Trail Updates: East Rim, Towpath, Blue Hen Falls, & Carriage Trail

Memorial Day has been the widely acknowledged unofficial start of summer. After the long winter, CVNP is a busy destination! In the spirit of helping to enhance your National Park experience, we’ve put together some important trail updates:


Towpath Trail

updated May 26, 2018

The Towpath Trail is a CVNP icon. It follows the route of the Ohio & Erie Canal through the Cuyahoga River valley and continues both north and south of the park. This fully accessible trail has 11 trailheads within CVNP and is ideal for hikers and cyclists of all ages and abilities.

National Park Service Re-Opens Section of Towpath Trail on May 25, 2018

The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail between Boston Store Visitor Center and Peninsula is now open. In December 2017, the trail section was closed for replacement of a pedestrian bridge. The park worked with contractors to successfully complete the bridge so visitors can enjoy the trail during the holiday weekend.

The trail remains closed between Deep Lock Quarry and Hunt House. The park is working to complete the remaining three pedestrian bridges included in the same project.

Once sections of the trail are open, we will let you know!


Blue Hen Falls

The park is continuing to ensure your visitor experiences are positive. Summer and the weekends are times of the year when the park is busy and iconic locations are congested. Blue Hen Falls is one of those iconic locations, and the trail currently offers very limited parking. The park has implemented temporary changes this year as they continue to evaluate permanent solutions.

What you’ll experience:

  • The overflow lot is being reduced to prevent additional resource damage and help prevent visitors from getting stuck in the mud.
  • The small lot (north side) will be closed and road signs will be changed to direct all traffic to the overflow lot.
  • There are “No parking on road” posted along the road.
  • “Park in Boston and use Buckeye Trail” signs are posted to encourage a hike experience from the Village of Boston access the Buckeye trail to connect to Blue Hen Falls.

The goal of these changes is to improve visitor experiences, reduce parking on road and to improve overall area safety of all park visitors. Please let us know if you have additional questions:


Old Carriage Trail

Situated along the Towpath between Red Lock and Station Road Trailhead in Sagamore Hills lies The Old Carriage Trail. It’s a 3.5-mile loop that was closed in 2009 because of the rapid deterioration of the trail’s three 150 – 160-foot pedestrian bridges. The project was part of the National Park Service’s $12 billion Deferred Maintenance backlog until last year when Cuyahoga Valley National Park was awarded funding from entrance fees collected at national parks.

The first step in the project was tree removal before April 1st, before threatened and endangered species of bats come out of hibernation and return to the area to roost in the trees. The removal of trees was necessary to accommodate a re-routing of the trail and to provide construction vehicle access. Care was taken to remove as few trees as possible and to protect large canopy trees.

The park examined closely all options to maintain a world-class hiking experience while utilizing funding in a fiscally responsible manner. In partnership with the Greenwood Village Community Association, the Old Carriage Trail will be re-routed to eliminate the need for the Hemlock and Rocky Run bridges. Bridge demolition is expected to take place later this spring, but work is highly weather-dependent, so a precise timeline is unknown.

Because your safety is most important, The Old Carriage Trails will be closed during construction. Once the trail is open, we will let you know!


East Rim Trail

The building of the total East Rim Trail System will continue after a long winter. Recently, the Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA) announced they received a $15,000 community grant from REI to complete the work that was started last year on the East Rim Trail System’s Edson Run Trail as well as complete some improvements on Lamb Loops and the trailhead. This grant will allow CAMBA, the Conservancy, and the park to bring Spectrum Trail Design back, once soil conditions improve, to complete much of this work.

The completion of Edson Run will add about a 1.5-mile downhill trail that begins at the trailhead and feeds into Lamb Loop at the bottom near the creek crossing. This trail will descent 200’, climb 80’, and will finish with a 100’ descent.

For continuous updates on East Rim Trail conditions, follow @CVNPmtb on Twitter.



Around mid-2006 the emerald ash borer arrived in Northeast Ohio. The invasive species native to northeastern Asia has devastated ash trees throughout Ohio. (Read more about the issues.) Use caution when you are in the park by being aware of dead trees and limbs, especially during high winds and when the ground is saturated by heavy rains. The park suggests that you avoid trails in high wind conditions.