Bend View Metropark

10040 S River St.
Waterville , OH 43566

419-407-9700   |
Daily 7 a.m. until dark

The Miami & Erie Canal in Northwest Ohio

Bend View Metropark offers visitors access to the land’s deep-rooted history and one of the most popular views of the Maumee River.

The development of Bend View Metropark started almost a century ago during the Great Depression, and offers visitors one of the most spectacular views along the Maumee River. Bend View was developed on old canal land along the Towpath Trail, connecting it to Farnsworth and Providence Metroparks. Beginning in the early nineteenth century, canal systems were the dominant mode of transportation in the United States. The construction of canals created jobs, boosted economies in canal towns, and made shipping and travel more efficient. In Ohio, construction of the Ohio and Erie and the Miami and Erie Canals began in 1825, and both connected the Ohio River to Lake Erie. After opening in 1845, the Miami and Erie Canal continued operating into the twentieth century, but traffic on the waterway began to slow once railroads became a more popular and efficient way of traveling than travel by riverboat on the canals. With canal popularity dying out, the state lost interest in keeping up with maintenance of the canal systems by the early twentieth century. In the late 1920s, a movement among members of the community in and around Toledo grew with the goal of turning old canal lands into parks for the public. Bend View became one of four metroparks creating along the Maumee River on old canal lands. The most popular feature at Bend View - and where the developers derived the park’s name - is the incredible view of the sharp bend in the Maumee River that hikers can see from the Towpath Trail.

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Notes for Travelers

Bend View Metropark, along the historic Towpath Trail, offers a sweeping view of the Maumee River. The park was created as a cultural landscape, preserving the history and natural resources of this section of land along the river. When visitors enter the park they can visibly experience and be in awe of the scenic beauty in Bend View, and, less noticeably, experience the history that allowed its development. The land the park sits on today was once part of the booming canal town of Waterville. In Waterville, the Miami and Erie Canal ran along the Towpath Trail, where mules would pull canal boats along the waterway. The labor and resources that went into the park’s development came out of New Deal programs in the 1930s, creating jobs and fostering economic recovery in an area that was hit hard by the Great Depression. Bend View visitors are able to experience a preserved section of natural Northwest Ohio that was saved by its community almost a century ago.

Additional Resources

The Transition: A Tale of Northwestern Ohio, George W. Pearson.

Conservation and the Gospel of Efficiency: The Progressive Conservation Movement, 1890-1920, Samuel P. Hayes.

Canals for a Nation: The Canal Era in the United States. 1790-1860, Ronald E. Shaw.