The Cuyahoga River connects us as much as it separates us — an ever-visible reminder of our east-west divide. Yet the curving path of the Cuyahoga is what we all share.
Head south of the city and you see the river as the central artery of the Cuyahoga Valley. Congress designated these nearly 33,000 acres as a national park in 2000, setting aside an oasis of green between two cities defined by industry.
Gaining national park status gave it prominence and permanence, bringing it into the company of Yellowstone and Yosemite, Grand Teton and Grand Canyon. Of course, there are no mountains nor geysers, no bears nor buffalo. Instead, you see the Ohio that once was and is now again.
A historic pathway follows the route of the Ohio and Erie Canal that reshaped our nation. A 60-foot waterfall rushes in a quiet gorge. Wooded trails cross a landscape carved over eons. Cuyahoga Valley National Park is where one can witness the roots of Northeast Ohio and see how it grew from the waters of our crooked river.