Deep Lock Quarry is a wealth of history from ancient American Indian trails, pioneer quarrying, narrow gauge railroads and hobo jungles. It became a Metro Park in 1934. Within the park is Lock 28, the deepest lock at 17’ on the Ohio & Erie Canal. The early State Quarry provided blocks of Berea sandstone for the canal locks and other local structures. Ferdinand Schumacher harvested the sandstone for millstones to remove the outer hulls of oats. Schumacher is credited with introducing oatmeal to America by supplying it to Union troops during the Civil War. He purchased a portion of the quarry in 1879 to ensure his profits and later became one of the founders of Akron's American Cereal Works (later Quaker Oats). Stone was last taken from the quarry in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to construct several Metro Parks facilities, including Pioneer Shelter in Goodyear Heights Metro Park.
Today, the park is an Important Bird Area and critical habitat for nesting migrants and ongoing research of hybrid warblers. Walking along the trail, it’s hard to believe most of the forest was cleared during the quarrying days. Nature has reclaimed the land, and today it is home to more Ohio buckeye trees than any other Metro Park in Summit County. Resident frogs, turtles and salamanders live in the old canal bed.
A shallow swamp has developed on the quarry floor, where rose pink (an herb) and other wetland plants are growing from the natural seeps of water in the porous sandstone.