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Rivers and streams of Northeast Ohio

Although Lake Erie is the dominant water feature of Northeast Ohio, many people find it easier to identify with local streams. Rivers and creeks are more intimate, easier to see and understand. One can get a good feeling for a watershed area drained by rivers. They are the veins of the region, and the way we take care of them tells a lot about our character and our future.

Watersheds of Northeast Ohio<br />Our physical and mental terrain is shaped by rivers. (Poster art by Mary Kelsey)

The map above shows the major rivers and streams of Northeast Ohio. These streams all flow to Lake Erie. The watershed boundary of the Great Lakes basin runs through Northeast Ohio (which is why Summit County is a summit). To the south, the rivers—the Mahoning, the Tuscarawas—flow into the Ohio River-Mississippi River drainage.

Send your river photos

In the coming months we will be building natural history tours of the region's rivers. The goal will be to provide an introduction to the look and feel of each stream from its headwaters to its mouth, including significant natural and cultural features along its course.

You can help by sending photos to dbeach[at]cmnh.org. Please identify the location of each photo and the photographer so credit can be given. 

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