The Cuyahoga River could change the view of Northeast Ohio

Several people kayaking on the Cuyahoga River this past June
Photo credit: D.J. Reiser

For the most part, every city (or area like Northeast Ohio) seems to have its calling card. You go to Nashville for the music, Northern Arizona to explore the Grand Canyon, San Antonio to see the Alamo, Miami for the beach or Saint Louis to see the Gateway Arch, just to name a few. If there is a city without a “calling card”, it is more than likely not a place people seek out to explore.

It isn’t common to hear stories of outsiders taking summer trips or little weekend vacations to Northeast Ohio. And can you blame them? Why would someone from Georgia come up here for a couple of days? We don’t have too many attractions that are worth the time and effort. But I believe the Cuyahoga River could change that.

Two weeks ago, the Cuyahoga River became an official designated Ohio Water trail. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources made the label official with 24 access points, signage, maps and educational material on the 100 miles of river. Organizations like the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and other nonprofit groups have been working on receiving this designation for almost 8 years. It is now the states 13th water trail.

According to, a water trail is a stretch of lake or river that has been identified as a recreational resource with maps and signage showing official access points, amenities and safety information. The goal is to promote public use of waterways, support tourism and encourage conservation.

A weekend long kayaking trip could be a new reason to travel to Northeast Ohio! However, it would first have to become a local trend. Kayaking isn’t something the average person does every summer. But it isn’t a difficult activity to do. Anyone can learn how to within minutes! It’s a reasonable cost, so all classes can participate. Whether you are 6 or 76, it’s something all ages can enjoy, and it’s something one can do by themselves or within a group. Social media has become more and more prevalent in society. The people of Northeast Ohio could post pictures of themselves kayaking and also share photos of all the gorgeous views of nature they were pleasured to while traveling along the river side. Relatives and friends from other cities and states may become intrigued and look into how they can take a trip along the Cuyahoga River with their loved ones.

We have this beautiful river right in front of us, it’s time to turn it into a big time asset!

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