In 1833, hydraulic engineer and entrepreneur Eliakim Crosby built the Cascade Race, a channel that powered the mills and businesses along the Ohio & Erie Canal. The Cascade Race helped transform Akron into a boomtown. Years later, Crosby built the failed Chuckery Race. Traces of it can still be seen today.
Today, fish here are prey for belted kingfishers and great blue herons. Beautiful white trillium grows in the floodplain woods each spring beside wild ginger and several types of violets. Summer and fall wildflowers also flourish, illuminating the landscape.
Several rare and unique natural features can be found within the Chuckery Area. South of the entrance drive, near the intersection of the Chuckery Trail, is a meadow that harbors many unusual plants and several species of showy wildflowers. Just up the hill from the meadow is a prairie, where wild lupines bloom about mid-May. Other rare species can be found individually throughout the park, including butternut trees – a species surviving despite the butternut canker disease threatening their range.
Named for Sherman and Mary Schumacher, who donated 171 acres to Summit Metro Parks in 1968, Schumacher Valley remains one of the most rugged areas within the city of Akron.
Located in the valley's pre-glacial bedrock canyon are steep-cut ravines indicative of the Cuyahoga River's tributary streams. A canopy of oak, American beech, sassafras and black cherry trees provides cover for smaller shrubs. There are herbs and wildflowers, including spring beauty, Jack-in-the-pulpit, rue anemone and jewelweed.