The Portage Lakes are located in northeastern Ohio in southern Summit County about 5 miles south of Akron just west of I-77.
Some of these "kettle lakes" were formed by glacial activity as the Ice Age ended. Others were formed as feeder reservoirs for the canals in the area. They were an important link between the Cuyahoga River, which flows north to Lake Erie and the Tuscarawas River which, through the Muskingum River, flows south to the Ohio River.
The area became an important trading post for settlers and Native Americans and was a recognized landmark during the War of 1812, serving as a rendezvous point for American troops. The old Native American portage path was part of the ancient boundary between the Six Nations and the Western Indians.