Place

Boston Trailhead

Road sign points to unpaved parking lot with a red corn crib, center, and distant highway bridges.
Entrance to the main Towpath Trail parking lot in Boston.

NPS / Tim Fenner

Quick Facts

Audio Description, Information - Maps Available, Information Kiosk/Bulletin Board, Parking - Auto, Trailhead

The village of Boston grew up alongside a canal on the east side of the Cuyahoga River and a railroad on the west side of the river. Today, it is a crossroads for hikers, cyclists, runners, paddlers, horse riders, and train passengers. Boston Trailhead provides parking on the east side of the river for access to the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath, Valley, and Buckeye trails. Paddlers may park their vehicles at the trailhead after unloading equipment at the Cuyahoga River Water Trail drop-off.

When the Ohio & Erie Canal opened in 1827, it pushed Boston from a small frontier hamlet to a busy canal town. Boston became a place where people lived, but also passed through on their travels. Starting in 1880, the Valley Railway brought people and commerce through the community. By that time, people from nearby cities started coming here to relax. Today, the tradition continues. People pass through the community as they recreate in the park. People also live here, calling Boston home.

From this trailhead, visitors can head north or south on the Towpath, Valley, and Buckeye trails. The towpath follows the historic route of the Ohio & Erie Canal and is open to bicycles. A 2.2-mile (each way) walk from here will take you to Brandywine Falls. Head north 0.5 miles on the towpath to the Stanford Connector to find Stanford Trail, which leads to the falls. This route is not open to bicycles.

The Valley and Buckeye trails provide more secluded options. The Valley Trail accommodates horses and connects bridle trail networks in the south end of the park with Brecksville Reservation to the north. Horse trailers are permitted at Boston Trailhead. However, the parking lot was not designed to accommodate them, and it can be a challenge to navigate.

The Buckeye Trail circles the state of Ohio. Here, it heads up and down the wooded ravines created by tributaries of the Cuyahoga River. Follow blue blazes to find the Buckeye Trail.

Heading west over the river, visitors can explore the park at the Boston Mill Visitor Center. Take a moment to explore the history of the Ohio & Erie Canal, the history of Boston, or the history of the changing transportation that brought people here.