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Towpath Trail Connections Complete: Regional Partners Celebrate

6/9/2021




Media Contact: : Devyn Giannetti: (216) 225-9813, dgiannetti@cuyahogacounty.us

1.5 Mile Trail between Literary Avenue and the future Canal Basin Park Now Open

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH - The community and partners celebrated today the opening of a 1.5-mile stretch of the multipurpose Towpath Trail between Literary Avenue in Tremont and Canal Basin Park in the Flats.

Stage 4 is the final of the four-phased trail project which will soon establish a new trailhead for the 90-mile-long Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. The City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Cleveland Metroparks, Canalway Partners and NOACA announced the official opening at a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Camp Cleveland area at the intersection with W. 11th Street.

The completion of Stage 4 provides the ultimate link of the Towpath Trail Extension project, delivering a seamless off-road paved path from the Harvard Ave Trailhead at Cleveland Metroparks Ohio & Erie Canalway Reservation to Canal Basin Park. Construction will begin this fall on a separate greening and trailhead project at Canal Basin Park.

A bluff that had long been obscured by weeds and underbrush has been transformed into a magnet for walkers, dog walkers, runners, and cyclists enjoying fantastic views of the Cuyahoga River Valley and the Cleveland skyline. As the Cleveland portion of the Towpath Trail project nears full completion, it has already become a regional “spine” in a network of trails that connect city neighborhoods and surrounding suburbs throughout Cleveland and down through Cuyahoga County and beyond.

“Green spaces are essential to improving not only the aesthetic of our neighborhoods but also the quality of life of our residents and their families,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “This Towpath Trail will help to create healthier and greener Cleveland neighborhoods for residents to enjoy for generations to come.”

“The completion of this final critical stage brings together over five miles of recreational trail for the residents of Cuyahoga County,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. “The Towpath Trail provides something for everyone—whether you’re looking to bike ride with skyline views, learn about our local history or just spend time in the fresh air this summer. I am grateful for the work of our partners to create such a valuable resource for our residents and encourage everyone to go out and explore all the trail has to offer.”

Stage 4 of the Towpath Trail features Camp Cleveland, a unique interpretive space at the corner of W. 10th and the former University Rd. in Tremont. The site, the largest of Cleveland’s six Civil War Training camps for the Union, is memorialized with interpretive signage and a scale model of the “Old Secesh Cannon”, while nearby, a landscaped area with two large swings, picnic tables, and cooking grills provide residents with a relaxing space and unmatched views of Cleveland.

“I want to thank Canalway Partners, Cuyahoga County and the City of Cleveland for their tremendous partnership on the Towpath Trail,” said Brian M. Zimmerman, Cleveland Metroparks CEO. “The Towpath Trail serves as the regional spine in our growing trail network, improving recreational opportunities and access to greenspace for Northeast Ohioans and beyond."

“The Towpath Trail is a catalyst for the city, county and the region. As one of the nation’s National Heritage Areas, the Ohio & Erie Canalway has fostered and championed the vision for the Towpath Trail for nearly 30 years,” said Mera Cardenas, Canalway Partners Executive Director. “Through partnerships and perseverance, the Towpath Trail is becoming a reality and forever changing our relationship to the Industrial Valley and the way we move around the city. As we celebrate the completion of the final stages of the Towpath Trail, we’re excited to turn our attention and resources to Canal Basin Park which will mark the historic access to the canal and celebrate those connections.”

Construction on the $9.4 million Stage 4 Towpath Trail began in June 2020, and was substantially completed in May 2021. Funding to support the project came from:

  • $7,540,000: Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality Improvement Program, Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency
  • $317,000: Clean Ohio Trail Funds, Ohio Department of Natural Resources
  • $1,568,000: Cleveland Tax Increment Financing