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Historic towpath trail continues to grow and connect Northeast Ohioans to recreational green spaces

The Towpath Trail [Canalway Partners]
The Towpath Trail [Canalway Partners]

It is no small feat to maintain hundreds of miles of trailheads, pathways, parks and sites that make up one of the regions great tourist and resident attractions.

And that attraction is the Towpath trail.

From the days of boats towed by horses and mules up and down the adjacent canal to now, when families on bikes, or runners on the paths are ubiquitous, the trail has to be managed and cared for, upgraded and protected.

On the program today, we look at its past and future, and ongoing efforts to make it even bigger than it is.

Two of the largest caretakers are Canalway Partners, and the Ohio and Erie Canalway Coalition.
Leaders from both are here today to talk about the work from past and present on the local, state, and national level - keeping the towpath ready for your recreational use.

We'll also look back at the history of the trail and the canal, its importance to becoming the region we are now, and a consideration of how early efforts along the towpath intersected with the native populations already living in the area.

We close the program by taking a ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, which celebrates its 50 th anniversary this year.

- John Grabowski, Associate Professor of Applied History, Case Western Reserve University

- Mera Cardenas, Executive Director, Canalway Partners

- Daniel Rice, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition

- Joe Mazur, President & Chief Executive Officer, The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway

Drew Maziasz is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and also serves as the show’s technical producer.