Nesmith Lake to Stark County line
At the end of October, we rode from the Nesmith Lake trailhead, on the south side of Akron, to the Stark County line and back. This trail is very nice, with varied scenery. The Nesmith Lake trailhead is easy to find and has a spacious and well paved parking lot. The trail surface is partly crushed stone and partly asphalt paving. It is in very good to excellent condition. There are a couple of mild hills near Barberton, nothing to be worried about. Public restrooms are available at several of the trailheads, though not at Nesmith Lake. There is a gap in the trail between Snyder Avenue and Eastern road. (Some maps show it farther, from Snyder to Vanderhoof Road, but we easily found the trail at Eastern.) The on road section between Snyder and Eastern is not great, but not terrible either. Adults and older children shouldn't have any problem. We saw signs of trail construction south of Snyder Ave. The Summit County Parks web site says construction to close this gap is under way. and could be complete as soon as the end of 2011. I rate the trail at 4 stars, but when the gap is completed, it will easily earn 5. Highly recommended.
The Towpath Trail is open from Harvard Rd. in Cleveland to just south of Cedar St. in Akron. probably about 30 miles. In Akron there is a gap from Spaggetti Warehouse parking lot south of Cedar St. to Bartges St. (about 3-4 blocks). (It is possible to ride through parking lots to reach Bartges St.) From Bartges St. south to Summit Lake Park is an older section of trail (sidewalks along the canal) and somewhat rough asphalt. From Summit Lake Park south is a brand new section including a "floating towpath" thru part of Summit Lake. It looks like a "boardwalk" but in fact has no pilings and instead is on floating plastic barrels. You would not know it is floating because it is just as solid as if it were driven into the ground. The new section ends at Wilbeth Ave. From Wilbeth Ave south to Waterloo the trail is under construction and should be open by the fall of 2009. The bridge is completed, the base surface is down it should not be too long. From Waterloo south thru Barberton to Snyder Ave. at the south edge of Barberton the trail is open. The trailhead at Snyder Rd. is called Wolf Creek Trailhead. There is a 2 mile gap from there to the junction of Van Burean Rd. and Eastern Rd. Clearing has been started and I was told the it should be open by sometime in the of summer 2010. From the Eastern Rd. connection to Lincolnway in Massillon, the trail is open. At Lincolnway there is a gap that can be accessed by crossing the sidewalk on the Lincolnway road bridge and following the connector trail north on 6th St. to get under the bridge, then the connector runs south to Tremont Ave and under that bridge, west 1/2 block to 5th St. south to Green St. east to 4th St, south to Oak Knoll Park, and then south and east on a paved trail thru the Park to Walnut Rd. East on Walnut Rd. across the river, brings you to the Towpath Trail. From there it is open all the way south to Rt 212 just west of Bolivar. Take Rt. 212 east to Bolivar and then follow the street south to Fort Laurens. Turn east into Fort Laurens and go to the end of the driveway where you will find a path that is 1/10 of a mile long to a $2,000,000 bridge over I-77. from there to Zoar village, the trail is again crushed stone. South of the exit point to Zoar village, the trail is unimproved a dirt and a mountain bike or house trail south to Rt. 800. At the point where the trail meets the railroad, up on a high embankment, you must find your way to the river and cross under the railroad bridge. There is usually not a clear trail at this point. Also the section south of Zoar village has several missing stream bridges that may need to be "forded". The majority of the surface from Cleveland to Zoar is crushed stone, with a few places concrete or asphalt. The majority is very scenic and beautiful. I road Akon to Barberton on June 30, 2009.