Stumpy Basin Canal Wetland

Boston Township Hall.
After breaking ground earlier this year, the Boston Mill Visitor Center project is steadily moving forward.

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

10:30 – Towpath Trail south from Boston Mill
There are no noticeable remnants of the O&E Canal along the trail immediately south of Boston Mill, because the ground was disturbed by construction of two high-level bridges.  The first of the two twin-span high-level bridges is for I-271 (a short-cut between I-71 and I-90 designed to bypass Cleveland’s city center), built in 1968. The second high-level bridge is for the Ohio Turnpike (I-80). This bridge was reconstructed between 2001 and 2003.

10:50 – O&E Canal  
After passing under the twin spans of the newish Ohio Turnpike Bridge, the Towpath Trail comes beside a watered level section of the O&E Canal, home to many sun-worshipping turtles. 

11:00 – Stumpy Basin
This wide spot in the canal, now a swampy wetland, was encroached along its northern edge by construction of the Ohio Turnpike. The name reflects dozens of large immovable stumps which were present during canal times but which have long since rotted away. The basin served as a storage and maintenance area through the boating season, and ice was harvested in winter by the Lake Erie Ice Company.

11:05 – Lock 31 (Lonesome or Lost Lock)
Called “lonesome” for its isolated location, the Lock 31 spillway drained into Stumpy Basin.

11:15 – Railway Bridge
Built around 1880 by a predecessor of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, this bridge is now used by the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, which is owned by the U.S. National Park Service.

11:20 – Dry River Channel
What looks at first like a dry canal prism on the right side of the Towpath Trail is a side channel of the Cuyahoga River, which did not exist in canal times and which has encroached on the canal prism.  The original canal towpath was on the other side of this channel.

11:25 – Peninsula Feeder Lock and Dam
Cryptic stoneworks to the right of the Towpath Trail are traces of a feeder channel, once fed by a dam which no longer exists.  Just above (south of) the feeder channel is Lock 30 (Feeder Lock).

Be among the first to visit the brand new (opening in October 2019) Boston Mill Visitor Center of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Lock 29 – Peninsula Mills

Overnight Accommodation is readily available along the nearby expressways. Nearest motels are in Hudson Ohio at the intersection of the Ohio Turnpike I-80 and State Route 8 -- Baymont by Windham (330) 650-2040 or Norwood Inn (330) 653-9191. Both are a short distance to the Boston Township Hall and the new Boston Mill Visitor Center.

This hike took all morning.  We met for coffee and donuts at the
​Boston Township Hall in Peninsula Ohio, then carpooled to the Boston Mill Visitor Center (a couple of miles north of Peninsula), then hiked a little-known part of the
Towpath Trail back south to Peninsula.  

Canal Society of Ohio
November 2, 2019
Hike from Boston Mill to Peninsula (2+ miles)

Boston Mill Visitor Center Update - Click Here

11:30 – Lock 29 and Peninsula Aqueduct
The name of the town of Peninsula comes from a horseshoe bend in the Cuyahoga River, which was moderated during railway construction in 1880. Peninsula was a major commercial center during the canal era, at the halfway point between Cleveland on Lake Erie and Akron on the canal summit. In addition to hotels and stores serving boat traffic, there were mills, boatyards, quarries and other industries. Lock 29 (Peninsula Lock) is one of the best preserved on the O&E Canal, and it was not faced by a layer of concrete like many other locks during the 1905-09 restoration. Note the mason’s marks on several lock stones. The footbridge at the top of the stairs is in the location of the former aqueduct that carried the O&E Canal from the east side of the Cuyahoga River to the west side. Aqueduct abutments are visible. The stone foundation at the other end of the footbridge is what’s left of the Thomas & Moody gristmill, which was still being expanded in the early 20th century.

11:45 – Peninsula
If you made a reservation for the CSO luncheon, you may either hike to the Boston Township Hall, or look for an arranged ride in the Lock 29 parking lot. To hike, simply follow the train tracks south to Main Street, then turn right to cross the river and walk up the hill to the traffic light at Riverview Road.
If you do not have a luncheon reservation, you may purchase lunch on Main Street, at either Winking Lizard or Fisher’s.  After lunch, you may return to the Boston Township Hall for the CSO Trustees business meeting, or to visit the Cuyahoga Valley Historical Museum (open from noon to 4:00).

                                               Acknowledgements
Our thanks to Boone Triplett and his book Canals of Ohio for providing much of the information above.
Our thanks to Steve Tichenal and his website RailsAndTrails.com for the attached maps, which overlay the route of the Ohio & Erie Canal onto the current “Towpath Trail” (which does not always correspond to the original canal towpath) and other topographical features.

November 2nd 2019 mini-tour - Peninsula  REFLECTIONS 

Cuyahoga Valley Historical Museum

Canal Society of Ohio Mini-Tour​
Saturday November 2, 2019
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Peninsula Ohio

Raising Boston Mill Center.