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Kayak  Cuyahoga River, Chagrin River,

Rocky River & Black River 

Learn the history of these Scenic Ohio rivers

The name Cuyahoga is believed to mean "crooked river" from the Mohawk Indian name Cayagaga, although the  called it Cuyohaga, or "place of the jawbone.

Ice Age Glacial Formation

The river is a relatively recent geological formation, formed by the advance and retreat of ice sheets during the last . The final  retreat, which occurred 10,000–12,000 years ago, caused changes in the drainage pattern near Akron. This change in pattern caused the originally south-flowing Cuyahoga to flow to the north resulting in the river's winding U-shape.

The United States Boundary Line
The river was one of the features along which the 1795 "Greenville Treaty Line" ran that ended the  in the , effectively becoming the western boundary of the United States and remaining so briefly. On July 22, 1796, , a  charged with exploring the , arrived at the mouth of the Cuyahoga and subsequently located a settlement there, which became the city of Cleveland.


The Canals
The canals were a very big part of the industrialization of the River. The Ohio and Pennsylvania and Ohio Canals linked the Cuyahoga and Lake Erie together between 1825 and 1832. They came at a time when American soil was young. The Pennsylvania and Ohio Canal (P&O Canal) is also another very important canal.  Both Canals were very important at that time connecting the East Coast with New Orleans.

As many as 75 boats would pass on each of them a day. 9,000 passengers went through the P&O Canal on trips through what is now known as Cleveland and its surrounding communities. Both canals shipped large quanities of freight everyday. They were a stepping stone for the manufacturing industry coming to Northeastern Ohio.

Industrial Pollution
As Cleveland emerged as a major center for manufacturing, the river became heavily affected by , so much so that it "caught fire" at least 13 times, most famously on June 22, 1969, resulting in the American environmental movement and the EPA .

 Since then, the river has been extensively cleaned up through the efforts of Cleveland's city government and the  (OEPA). In 2019, the American Rivers conservation association named the Cuyahoga "River of the Year" in honor of "50 years of environmental resurgence.   •

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