Western Reserve Greenway Reviews    

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A true gem

By aldisk56 in October, 2013

This trail is a true gem in northeast Ohio's crown.It is mostly rural except at the norther and southern ends.Flat,quit and scenic.Farms forests and wildlife.Great trail for hot summer days since it is mostly shaded all day except in a few spots.If you are a through rider there is camping at Mosquito Lake state park access by SR305E or 88E about 6 miles,Pine Lakes campground, 3001 Hague Road
Orwell, Ohio 44076, less than a mile off trail and Hide-A-Way Lakes Campgrounds
2034 S. Ridge West
Ashtabula, OH 44004
Local Phone: 440-998-1431,right next to the trail. In Orwell there are places to eat and restock supplies. East on SR 322 there is a convenience store (300 ft).West on 322 about a mile are fast foods groceries and a Dollar store...Carry water no water pumps at pavilions along the way....I ride this trail at least once a week weather permitting..Lightly used during the week.Weekends the northern and southern ends have more traffic..

Flat, Just Flat

By mikeandvic in September, 2013

Nice flat trail. Only gave it a 4 star, I think there are nicer trails out there. You really don't see much. Trees, some farms, fields. Not any exciting sights. About every 3 miles or so you come to an intersection of regular vehicular traffic and have to stop. Seems once you get on a roll, you have to stop. We went from Champion to Bristolville. On the particular day we were there, volunteers from the American Cancer Society Relay for Life were offering bottled water along the trail. We accepted some and gladly made a donation though they stated it was free.

A little known gem

By lvjohn in August, 2013

It's flat, but it's flat out beautiful. For the most part its like riding in a green tunnel with little surprises waiting just for you. I came across flocks of wild turkeys and a blue heron for starters. Then there are the scenic bridges that carry the trail over some impressively deep creeks.
There is a closure at I-90 where a new tunnel will carry the path under the highway. This is actually passable now, but will be very nice when completed. There is an unavoidable break in the trail at community of Rock Creek. This is not well marked and the route traverses some extremely poorly paved streets. Use your intuition to figure out where to go if you don't have a map of the area with you. Bring what water you may need because there are no obvious water spigots or fountains along the way.
I rode 35 miles north and back from the OH-305 parking area and will do the entire route into Ashtabula in the autumn when the leaves are in color.
My thanks to fellow riders and the maintenance crews who have kept the trail impressively free of litter.

A little known gem

By lvjohn in August, 2013

It's flat, but it's flat out beautiful. For the most part, its like riding in a green tunnel with little surprises waiting just for you. I came across flocks of wild turkeys and a blue heron for starters. Then there are the scenic bridges that carry the trail over some impressively deep creeks.
There is a closure at I-90 where construction is underway on a new tunnel will carry the path under the highway. This is actually passable now, but will be very nice when completed. There is an unavoidable break in the trail at community of Rock Creek. This is not well marked and the route traverses some extremely poorly paved streets. Use your intuition to figure out where to go if you don't have a map of the area with you.
I rode 35 miles north and back from the OH-305 parking area and will do the entire route into Ashtabula in the autumn when the leaves are in color.
My thanks to fellow riders and the maintenance crews who have kept the trail impressively free of litter.

Team WTA 2.0

By dmzg in June, 2013

Margaret, Mary, and I rode it this morning for a 50 mile "training" ride as we have a century ride in early August. Really nice surface for road bikes and flat out! Can really get some nice interval training between STOP signs and road crossing. WIll do the the complete loop(86 miles) over the July 4th Holiday as our last long ride - Thumbs up!
















Overall a nice trail

By jeff_g in June, 2013

The trail is very nice. It's very flat and well kept. The trail provides beautiful scenery and a lot of opportunity for those who carry a camera on their rides. I haven't ridden the entire path but plan to soon.

PRR's PY&A Secondary Track - Champion to Rock Creek

By rich ballash in May, 2013

This Pennsylvania Railroad branch line from Niles up to the ore docks at Ashtabula was a 49.9 mile coal and iron ore pipeline for the steel mills of Youngstown and Pittsburgh. Abandoned under Penn Central (1968-1976), the line started life as the Pittsburgh, Youngstown, and Ashtabula Railroad. Pennsy's 1966 employee timetable showed Pittsburgh as Milepost 0, "Detour" Tower at Niles (the branch's southern origin) at MP 75.5, and Ashtabula Yard on the lake at MP 125.4. Although this is a very nice and very well-kept trail, I have kept off one star rating for its lack of railroad artifacts, and also, for its shortage of trail mileposts and other historical markings. Other than that of the Underground Railroad, there is not once trace of trailside note that this was a very important and historic railroad line. I call trails like this "stripped." On 4/21, 5/19, and finally 5/26/13, I scouted the trail, and only yesterday did I find a scant few traces of rail artifacts. A relay case and adjacent concrete/steel lid battery box hide beside the big, blue steel company building at East Orwell. Another battery box is a very busy residential mouse house on the west side of the trail 4.8 miles north of the Orwell trailhead lot, across the street from the Kennametal plant, my Latrobe employer of 38 years. Finally, what I believe is the lower section of the heavy, steel base stanchion of Pennsy's "RM" Block-Limit station sign remains in place 0.1 miles north of the highway crossing at Rome, exactly 5.3 miles north of the Orwell lot. "Block-Limits" were the station posts which the tower operator who controlled the line, in this case "North Warren" Tower down at the old Erie Railroad crossing of this line, gave trains on the line permission to pass by, as there were no wayside signals on this secondary line. Trail mileposts on this trail segment exist only at MP 0.0 (Champion), at MP 10, and at MP 11 (Rock Creek). This is a beautifully remote wildlife trail, much nicely canopied, and surprisingly not overly utilized. For many miles, I was the sole user. Yes, services are extremely few and far between on this trail. If you need a drink or small snack, ride a short distance to the east on 322 from the Orwell highway crossing for the "JD" gas and snack store. If you want a dilly-icious burger, try the Jalapeno Thickburger at the A&W food complex about a 3/4-mile ride west on 322 (Pizza and sub eateries occupy the same complex). -Rich Ballash, Latrobe, PA 5/27/2013

Nice flat trail

By jpcvt135 in May, 2013

I have ridden sections of this trail many times, mostly starting from the southern point in Warren north 10-15 miles or so, but also twice from Ashtabula the entire length south to Warren. Overall it is a very nice, flat, and straight trail, paved the entire way, with some well-marked, slight bumps here and there from roots. The on-road section in Rock Creek is easy to navigate (although a bit bumpy), and I have never encountered a car in that area. There is a bridge just south of Rock Creek with nice views and some benches to rest, if desired. The scenery is pleasant, and the trail is a nice mix of shaded and non-shaded sections. There are road crossings, but they afford good views of the roads in both directions, and the roads are not busy. There are port-o-potties along the way, not the cleanest I've used, but not horrible, either. Almost every time I've been on the trail, I have seen volunteers out walking it, and I've never seen a single piece of litter, so they do a fantastic job with keeping it clean.

4 stars due to strictly personal preferences: 1. I do not like road crossings every few miles. Annoying to me to have that break in rhythm constantly. 2. The trail is just one straight line, which gets a bit boring after awhile.

Overall a very nice, well maintained, clean trail. Highly recommended.

wonderful trails

By pawlie in January, 2013

I took my sister for the first time on the trail and we had such a great experience,she just loves it as do I.the only thing I wish is that you would put the mileage on your website from one road to the other.This would be very helpful.Also we are from South County and our trails are not done at all,we too would like to take advantage of the health benefits of the trail with out driving to Jefferson or Austinburg.Thank You

Ashtabula to Rock Creek 11/11/2012

By 7802mark in November, 2012

The parking lot at HL Morrison Station on West Ave. in Ashtabula looked rather uninviting. My wife insisted we go to Herzog Rotary Park, on Woodman Ave. instead. The Herzog parking lot was just fine, though there are no services beyond parking. The trail is asphalt paved and, except where buckled a bit by occasional tree roots, smooth. The first 3 or 4 miles south out of Ashtabula have a noticeable up grade (southbound). South of I-90 it becomes pretty flat. There was a portapotti at Austinburg and a permanent vault toilet at the Lampson Road trailhead. Most of the road crossings are in good condition. All have ample views of traffic, so crossings can be made safely. A couple of road crossings had bumps and/or gravel at the road-trail junction, making a bit of care necessary. In Rock Creek, the trail runs on roads for a half mile or so, in a U-shaped detour to the west. These roads do not seem to have much traffic, but their paving is not in great condition. Because of the road crossings, the occasional bumps in the asphalt and the roads in Rock Creek, I would not recommend this trail for narrow tired bicycles. If you are lightweight, cyclocross width, 32mm, tires would probably be OK. We were on 35mm and 1.5 inch tires and were fine.

Live nearby but would travel to use this beautiful trail !!

By owenscomp in September, 2012

It is difficult to convey in words the beauty of this trail. It cuts through Amish country and protected lands, so there is a lot to see.

Long, straight and flat

By reaston6539 in June, 2012

This trail is a very nice, easy, flat, straight trail. I do have a word of warning though, bring water! There are absolutely no fountains to be found and everytime I try to use the machine it is sold out at Sunrise Trailhead. Other than that i just rode 61 miles on it the other day and enjoyed it greatly. There is a little off path jaunt on a roadway in Rock Creek due to what looks like a business that wouldn't allow access through their property. Lots of trees on the southern portion for shade, a lot less the further north you go. Very scenic in portions and lots of wildlife. There is a little thrift store just off the trail in Orwell to the east that does have cold water for a buck, i had to learn that the hard way.

Flat, smooth, shady, and fast

By rlandis24 in August, 2011

Great trail - coming from hilly Pennsylvania this was a truly enjoyable ride. I rode the Trumbull County portion of the trail from the trailhead near Champion, going far enough into Ashtabula County to read one of the Underground Railroad information boards (a nice touch for this history buff). Magnificent rural scenery - farms, wetlands, woods. Certainly not a heavily-used trail on a Tuesday afternoon/evening, but that made it great for a hard workout.

Great Ride in Trumbull County

By katekosar in July, 2011

I did a 40 mile out and back on the Trumbull County side. It was a hot day, and a few mosquitos and gnats were swarming. We parked at the Champion trailhead, which is very nice indeed, with a little picnic area by a small pond. Someone has given this trailhead serious consideration, and it shows. The trail is very well maintained. Rough portions are spray painted. There is often a very nice tree canopy overhead to provide shade and cooler temperatures. Take water and food, because portions are pretty remote and there is a definite lack of places to secure water (other than the locals' houses). I saw a mama duck herding her still cottony young peeps across a road, with her wings sheltering them. Pretty special. Lots of red cardinals and little chipmunks sprinting across the path.

I'm planning on doing the Ashtabula side this next week, staying at the Holiday Inn Express to get a jump on the day, and fully expect to be just as charmed as I was on the Trumbull County side. Very nice trail indeed.

Flat and Beautiful

By mrspinney in May, 2011

I rode this trail on Cinco de Mayo and it was fantastic. The other reviewers are accurate about how level and easy this trail is to ride. I started my ride at the Sunrise Trailhead in Champion, rode the additional mile south to the end of the trail and then headed north towards Orwell and Rome. I estimated that Champion to Rome and back would be about 44 miles total.

As I started my ride, I was truly impressed with how debris-free the Trumbull County side was. It had a few small pieces of branches on the trail but it was otherwise clean. The ride was fantastic and the scenery was beautiful. There were marshes, blogs, and thickly wooded areas all along the trail. Birds are abundant and there were a couple of beavers, rabbits and chipmunks to watch as well.

As I continued into Ashtabula County, there was a lot more debris on the trail. I found out from another rider that the trail is maintained solely by volunteers and I did see 3 elderly gentlemen cutting up fallen trees along the trail. My hats go off to these volunteers for keeping the trail in rideable condition.

I continued north until I reached Orwell and was told about a good restaurant (Jen's Restaurant and Flea Market) about a quarter of a mile East on Rt. 88. I went in to have some lunch and was pleasantly surprised. It was good food, at a good price with a great atmosphere. The waitresses were friendly and the locals are very inviting. The restaurant/flea market is closed on Mondays.

I continued north crossing over 2 more intersections and had to stop and turn around because a massive, unchained dog came out of a yard and I didn't want any trouble. I went back south and stopped at the wonderful observation deck where you can see geese, birds, and beavers.

When I got back to the Sunrise Trailhead, I had gone exactly 40 miles in about 3 hours. I will ride this trail again with my family. Truly an enjoyable ride.

Great Ride

By ektrailrider in December, 2010

Awesome....I live nearby, and I try to ride it at least once a week.

Sunside to Rock Creek

By fabelizer in September, 2010

Very nice ride! I agree with the last reviewer that the volunteers are doing an excellent job of maintenance! Even to the extent of paint marking where the trail has been lifted by expansion or tree roots in a few areas. It was nice to have met a couple of regular riders to chat with for a short time, and see the wildlife area. In spite of some light rain, the ride was great! Thanks to all that make the trail possible and passable! One note, the introduction blurb is quite outdated, as the trail has been completed. How do we get that resolved? I'm sure it is making some reluctant to ride this fine corridor.

A wonderful resource

By newbie in August, 2010

The Greenway is a very smooth black top serface. Little traffic and a mostly shaded trail make this a very pleasant bikeway. The volunteers are doing an excellent job of maintaining the trail.

New pavement between Hague and Callender roads is complete !

By ez3ax in October, 2008

We were there on 10/13/08 Monday, and rode from the "Sunside Trailhead" off of Rt. 305 in Champion, clear through to the village of "Rock Creek"... Just over 50 miles (round-trip). The new pavement is smooth and finished real nice. Enjoy !!

Done at Last

By blockhead1959 in October, 2008

The 5.5 miles between Callender and Hague road has been paved.
The trail is done from West 52 in Ashtabula County. (mile 25.98)
All the way to Champion Ave. in Trumbull County. (mile 14.7) Next road South of Route 305.

The village streets in Rock Creek must be used to get around a factory. (Very bad roads)
There are trail signs, not very far to ride, but hilly.

There are many dogs at a OLD house just north of Fillingham Road (mile 5.22) in Ashtabula Co.
The dogs are friendly.
The distance measurements are from the Ashtabula/Trumbull County line.

You can E-mail me at blockhead1959@yahoo.com

5.5 miles between Callender and Hague

By thebirch in October, 2008

5.5 miles between Callender and Hague is paved now. I was riding on it this past Sunday (10/12)

Phase III progress

By dougtidd in October, 2008

I rode the trail from West Street in Ashtabula all the way past route 87 in Trumbull County on October 5th. There was still some construction equipment just off the trail at US 6 but at least one layer has been added to the entire section that was not paved prior to this summer. I "only" made it 31 miles south when I ran out of time and had to head back. The trail is in exceptional condition for the entire length that I rode. Make sure that you know which crossroads have gas stations or restrooms since I only remember seeing 3 latrines on the section that I rode (and 2 of them were within 3 miles of each other).

The trail management should sell advertising space or at least allow nearby merchants to post signs that food and restrooms are nearby.

Now that the trail is open for about 42 miles (84 down and back) they should think about having a cycling event to draw riders from Cleveland, Erie Youngstown, Pittsburg, etc. They could raise thousands for maintenance to keep this trail in great shape. They could name it the "Great Western Reserve Greenway Century Ride" which with a few additional loops would be accurate.

I am glad that this newly completed resource is available to draw more much needed tourist money into the area economies.

I look forward to riding again next spring!

Western Reserve Greenway Trail

By Mary Jane Wheeler in October, 2008

This is truly a delightful trail. Flat and nicely maintained. Frequent sightings of wildlife (lots of chipmunks!). Benches scattered here and there. Beautiful wooded areas, my favorite being between Allen and Tisch Roads. Great parking at Route 307 (convenience store), Sanborn Road, Eagleville Road, Old Austinburg Road, Woodman Ave.
And... the long-awaited paving of the 5.6 miles section south of Callender Road is now completed!

Phase III

By blockhead1959 in September, 2008

Phase III Information:

The Rt 84 tunnel is open for use.
A little bumpy but a lot safer.

Would make a nice shelter if it is raining.

The 5.5 miles between Callender and Hague
has not been paved yet.

It can be rode with a mountain bike.
It has been cleared, graded, stoned and rolled.

Western Reserve Greenway ----- Phase III

By blockhead1959 in June, 2008


Greenway enters Phase III
Tunnel, final paved section to be completed this summer

By CARL E. FEATHER - Lifestyle Editor - cfeather@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon


Charlie Kohli, Ashtabula County Metroparks commissioner and chairman of the Friends of the Western Reserve Greenway, says the contract for Phase III has been awarded and the work should be completed by late September.
Phase III involves paving a 5.6-mile section in Orwell and Rome townships and constructing a tunnel under Route 84 in Ashtabula Township.
“This will complete the whole 43-mile section, to just about Warren,” Kohli said.
Twenty-seven miles of the trail are in Ashtabula County. The only unpaved section is between Hague and Callender roads. Janet Takas, civil engineer with the Ashtabula County Engineer’s Department, says the stretch will be paved to a width of 10 feet this summer. The work will provide a continuous paved trail from Rock Creek to Orwell.
On the northern end, a 208-foot tunnel will replace the hazardous crossing at the intersection of Route 84, near Hide-A-Way Lakes Campground. Users must leave the trail and cross the busy highway, which carries a lot of school bus and commercial traffic.
“It is a 16-by-10-foot box culvert that will allow the pedestrians and bicyclists to pass (under) State Route 84 without having to stop for traffic,” Takas said of the pre-cast concrete structure.
Kohli says there will be disruptions to trail use during the construction; the unpaved section is already closed as Brobst Tree Service is clearing brush from the corridor. Kohli says the board has not specified a detour around this section and urges users to consult highway maps to find an alternate route.
The board will close the WRGT between Woodman Avenue and Sanborn Road while the culvert work is being done. That work is scheduled to get under way after July 4 and will take up to 45 days. During that time, Route 84 will also be closed to vehicular traffic. Koski plans to have the work done in time for the start of school

Middle of WRG

By blockhead1959 in November, 2007

I live less than a mile from Callender and WRG.
The seven miles South is to be finished in 2008. (Not holding my breath)
I wish it did not use the streets in Rock Creek, but it is blocked by a factory.
Not to far to go around, but road is rough and hilly. (Be CAREFULL)

I have went South from Route 322 to Route 87, (Watch out for horse MANURE)
The Amish seem to like the trail, but no Respect for it.

Now for the good things.
The ride from Rock Creek North to Clay street is GREAT.
You can get off there and get to Mickey D,s just by crossing 45.
Be CAREFULL getting off at Clay short curvy hill.

There is plenty of shade, FLAT, and paved.
Watch out for the DEER, I see them between Callender and Rock Creek quite often.
Enjoy the WRG, I do.

blockhead1959@yahoo.com
Bob

Nice Trail!

By H2oPro in October, 2007

This is very nice trail- its quiet, flat, paved, and not very busy. It is not finished though, there is a 7 mile section in the Ashtabula County section (just north of 322) that is not finished. The Trumbull section is complete (about 14 miles). About 20 miles is complete in the Ashtabula County section which makes for a nice 40 mile trip down and back starting in Ashtabula. Once the 7 mile section is complete, it will stretch 43 miles. Enjoy it, its one of the best trails around.

Great ride

By in April, 2007

Went 17 miles north from the southern starting point. Great view all paved. No real challanges with hills but definately an enjoyable ride. Planning on doing the whole trail next time.

midsection unimproved

By Hoop14 in January, 2007

"Got 20 miles in today on the Greenway. First time visitor. Paved areas are nice, very rural, not a bunch of intersections. Was taken by surprise however. There is a section in the middle that is not paved. To the best of my knowledge, the trail website did not indicate this. Would like to have ridden further, but wet, soggy conditions prevented us."

Rt. 305 North

By lazchance in July, 2006

"My wife and I grew up in Trumbull and Mahoning Counties, but have lived in another state for 23 years. On two recent trips home, we had the pleasure of taking two out and back rides starting at the parking area near Champion on Rt. 305.

With all of the tough times this geographic area has been through, it's encouraging to see increasing construction of rail trail recreation opportunities. The Western Reserve Greeway Trail is a very nice ride.

On our most recent trip, we saw plenty of wildlife--especially deer and groundhogs. Unfortunately our ride was cut short because of a looming thunderstorm.

The first time we rode the trail, we were able to take a nice break at the wildlife preserve about 10 miles into the ride.

For those who think Northeast Ohio can't possibly be a vacation destination, think again. There's plenty to do in the region. On a hot day, one can cool off after a ride with a swim in Mosquito Lake, just a ten minute drive east on Rt. 305. From the Greenway, you also have easy access to the resorts along Lake Erie and other inland lakes, as well as many attractions in Cleveland, Akron and Canton.

Youngstown is home to Mill Creek Park, one of the countries most majestic natural parks, designed by Fredrick Olmstead, who also designed New York's Central Park. In addition to biking, it's a great place to hike.

And after a ride, a hungry biker can usually get a great meal at a reasonable price. The Youngstown-Warren area has some of Ohio's best Italian restaurants, not to mention the venerable Hot Dog Shoppe on Warren's west side."

WRG

By in July, 2005

"Great trail. Well maintained. Approx 19 miles each way. No hills, strictly flat, smooth paved surface with no bumps, dips, cracks, potholes etc. Very enjoyable with much shade on a sunny warm day. Stop in Orwell on north end approx 1 mile from trail for lunch. DQ, Subway, A&W and pizza shops. Enjoy!!"

wrg bike trail

By in July, 2005

"very flat, smooth paved, evenly spaced between stops (road intersections). One odd dirt road crossing near southern tip (bike path paved thru). Wildlife observation deck. Soda vending machines, toilet facilities."

Another addition

By in March, 2005

This trail is also paved now from Oakfield Road in Hyde up through Orwell in Ashtabula County. I am unsure of the exact length but I believe it to be around seven miles. So now you have a trail 15 miles each way and this park is supposed to be connected to the last Ashtabula part next year.

Good trail

By in April, 2004

I have biked on both paved sections of the trail. I tend to like the Trumbull County part better than the Ashtabula part because of the scenery and it's easier to cross the intersections. The Ashtabula section was less busy with people on the trail than the Trumbull County section. This is a great trail and it has a great surface!

Addition

By in January, 2004

Another part of this trail has been paved from Route 305 to hyde-oakfield road in trumbull county. The section is an 8.4 mile stretch.