Lock 26

A pale gray trail to the right of and parallel to a stone canal lock and graphic panel.
The Towpath Trail runs by Lock 26, just south of the Beaver Marsh boardwalk.

NPS / Arrye Rosser

Quick Facts
Park at Ira Trailhead, 3801 Riverview Road, Peninsula, Ohio 44264. Turn left and walk north on the Towpath Trail.
Businesses and family homes clustered near locks on the Ohio & Erie Canal. The Carter family, who lived near Lock 26, contributed to Cuyahoga Valley’s reputation as “cheesedom.”
Ohio & Erie Canal District, Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area, Ohio to Erie Trail, Industrial Heartland Trail Network

Audio Description, Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Tactile Exhibit, Wheelchair Accessible

Forty-four locks allowed boats on the Ohio & Erie Canal to stair-step up from Lake Erie to the Portage Summit in Akron. Families and businesses clustered at these locks. Charles and Susan Carter lived near Lock 26.

Canal, farm, railroad – all played a part in the lives of the Carters. Charles served as a canal boat captain and locktender. The family raised corn and hay on their 56-acre farm to feed their dairy cows. A short walk would take them to the former community of Ira, located near today’s Ira and Riverview roads. Though the community did not have any stores, taverns, or churches, it was a distribution point for dairy products. The Carters and other local farmers brought milk to the Hawkins Cheese Factory for processing. It was one of many in the region, which became known as ‘Cheesedom.’ From the community’s railroad depot, farmers shipped their cheese and fresh milk to urban areas.

While at Lock 26, view the exhibit to explore an early “selfie” by Edwin Bell Howe. He was taking the image of himself with his new safety bicycle. Yet note in the background the number of wooden cheese hoops, full of cheese, waiting to be shipped out this spring morning.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Last updated: September 7, 2021