• Kendall Hills in summer bloom by Jeffrey Gibson

    Cuyahoga Valley

    National Park Ohio

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Temporary Bridge Installed at Brandywine Creek

    A temporary bridge has been installed over Brandywine Creek and visitors will be able to complete the Brandywine Gorge Trail, during good weather. The bridge may be flooded and impassable during heavy rains. Caution signs are in place. More »

  • Towpath Trail Closures

    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 »

  • Road Closures

    Quick Rd is closed from Akron Peninsula Rd to Pine Hollow Trailhead in Peninsula, from Wednesday, 7/16, for 6 weeks. Detours posted. Hines Hill Rd is closed from Tuesday, 7/29 through Tuesday, 8/12 for resurfacing from I271 to the Boston Township Line. More »

  • Riverview Road Repaving and Closure

    Riverview Rd is being repaved from the Cuyahoga-Summit Cty line to Peninsula through Mon, 9/15.Road is open with single lane closures. Riverview Rd is closed from Boston Mills Rd to the Cuyahoga Cty line starting Mon, 7/14 for for 3 weeks. Detours posted. More »

Making a Living

Farmers with horses.
Courtesy/Bath Township Historical Society
 

Around the world, farmers share a special bond with their land that involves faith and stewardship. Beginning with American Indian peoples 1,500 years ago, generations of Cuyahoga Valley farmers from diverse backgrounds have raised the crops and livestock necessary for survival.

 
River, railroad, and canal between Boston and Peninsula.

River, railroad, and canal between Boston and Peninsula.

NPS Collection

Throughout the last 200 years, both agriculture and the landscape significantly changed as cultural influences brought new ideas and technology to the Cuyahoga Valley. Farming greatly expanded during the Canal Era (1827 - 1850) because this interstate system gave farmers access to new markets. The Ohio & Erie Canal and later the railroads were important forces that helped subsistence farmers play a larger role in the market-driven economy. The canal also influenced the development of farm-related industries, such as cheese factories and grist mills.

While improved transportation helped farmers build up their businesses, the end of the canal marked the end of agricultural dominance in the Cuyahoga Valley. Cleveland and Akron's industrial boom in the early 20th century lured farmers into the cities in search of quicker ways to earn higher wages. Those that kept farming often had to work outside jobs in order to support their families.

After the national park was established in 1974, many of the remaining farmers sold their property to the federal government. This was often an unhappy decision. For some residents, breaking this bond with the land created a sense of loss that has lasted for decades. For others, love for the land has kept them farming, despite hardships and outside pressures.

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

Loving Farm Life (16 seconds)
Earl Foote of Valley View talks about why he became a farmer.

Life Outdoors (24 seconds)
Daniel Greenfield, of Greenfield Berry Farm, describes the rewards of his job.



Managing a successful farm involves making daily decisions about what products to grow, how to sell those goods, and how to overcome numerous challenges. Click the links to the left to learn about how past and present farmers made their living in the Cuyahoga Valley.


 

Did You Know?

Monarch Butterfly - US Fish and Wildlife Service Photo

Early September is the time to watch monarchs feed in Cuyahoga Valley fields rich with goldenrod and New England aster. These places serve as important re-fueling sites for these long distance travelers on their way to oyamel forests near Mexico City more than 2,000 miles away.