Mule Power Panel and Statue

Life-sized mule statue and exhibit with tactile bronze mule; paved trail leads to a white building.
Blossom, the bronze mule, gazes at Canal Exploration Center.

NPS / Tim Fenner

Quick Facts
Canal Exploration Center, 7104 Canal Road, Valley View, Ohio 44125
Mules were once the dominant “horse” power of the canal, yet today few people even know what one looks like. This bronze mule celebrates the many mules that once pulled boats along the canal.
Ohio & Erie Canal District, Ohio and Erie Canalway National Heritage Area, Ohio to Erie Trail, Industrial Heartland Trail Network

Accessible Sites, Audio Description, Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Restroom - Accessible, Tactile Exhibit

When the Ohio & Erie Canal was first built, horses were commonly used to pull passenger packets. Horses required a lot of grain and can be overworked. Slower and steadier mules soon replaced them as the engine of choice. Mules are a cross between a horse and a donkey. This hybrid animal is smarter and more efficient than a horse. To pull 30 tons of freight required sturdy harnessing.

Today, a bronze statue of a mule in harness watches over the canal, commemorating the hundreds that once labored along the towpath. There is a graphic panel beside the statue with a tactile scale model.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Last updated: October 17, 2022