and his wife Marilyn sell their corn from a stand on SR 82 during the summer.
 
Oral history audio.

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

Hunt Farm Truck Farming (40 seconds)
Helyn Toth describes her family's truck farm operation in the 1930s.

Szalay Farm Truck Farming (18 seconds)
Irene Kusnyer talks about truck farming on the Szalay Farm in the 1930s, before the business grew in scale.

The Fulltime Farmer (17 seconds)
Gerald and Marilyn Polcen describe what it takes to work as full-time sweet corn farmers.




Did You Know?

Historic photo of canal boats along the Ohio & Erie Canal.

The Ohio & Erie Canal, which runs through Cuyahoga Valley National Park, was a 308-mile waterway connecting Lake Erie to the Ohio River. This transportation route, which influenced local and national prosperity, was dug entirely by hand by mostly German and Irish immigrants.