Lock 36

A graphic panel with a brown, arched metal footbridge over a watered channel in the background.
Although little remains of Lock 36, the Pinery Feeder is still used to water the canal.

NPS / Tim Fenner

Quick Facts
Park at Station Road Bridge Trailhead, 9141 Riverview Road, Brecksville, Ohio 44141. Cross the bridge and walk north on the Towpath Trail.
The Ohio & Erie Canal was once a vital transportation route, connecting Ohio to growing cities on the East Coast. Engineers built locks such as this one to raise and lower boats. Here the Pinery Feeder provides water to the longest intact section of the Ohio & Erie Canal, a national historic landmark.
Ohio & Erie Canal District, Ohio and Erie Canalway National Heritage Area, Ohio to Erie Trail, Industrial Heartland Trail Network, Valley Line National Heritage District

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

Shortly after the Ohio & Erie Canal opened in 1827, engineers realized more water was needed to maintain a constant four-foot level. They built the low-head Pinery Dam in the Cuyahoga River to direct water into a channel to “feed” the canal at Lock 36. This part of the valley is known as the Pinery Narrows because this skinny section once had abundant pine trees.

Canal locks such as this one once raised and lowered canal boats, acting like water-filled elevators. They were made of carved sandstone and lined (or “puddled”) with clay to keep them from leaking. But water takes its toll. Construction of the arched high-level bridge nearby also added to the debris in Lock 36.

From here visitors can go north or south on the Towpath Trail. A half-mile north, a horse trail veers off to the left. A short distance south, a connector trail leads to the Station Road Bridge Trailhead with exhibits, restrooms, drinking water, and a train station.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Last updated: January 20, 2022