Cleveland, OH

Towpath Trail/Cuyahoga Valley National Park

The currently 87-mile (eventually 101-mile) Towpath Trail, running south from Cleveland through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and far beyond, forms the spine of the trails in the national park.  Along the trail, whose northernmost trailhead is located just east of the intersection of Jennings and Harvard Ave West (about 5 miles south of downtown), there are historic buildings, museums, pleasant villages, restaurants, pubs, and wildlife. The trail is easily accessible by car, with trailheads every few miles.  Almost all of these have bathroom facilities, and water fountains area also available at many of the bigger trailheads.

In the National Park, the mostly gravel trail runs alongside the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.  The CVSR’s seasonal Bike/Hike Aboard! program (https://www.cvsr.org/bike-aboard/) offers runners the chance to ride the railroad one way for a low price and return on foot in the other direction.  Our map includes the mileage distance between key trailheads.  The northernmost CVSR station is located at the Lock 39 trailhead, which also provides easy access to the park from the north.  The trailheads at Boston Store and Peninsula (Lock 29) are also noteworthy, as both offer small non-profit stores with food and drink options.

Because the trail runs roughly along the Cuyahoga River, it is for the most part very flat, but the Towpath connects to many other trails in the area that can add challenge or a change of scenery.  A connection at the Station Road trailhead leads directly into the Brecksville Reservation, an Emerald Necklace park (https://greatruns.com/cleveland-emerald-necklace/).  Between Station Road and Red Lock, the Old Carriage trail offers an easy way to loop off the Towpath.  For an interesting excursion, consider turning off the Towpath to the Indigo Lake trailhead and then taking the Hale Farm Connector Trail.  The end of this short trail offers a view of Hale Farm and Village, a local living history museum with historic buildings from around the region.  Further south, between the Portage Trail and Big Bend trailheads, the Summit Metro Parks’ Valley Link Trail connects the Towpath west to Sand Run Metropark.  Sand Run’s Jogging Trail is extremely popular with local runners. The Jogging Trail also further connects to the Mingo and Dogwood Trails for challenging, hilly terrain.  The map of Sand Run illustrates how these trails fit together.

Beyond the Towpath, the National Park also has several other noteworthy trails.  One highlight is the Plateau Trail, a 4.4-mile loop (400 feet elevation gain) with starting point near the village of Peninsula.  The Valley Trail also stretches over some 25 miles of rolling terrain in the park, with access points at Everett Covered Bridge, Hunt Farm, Wetmore, Boston, and Brecksville Reservation.  For a slightly shorter option, the Salt Run Trail is a 3.3-mile loop (160 feet elevation gain) in the eastern half of the park.  Beyond these, the National Park also offers an extensive range of other trails, from multi-use trails to more challenging ones.

Our thanks to Great Runs user Rebecca Jarvis for her help with this route!

The currently 87-mile (eventually 101-mile) Towpath Trail, running south from Cleveland through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and far beyond, forms the spine of the trails in the national park.  Along the trail, whose northernmost trailhead is located just east of the intersection of Jennings an

 

 

 

 

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. I think this is among the most vital info for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But wanna remark on some general things, The website style is ideal, the articles is really excellent : D. Good job, cheers

  2. You really make it seem really easy together with your presentation but I in finding this matter to be actually one thing that I believe I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely large for me. I’m looking forward on your next submit, I will try to get the hold of it!

  3. Along with every thing which seems to be developing inside this specific subject matter, many of your perspectives tend to be fairly stimulating. Even so, I beg your pardon, but I can not give credence to your entire plan, all be it refreshing none the less. It appears to me that your opinions are generally not totally validated and in simple fact you are generally yourself not totally confident of the argument. In any case I did appreciate examining it.

  4. Superb website you have here but I was curious if you knew of any message boards that cover the same topics talked about here? I’d really love to be a part of community where I can get comments from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Kudos!

  5. I am really enjoying the theme/design of your web site. Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility issues? A small number of my blog visitors have complained about my blog not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Opera. Do you have any suggestions to help fix this issue?

More Comments
Essentials
  • Multiple Distance Options
  • Northernmost Trailhead is located just east of the intersection of Jennings and Harvard Ave West, about 5 miles south of downtown
  • Multiple access points