–The National Park Service, the Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area, and their partners Cleveland Metroparks; Stark Parks; Cascade Locks Park Association; and Metro Parks, Serving Summit County announce the second full season of Canalway Questing, a new interactive recreational activity in Northeast Ohio. From Sunday, April 15, through Thursday, November 15, go on 25 adventures—called quests—in the Ohio & Erie Canalway. Questing is free. All you need is a pencil, one of the quest brochures, and comfortable walking shoes.
The award-winning Canalway Questing program began with a pilot season in fall 2010. Since then, over 1,400 individuals have followed rhyming clues, logged into a hidden box, collected its unique stamp, and replaced the box for others to find. About 92% have completed up to five quests; a few hardy sleuths have done 16 or more. While most questers are from Ohio, in 2011, visitors from 10 other states—from as far away as Arizona and Vermont—came to quest.
Arrye Rosser, interpretive and education specialist at Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP), who manages the Canalway Questing project stated, “We’ve learned that questing is a social activity. We see grandparents and grandchildren, couples, scouts, church groups, families, and adult hiking buddies. We even have questing dogs!” To add to the fun, questers can create their own signature stamps and nicknames to log into each quest.
Rosser added, “The names really make me smile. Some examples are The Hundred Acre Woods Explorers
, Skunk Meadow
, 2 Ol’ Geezers
, and Krik Krak Family Adventurers.”
Last fall, Rosser met Pat “Dragonfly” Addis and her husband, Bill (aka “Froggy”), when they dropped by a program to share their framed quest stamp collection and their story. Pat explained, “I lost weight and started eating sensibly, but didn't like to exercise. In fact, I really didn't like walking much either, but my husband convinced me to try questing. Questing is walking with a purpose. It's like a nature and history treasure hunt. I tried it once and couldn't stop. Now I am thoroughly enjoying myself outdoors!”
The sophomore season kicks off with three new titles. Glendale Cemetery Quest
and The House That Moved Quest
are in Akron. Trains, Lanes, and Remains Quest
is in Brecksville, starting at Station Road Bridge Trailhead in CVNP. Two more titles debut in May—with others to follow. In addition, 22 original titles from 2010 have been updated based on feedback from questers. The Relationships With Water Quest
and On the Move Quest
were both substantially revised after major 2011 construction projects at
Brandywine Falls and the area south of Boston Store Visitor Center, both in the national park.
For more information and to download the quests, visit www.ohioanderiecanalway.com
and search under Activities for Questing. Quests also are available at park visitor centers. To help you plan your trip, each Canalway Quest begins with a short description of trail conditions, a time estimate, and the address of the starting point. From the website, you can get directions using an interactive map and find Canalway Samplers with tips on how to extend your outing with nearby fun activities.
Scheduled Questing Events
About the Ohio & Erie Canalway:
- Saturday and Sunday, May 5 and 6 and Saturday, June 9
- Stop by to chat with park rangers and Quest Crew volunteers about the Canalway Questing program.
- It’s a good opportunity to find out what’s new, pick up the latest quest clues, and carve your own signature stamp.
- Hunt Farm Visitor Information Center, 1 - 3 p.m.
- The Hunt Farm Visitor Information Center is located at 2054 Bolanz Road, between Riverview and Akron Peninsula roads, Peninsula 44264.
The Ohio & Erie Canalway is a National Heritage Area—designated by Congressin 1996—to help preserve and celebrate the rails, trails, landscapes, towns, and sites that grew up along the first 110 miles of the canal that helped Ohio and our nation grow.
About Cuyahoga Valley National Park:
CVNP encompasses 33,000 acres along the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron. Managed by the National Park Service, CVNP combines cultural, historical, recreational, and natural activities in one setting. For more information about the park, visit www.nps.gov/cuva or www.dayinthevalley.com/ or call 330-657-2752.