One of the most picturesque small towns in Ohio, the peninsula’s population of less than 600 can reach several thousand people every day with good weather.
Surrounded by bucolic Boston Township and lush Cuyahoga Valley National Park, nature lovers are drawn for miles around to rent bikes, ski, hike, take the train or take a break. the quaint collection of downtown shops and restaurants.
The village and township is midway between Cleveland and Akron, on the Cuyahoga River and straddles National Highway 303 in north-central Summit County. The border communities are Cuyahoga Falls, Bath Township, Stow, Hudson, Boston Heights, Northfield Center Township, Sagamore Hills Township and Richfield Township.
The area was once a bustling stopover on the Ohio & Erie Canal and the Valley Railroad. In the middle of the 19th century, the town and the village housed mills, stone quarries, shipyards and five hotels.
Today the village is a sort of artists’ colony, with many locals involved in painting, writing, photography, music, instrument making, dancing, theater, jewelry and l ‘Arts and crafts.
The village and township have over 20 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. A notable building in the center of the peninsula is the Bronson Memorial Church, a Gothic Revival style building erected in 1835 in hopes of saving the souls of misbehaving canal boatmen.
Boston Township was named in honor of Boston, Massachusetts. Beginning in the 1970s, some people began to spread rumors of hauntings, serial killers and chemical spills which led to the area being called “Helltown”, although most of the folklore turned out to be from The fiction.
Please Note: As the region recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses are changing their hours of operation. Be aware that the information reported in this list may change.
• Cuyahoga Valley National Park, sandwiched between the urban landscapes of Akron and Cleveland, is one of the most visited parks in the country, drawing millions of people each year to its thick forests, hills, open farmland and the meandering Cuyahoga River. Picnic in the Virginia Kendall area, hike the popular Ledges Trail through impressive rocky cliffs, or start your exploration at the Boston Mill Visitor Center, 6947 Riverview Road, open daily 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. www.nps.gov/cuva
• The National Park Conservancy operates three gift shops in the area, all offering snacks, T-shirts and souvenirs. The Trail Mix Peninsula is located at 1600 W. Mill St. near the train depot. The Boston store is located at 1550 Boston Mills Road. And there’s a store tucked away in the Boston Mill Visitor Center. Stores are open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (although the Boston Store closes during the offseason.)
• The Grand Army of the Republic Hall, located on Riverview Road and Main Street, was once a service club for Civil War veterans. The venue hosts the Voices in the Valley concert series year round. This summer, because the venue is undergoing renovations, musical events are taking place on the green of the nearby Bronson Memorial Church, although concerts are moved to the venue in inclement weather. Advance tickets recommended. Visit www.peninsulahistory.org for the schedule. Next March, the room will return to its in-person Civil War lecture series. For now, this series is taking place online. Visit the website to register.
• Fisher’s Cafe & Pub, 1607 Main St., is a third generation family owned restaurant founded in 1958 on the site of a former Ford Model T dealership. Indoor and outdoor seating is available. The restaurant offers unlimited fish on Friday evening. It is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Friday; 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; and from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. www.fisherscafe.com
• Winking Lizard, 1615 Main St., opened in 1991 and is part of a local chain in Northeast Ohio. The restaurant is known for its pub food, wings and beer crawl. Indoor and outdoor seating are available. Open daily at 11 a.m., closing at 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. www.winkinglizard.com
• The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail passes here, offering a glimpse of nature and plenty of exercise. Runners, hikers and bicycles are welcome. Three departure points are available: Boston at 1508 Boston Mills Road, Lock 29 at 1648 Mill St., or the Beaver Marsh at 3801 Riverview Road.
• Peninsula Art Academy, 1600 W. Mill St., is a gallery comprised of local artists. In addition to selling their work, many also offer jewelry making calligraphy classes. Because this is a co-op, hours may vary, but currently the store is generally open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Visit Peninsulaartacademy.publishpath.com for class schedule.
• The River Light Gallery, 1663 Main Street, is operated by a group of artists who wish to sell their work in a “brick and mortar” showcase. The offerings include jewelry, glass, ceramics, paintings, sculptures and woodwork. The company is run by volunteer artists. Open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
• Century Cycles, 1621 Main St., rents bikes by the hour, including comfort hybrid bikes, e-bikes and even snowmobiles. Open from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. the rest of the week. Visit Centurycycles.com and click on the Peninsula location.
• Pedego Peninsula at 1593 Main Street is a new store specializing in Pedego electric bikes. The store offers rentals in addition to sales and parts. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday. pedegopeninsula.com
• The Deep Lock Quarry is a unique property of Summit Metroparks at 5779 Riverview Road. Discarded millstones and 19th-century building foundations are scattered along the moderate 1.4-mile trail, which leads through forest and views of the Cuyahoga River to the old quarry site.
• The Crooked Kettle Popcorn Co., 1595 Main Street, offers gourmet popcorn in traditional flavors such as caramel and cheddar, Buffalo Breath and Siracha. The window is open from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Follow Crooked Kettle Popcorn on Facebook for updates as well as mobile events: https://www.facebook.com/CrookedKettlePopcorn
• Boston Mills and Brandywine are ski areas owned by Vail Resorts. They also operate the Polar Blast Snow Tubing Park next to Brandywine. They are closed for the season, but bookmark their website at www.bmbw.com and check them out this winter.
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About the Boston Peninsula and Township
Based: Peninsula 1818; Township of Boston 1806
Population: Peninsula 554; Boston Township 1,272
School and mascot: Woodridge Local School District, Bulldogs
Website: www.peninsulahistory.org; www.bostontownship.org