The Towpath Trail

Towpath Trail

The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail

The Towpath Trail was constructed in the flood plain between the canal and the Cuyahoga River. Heavy rain can cause flooding or lead to erosion on the trail, which can make more expensive repairs necessary. If you would like to check for trail closings, you can find links to each section here: Canalway Alerts.

The Towpath Trail and surrounding parks are extremely popular. The section in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park alone sees over 2 million visitors each year.

To help those travelers, the park systems have the Towpath Trail patrolled by park rangers and volunteers. These bike patrols ride the Towpath Trail to offer assistance with emergencies and information to visitors.

Towpath Trail

Lock 3 Park, downtown Akron

The History

The Ohio & Erie Canal and Towpath Trail is an important piece of Ohio history, and helped make Ohio the great state it is today!

The canal and trail was originally 309 miles long and constructed in 7 years—from 1825 from 1832. The Ohio & Erie Canal was one of the longest canals ever built. It was hand dug by Irish and German immigrants, who were paid $0.30 per day.

The Towpath Trail that we use today, which follows the old canal, originally served as a path for the horses and mules pulling the canal boats. Because of this, most canal boats did not move very fast. In fact, to help prevent damage to the canal, the state even imposed a speed limit of 4 MPH—that's the average speed most adults run.

The Ohio & Erie Canal was a massive undertaking, and originally built to create a link between Lake Erie and the Ohio River so that farmers could get their goods to markets as far away as New Orleans, Louisiana.


For additional information about the
Towpath Trail, please visit our partners!

Cuyahoga Valley

Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park headquarters is located at 15610 Vaughn Rd, Breskville, OH 44141 but it is not staffed. They do have other, staffed visitor's centers in the park. Their bike patrol volunteers are called, "Trailblazers," and ride the trails to assist visitors. This service costs $100,000 annually. For information please call the CVNP at 1-800-445-9667 or visit their website.


Cleveland Metroparks

Cleveland Metroparks
Cleveland Metroparks is located at 4101 Fulton Parkway, Cleveland, OH 44144. Their phone number is 216-635-3200, or you can visit their website. The Cleveland Metroparks also had a bike patrol to help assist visitors on the trail.


Summit County Metroparks

Summit Metro Parks
Summit Metro Parks manages 18 miles of the Towpath Trail and 10 trailheads along it. Their rangers and volunteers (Bike and Trail Patrols) help keep the trails safe for everyone using them. For more information about the Metro Parks, Serving Summit County or addresses and driving directions to their trailheads, visit their website and check out the "Parks & Trails" tab.


Stark Parks

Stark Parks
Stark Parks maintains much of the Towpath Trail in Stark County. Their main office is at 5300 Tyner St. NW, Canton, OH 44708. Stark Parks has a bike patrol program called the Trailblazers, who ride the trails to help visitors in emergencies or offer information. Addresses for several of the trailheads in Stark County can be located on their website. The phone number for Stark Parks is 330-477-3552 or visit their website.


Tuscarawas County Parks Department

The Tuscarawas County Parks Department
The Tuscarawas County Parks Department is a great partner to the Towpath Trail. Founded in 2004, the Parks Department has worked diligently to help create beautiful greenspaces in Tuscarawas County. For more information on the Tuscarawas county Parks department, please call 330-365-3278 or visit their website.