Seeing Things, Saying Things

Musings About Writing, Photography and Teaching

This was the Ohio & Erie Canal

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Canals helped Akron, Ohio, develop and played a key transportation role during the city’s early years. Two major canals served the city, the Ohio & Erie Canal and the Pennsylvania & Ohio Canal.

Much of the latter is gone, but there remain traces of the O&E Canal, which linked Lake Erie with the Ohio River and was developed with state funding.

Shown is a remnant of the O&E Canal in Cascade Locks Park in downtown Akron. It doesn’t look much like a canal anymore and if you didn’t know its history you might think it was just another stream.

The location is a ravine where the canal was built. This area features the steepest grade found on the 304-mile canal and had a series of locks that enabled the canal boats to navigate the grade.

At one time, this region had industrial operations, but those are now gone.

The canal was heavily damaged by flooding in 1913 and some locks were dynamited to prevent the flooding from inundating downtown Akron. Subsequently, the canal did not reopen.

Today this is a park and a trail runs parallel to the canal on the former towpath.


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