I can’t remember exactly when this section of the Towpath opened. A month ago? I do know this past Thursday was my first chance to get there. Work was progressing in April when Steven Litt wrote about it. The road winds past Sokolowski’s Inn and you find yourself at W 13th and University Road. The first thing you see is an expanse of iron bridges (the best thing about Cleveland, if you ask me, which you did not!). And when you peer over the edge, you see a beautiful array of native grasses and newer plants. The textures are wonderful. Walk down the path a bit till you get to the bridge underpass. The Cleveland Metroparks did a brilliant job. When I saw the sculptured design of walls of granite and brick my immediate thought was how that truly represented Cleveland’s industrial history: Iron, granite quarrying and brick/masonry. Over the weekend I was hell bent on finding out about the design and who designed it, worked on it etc. Yes, I was that impressed. It turns out this industrial history is exactly what Metroparks designer Richard Kerber had in mind. The display walls, works of art, are literally enmeshed. Chicken wire style but a higher grade of metal is used. The photos give you an idea but it’s much more expansive and beautiful in person. You can do the Flats/Downtown/Tremont trail yourself. About 1.2 miles.
They’ve been planning and then working on this since 2014. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) did a beautiful job with the construction. The other actors in this besides ODOT and Metroparks: Cuyahoga County and Canal Way Partners. Browse their site and learn about the next (and maybe final?) stage of the Towpath completion. I can’t tell if ‘already completed 85 miles’ was before the 1.2 mile section was done, but close enough either way. When totally done, it’s to be 110 miles.
I’m often complaining about the slowness or ineptness or lack of transparency regarding local bureaucracy and government and that won’t change. But The Cleveland Metroparks? I keep having reason to say to anyone who will listen, The Metroparks should just run everything around here. Kudos!
Are you out of state and planning a visit? A job induced move here? Are you a biker or hiker? Besides the above Towpath, This area has been known for the park system we call The Emerald Necklace. I don’t know when this site was last updated. It claims 61 continuous miles of biking. One of the longest routes in the state of Ohio. Ohio Bikeways website gives you some great information about biking, The Emerald Necklace included.