Place

Canal Exploration Center Station

Interior wall of a yellow shelter with two graphic panels on either side of a  window.
Exhibits inside Canal Exploration Center Station.

NPS / Arrye Rosser

Quick Facts

Accessible Sites, Audio Description, Bicycle - Rack, Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Information, Restroom - Accessible, Wheelchair Accessible

The Canal Exploration Center Station is symbolic of the many small stations that were once along the Valley Railway. There was one at every little hamlet of any size. This station is evocative of a historic depot, but it was built by the national park in the early 2000s.

Visions for a train line through the valley began in the 1850s. Competition and economic slumps delayed its completion until 1880. By then it was the shortest route between the coalfields of Tuscarawas County to the south and Cleveland’s ports to the north. For the valley, the historic stations were a lifeline to the outside world. From train stations like these, milk, cheese, grain, and lumber were shipped to the outside world.

From this point, visitors can get on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad or follow the paved path east to Canal Exploration Center and the Towpath Trail. Exhibits at the station explore the relationship between the Valley Railway and its rival, the Ohio & Erie Canal. The two forms of transportation coexisted for decades because each found its own niche. The railroad carried passengers and heavy freight, like coal and stone. Flour, grain, and other agricultural goods were often shipped on the canal.