"Experience the Underground Railroad" is a partnership program between Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) and the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (CVSR) that engages visitors in an interactive program in the role of escaping slaves. Throughout the program they meet first-person characters who provide a glimpse of the 1850s, hear a variety of opinions regarding slavery in Northeast Ohio, and experience the difficulties and dangers faced by escaping slaves. The program occurs the 1st and 2nd Saturday in November. Groups limited to 40 depart every 30 minutes on a 1.5-mile evening lantern hike around Indigo Lake and along the Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail. A total of 6 groups participate each night. The group boards the train for their return trip Currently, we do not have conclusive evidence that the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail was utilized by those escaping slavery on the Underground Railroad (UGRR). However, other similar areas have evidence so we assume that this experience may have occurred at CVNP. The program offers visitors many opportunities to make profound emotional connections to the meanings and significance of the UGRR and to understand why we interpret the UGRR at CVNP. It provides multiple perspectives throughout the program demonstrating the complexity of the issues associated with slavery in the 1850s.
Visitor Information: Currently open to public.
Location: Cuyahoga Valley National Park, 15610 Vaughn Road, Brecksville, 44141
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: John P. Debo, Jr., Supt.
Location Type: Program
UGRR Operatives: John P. Parker