Place

Ira Trailhead Exhibits

Three sculptures sit on raised mounds around an upright graphic panel with bushes in the background.
Hands-on beaver, otter, and muskrat sculptures near Ira Trailhead.

NPS / Arrye Rosser

Quick Facts

Audio Description, Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Parking - Auto, Picnic Table, Restroom, Restroom - Accessible, Tactile Exhibit, Toilet - Vault/Composting, Wheelchair Accessible

A cluster of exhibits at Ira Trailhead introduce an iconic story of renewal at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the transformation of an auto salvage yard into Beaver Marsh.

In the 1980s, the National Park Service purchased the area for parklands. Volunteers organized by a local Sierra Club removed cars and materials from the old business site. About that time beavers flooded the area by building a dam across the Ohio & Erie Canal. The waters awakened long-dormant seeds of plants, creating a 70-acre wetland.

The Beaver Marsh has become a popular location for wildlife viewing. Exhibits include life-size statues of mammals that depend on the marsh for survival. A beaver rests on its log dam. A muskrat sits with its favorite food of cattails. A river otter guards its meal of a fish.

The Beaver Marsh is an easy quarter of a mile to the north on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.