• 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, September22 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 »

Railroads

Valley Railway.

Valley Railway

Courtesy/Peninsula Library & Historical Society

The advent of railroads helped make farming more profitable in the Cuyahoga Valley. In 1852, the Cleveland & Pittsburgh opened Summit County to railroad traffic. That same year, the Cleveland, Akron & Zanesville was built to connect with the Cleveland & Pittsburgh railroad. These railroad lines transported freight and passengers between Cleveland, Akron, and agricultural markets to the East.

Rather than replace the Ohio & Erie Canal as a means to ship agricultural goods, the railroad worked with the canal. Bulk staples such as oats and grains were shipped by way of the canal to distribution and processing centers in Cleveland and Akron where the goods were reloaded to freight cars bound for the eastern markets.

The mid-century railroads, as well as the later Valley Railway finished in 1880, rapidly increased the Cuyahoga Valley's industrial expansion. Railroads made possible the development of booming industrial centers in northeast Ohio, with many of these new industries farm-related. Unlike the canal, railroads were cheaper, faster, and gave more dependable service since they were not subject to freezing and flooding, which caused lengthy delays.

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.