The Quarry TrailDeep Lock Quarry Metro Park
Metro Parks, Serving Summit County
LocationThe Deep Lock Quarry Parking Lot is just south of Peninsula Ohio on the east side of Riverview Road. There is a Metro Parks sign with a big millstone.
Trail SummaryLength: 1.2 miles
Accessible: No (rough surfaces, some slopes, and stairs)
Duration: 1 hour
From the Deep Lock Quarry Parking Lot, you will head to the north east into the forest along the Quarry Trail. To the right is a stand of white pines mixed with young deciduous trees such as American elm, wild black cherry, and white ash. As the trail begins to descend toward the floodplain of the Cuyahoga River, you will notice tree species that like a bit more moisture,such as sycamore, become more common.
A winter view of Deep Lock, or Lock 28, the deepest lock on the Ohio and Erie Canal.
To the left, non-native Norway spruce line the trail with their pendulous boughs blowing in the light breeze. This 1.2 mile loop trail traverses a beautiful forest south of Peninsula Ohio. It includes a view of lock 28, the deepest lock on the historical Ohio and Erie Canal. You will also notice old mill stones and other large remnants of stone strewn along the trail. Deep lock Quarry Metro Park is named after lock 28, and the Quarry that is located along this trail.
As the trail nears the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway tracks, you will see a towpath trail connector diverge to the right. Continue on the left fork to remain on the Quarry trail, which is marked by brown trail posts with a yellow mill stone symbol. At this point you will begin seeing larger cherries, white oaks, and the smooth gray bark of American beech trees.
Soon, the trail splits again, and you may head left up a set of stairs, or stay to the right along a flatter route. Either of these forks will keep you on track. They both lead to an old quarry. Red oak, American beech, and some non-native privet line the trail that re-uses an old railroad grade that was used to haul sandstone from the quarry.
A side loop carries you down the hill to lock 28, which was the deepest lock on the Ohio and Erie Canal. While most locks lifted or lowered boars an average of 9 feet, Deep Lock raised and lowered canal board a total of 17 feet! Near the lock you will note larger sycamore trees, large cottonwood trees, American Elm, and other trees suited to life in the floodplain.
This area is a great example of Ohio's transportation history. The Lock itself was once a vital link between Lake Erie and the Mississippi River Drainage by way of the Ohio and Erie Canal. The Railroad follows a similar route. Prior to the canal and railroad, native americans and early white explorers used the crooked Cuyahoga River as a highway through Ohio's wilderness. Today, recreationalists use this same corridor to travel between Cleveland and Akron, and beyond along the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail within Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the surrounding area.
After taking the side trip to the lock, it isn't much farther before you reach the quarry itself. In 1879, Ferdinand Shumacher purchased this quarry to produce mill stones for his American Cereal Works, predecessor to todays Quaker Oats. The floor of the quarry is now home to an interesting fen-like sedge meadow. In winter, ice cicles form on the high quarry walls, giving the area an otherworldly atmosphere.
Winter, spring, summer or fall, a tromp through these woods will fill you with wonder and give you plenty of historical food for throught as well.