The Ohio and Erie Canal complex was built between 1825 and 1832. The canal provided a quick and reliable transportation route for then sparsely populated Ohio. By the time of completion, the canal extended for just a bit over 300 miles through the treed expanse of Ohio. The canal started at Cleveland, on Lake Erie, and ended at the Ohio River near Portsmouth, on the border with Kentucky. The canal complex included several feeder canals and over 100 lifting locks for transitioning boats from one elevation to the next. Paths were cut through the wilderness alongside the canals for the horses and mules that were used to pull canal boats.
Yesterday, that girl and I hiked a 5 mile section of the Towpath Trail. The Towpath Trail is a multiuse trail that follows the canals and connecting river systems, sometimes using the actual mule paths from when the canal was in operation. We hiked the section along the Cuyahoga River Valley (in Akron) where the Cuyahoga River and the Little Cuyahoga converge. The Cuyahoga River served as part of the canal network.
Our hike started at that girl’s daughter’s house. Her house is literally across the street from one of the Towpath access points alongside the Little Cuyahoga River in the notch valley below downtown Akron.
We enjoyed the hike immensely. The trail is well-developed and the clouds lifted for the afternoon. Posted is a photograph of the path and a photograph of that girl looking where the two rivers converge.