It’s been more than 50 years since the Cuyahoga River caught fire, and as the proverbial saying goes, we’ve come a long way, baby. The river is now a vibrant recreation hub for kayakers, powerboaters, rowing crews and paddleboarders—all of whom expertly weave within this active shipping channel to “share the river” with passing freighters.
The Cleveland Metroparks offers many ways to experience the river your way. At Scranton Road Peninsula, hike along the new Towpath Trail section or go fishing for yellow perch or smallmouth bass. Hungry? Riverfront Merwin’s Wharf is known for its excellent eats and the scenic city views to match. The restaurant is located near Rivergate Park, which offers a kayak launch to get your paddling party started.
Further south, the river forms the heart of Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio’s only national park!). Spot bald eagles and blue herons with the easy one-mile Station Road hike, during which you’ll cross a scenic bridge over the river. Or bring your own canoe or kayak for rolling along the river. With 33,000 acres to explore, there’s sure to be no shortage of inspiration—and Instagram moments.