Posted in Hiking, Northeastern Ohio, Park review

Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Beaver Marsh

Beaver Marsh is located in Cuyahoga Valley National Park near the Cuyahoga River. Years ago it used to be a junkyard with a small stream flowing through it. A local group cleaned up the junkyard in the mid ’80’s and then some beavers dammed the stream creating the marsh.

A Green Heron at Beaver Marsh

The marsh is on a bike / hike towpath through Cuyahoga Valley National Park that extends 110 miles from Cleveland to Akron and beyond. At the marsh, the gravel towpath changes to a boardwalk with small observation areas for viewing the marsh.

Towpath trail near Bear Marsh
The stone structure in the lower right is a remnant of one of the locks.
Boardwalk at Beaver Marsh
Another view of the boardwalk
View of Beaver Marsh

We visited on a warm sunny Saturday morning early May during the height of Spring migration. The marsh was bustling with both human and bird traffic. People were walking, bicycling, jogging by, or wielding binoculars or cameras with large lenses watching birds. Oblivious to the humans, the birds were going about their business, eating, fishing, or making nests.

Joggers on tow path
Baltimore Oriole building best
Baltimore Oriole taking a well-deserved break
Male Baltimore Oriole

We observed a mix of waterbirds, migrating birds, and an oriole building a nest near the marsh, as well as a number of turtles.

Canada Geese
Tree Swallow
Female Northern Flicker
Midland Painted Turtle

If you decide to go, the towpath is very popular with both hikers / joggers and cyclists. You even have the option of hiking / cycling one way and taking the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad train on the way back!

Erie Canal Lock 26, also known as “Pancake Lock.” During a flood in 1828, a flood stranded canal boats. They began to run low on food, and the passengers had to subsist on corn meal pancakes.
Yellow Buckeye tree
Yellow Buckeye Trees
Common speedwell
White violet
Scouring rush
Additional information


Address: 3801 Riverview Rd, Peninsula, OH 44264 (Parking – Ira Trailhead)
The above address is a parking area by one of the trail-heads for the towpath. The trail-head is located at the end of the parking lot by the kiosk and restrooms. Follow the short path to the towpath and turn left. You’ll pass an old lock from the Erie canal and after about a 1/4 mile you’ll reach the boardwalk for Beaver Marsh.

Info Kiosk and Latrine in parking lot at trail-head
Excerpt from the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Map showing parking area near Beaver Marsh (click to enlarge)

Below is a trace of this short walk to Beaver Marsh along the Towpath Trail.

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© Deborah Platt, Robert Platt and 2012 to 2021

4 thoughts on “Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Beaver Marsh

  1. Nice to see you are exploring the area(CVNP) where I live . I commute 1 hr. to work but don’t want to move because the Metroparks and CVNP are my playgrounds. Have you ever been to Sandy Ridge ? North Ridgeville I think it is. I won’t babble on about it unless you are not familiar with it. It is a whole different experience.

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