Hilliard, OH Atv Trails and Maps

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Recent Trail Reviews

Alum Creek Greenway Trail

worth riding

November, 2020 by jp318107

This trail is amazing!! You can get more miles if it’s taken from Plumb road past Groveport.

Scioto Greenway Trail

One of the Most Interesting Trails in Ohio

November, 2020 by orangedoug

I had ridden part of the Scioto Greenway several times as it is a critical link in the Ohio to Erie Trail (OTET) route. This time, I chose to ride Scioto Greenway Trail to see what the other sections of this trail had to offer.

I chose to start at the center of the trail. I parked at the Boat House Restaurant & Event Center found at Confluence Park. Confluence Park is a peninsula that is formed at the intersection of the Scioto and Olentangy Rivers. The Boat House has a large parking lot which sits at the intersection of the Scioto Greenway and Olentangy Trails. This makes parking here very convenient for cyclists.

From the Boat House, I chose to ride west first. What I was most curious about in this portion of the trail was what was worth being seen beyond the Hilltop Connector Trail as I had never gone beyond that point when riding the OTET. Unfortunately, there really isn’t much to see. While a good part of the trail west of Confluence Park does follow the Scioto River you don’t see much of the water as the trees and undergrowth only give up small glimpses of the river. The eventually crosses over Dublin Road (US-33) and travels along this road until it reaches West 5th Avenue. If you were to skip a section of the Scioto Greenway, this western section should be the one you drop.

After I peddled back to Confluence Park and then headed east toward downtown Columbus. This section of the trail is absolutely beautiful. I enjoyed the trail views of the Scioto River, the downtown skyscrapers, and the many bridges that crossed the river. The section from Confluence Park to when the trail passes under Interstate 70 is one of my favorite sections of trail from throughout Ohio. It is definitely a parklike setting with well manicured lawns, improved landscaping, picnic areas, and memorial statues. You view all this with a backdrop of downtown’s tall buildings. This section of the Scioto Greenway, on both sides of the river, is definitely worth a trip to check it out.

When you pass under I-70 you enter into Scioto Audubon Metro Park. The 120-acre park provides active recreation activities to the community. Activities such as hiking, biking, jogging, inline skating, kayaking, and fishing can be enjoyed here. I found that this was the busiest area along the route on the Saturday afternoon that I rode the trail. The natural areas of this section were quite a contrast to the commercial west and the manicured downtown areas. When you reach the southeast corner of Scioto Audubon, you find yourself at the boat (kayak/canoe) launch area to Greenlawn Avenue Low Head Reservoir. At first, I thought that I had reached the end of the trail, however, the trail does continue along West Whittier St. up to the Columbus’ Brewery District, a section of German Village. Once you reach Front Street in the Brewery District the trail leads to Greenlawn Avenue and its bridge where the street and trail cross back over the river. Once you come off of the bridge you loop back underneath it, and the trail follows the Scioto again for a little over 1.5 miles while it passes by the athletic fields of Berliner Park. The trail just dead ends right before reaching OH-104. This is probably the most wooded portion of the entire trail.

After backtracking back to the downtown section of the trail, I crossed from the East Bank to the West Bank of the Scioto River. I crossed using the Main Street Bridge which has a raised bike and pedestrian deck separated from the bridge’s traffic deck. On the West Bank of the Scioto River you will pass by and have access to COSI, the Ohio Center of Science and Industry, and the National Veterans Memorial and Museum. After passing the Veteran’s Memorial Grove, you will pass under two railroad bridges and OH-315 before you reach North Souder Avenue Bridge where the bike lane will take you back over the Scioto River one more time into Confluence Park and the Boat House Restaurant and Event Center parking lot.

I really enjoyed this trail. There is a lot to see and a wide variety of sights along the way. I would highly recommend checking it out. I’m somewhat curious to find out how well lit the downtown section of the trail is at night because I think that if it is well lit it would be a great place for an evening ride.

Hellbranch Trail

A Pleasant Commuting Trail That Links City Residents With Their City Park Facilities

November, 2020 by orangedoug

The Hellbranch Trail is a greenway that I would describe as a commuter path. It runs predominantly in a North-South direction through the western portion of Hilliard, Ohio. It connects the Hilliard neighborhoods of Hoffman Farms, Colonial Lanes, Heritage Lakes, Lakewood, Westbriar, and Brookfield Village to local parks such as Homestead Metro Park, Roger A. Reynolds Municipal Park, the Hilliard Family Aquatic Center, Franks Park, Clover Groff Natural Area, Spindler Dog Park, and Spindler Sports Complex.

The trail is extremely flat with very little change in elevation. The trail has a combination of trail surfaces: asphalt, widened cement sidewalks and crushed stone. My biggest complaint about this so-called trail is a lack of signage. For a named trail or route there was absolutely no signs to indicate where this route went. In a bicycle friendly city such as Hilliard that can be a problem. There are a lot of separated bike paths that parallel the roads of the city. Due to a lack of trail signs, if you are trying to follow a specific route, when you come to a road intersection many times you're not sure whether you should cross the street to continue in the same direction or make a turn. If I had not used the TrailLink app on my phone I would probably have made a number of wrong turns on my outward leg of my out-and-back ride of this trail.

If you live outside of Hilliard, I would suggest following TrailLink's recommendation to park at the Spindler Sports Complex and ride north. I think that if you ride in this direction the trail's path will be a little more clear (since there are no trail signs) than if you choose to ride from the north. Since this trail travels through quite a few residential neighborhoods there are not a lot of trailheads along the way, but Spindler Sports Complex in the south, Roger A. Reynolds Municipal Park in the center, and Homestead Metro Park off of the connected Heritage Rail-Trail in the north are areas with plenty of parking.

I enjoyed this trail. It was a very pleasant ride. It has a lot of utility to connect the citizens Hilliard to their city's parks, but I don't think it is a must ride/walk Ohio trail for people outside of Hilliard. I do think that it is a significant enough route for the city's residents that it would be worthwhile for the city to mark the trail route with signs and distances to the different city facilities along the way.

Accordion

Buckeye Scenic Trail

A Lightly Traveled Trail That Should be Connected to the Rest of Licking County's Trails

November, 2020 by orangedoug

I did an 11 mile round trip on an out-and-back ride on a sunny Autumn day. I rode from the northern end in Heath, Ohio and headed to the National Road (US-40) in Hebron (Atherton), Ohio at the southern end. Along the way you travel through suburban neighborhoods, cross over several bridges, and enter into the wide open spaces of corn and soybean fields in the southern half of the trail. Perhaps they should rename this trail the High School Connector Trail as you pass by Heath High School on the northern end and arrive at Lakewood High School when you reach the trail's southern end.

This rail trail has a paved surface that is in good shape with well marked striped street crossings. The bridge crossings are in great shape as well. My only complaints are that this trail is currently more geared toward the local citizenry than anyone outside the area. There are really no trailheads along the route unless you count parking at the two high schools along the route. Secondly, I think that this trail would get a lot more use if it could be connected to the other Licking County trails found in nearby Newark, Ohio. Using Google Maps, the northern end could be extended about 1.1 miles into Newark. However, connecting to the Newark Trail or the T.J. Evans Panhandle Trail becomes tricky due to having to get around active rail lines and rail yard. In addition, crossing Hopewell Drive, the current northern end of this trail, is a very busy street, so a simple street crossing will not be adequate. I hope that city and county leaders consider making connections between the county's trails a park and infrastructure priority.

Canal Winchester Trail System

It’s all connected now

November, 2020 by malika3

I went to this trail a couple of weeks ago for a short, quick bicycle ride because I didn’t have much time that day. I even rode past the Brew Dog bu which t bye paths before was not completed. Basically I did a loop, twice. Good for a short ride in the city. I think the loop was a little over 5 miles.

T. J. Evans Trail

A Particularly Scenic Trail on a Fall Day

November, 2020 by orangedoug

I did an out-and-back ride on this trail on a sunny October day. I started in Newark, Ohio and rode northwest toward Johnstown. If you start in this direction you will start out with a very flat ride between Newark and Alexandria. Once you reach Alexandria you will start a manageable yet steady climb to Johnstown where the trail ends. Along the way you transition from a city to a smaller towns and then into agricultural and rural areas. The trail is lined with trees for much of the way, but it opens up quite a bit in the middle of the trail as you travel through a number of farms. The fall colors were spectacular.

Some of the previous reviews of this trail complained that the trail was not well-kept and required quite a bit of maintenance because the trail surface was not up to road bike standards. I couldn't disagree more as I found the southern half of the trail in fine shape as if had been recently resurfaced. The northern half was not quite as smooth but I felt that there were not many areas where there was rough pavement. A few cracks here and a bit of tree root uplift there but not so much so that any stretch of trail would be considered in need of repair. On this day, there was a Licking County Park worker driving a pickup along the trail towing a leaf blower trailer blowing the fallen leaves off of the trail. Certainly, maintenance is being done to this, and probably all other, Licking County multi-use trails.

Newark Trail

A Commuter Trail That Could be the Backbone for a Regional Trail System

November, 2020 by orangedoug

I rode almost 10 miles on an out-and-back round trip on the Newark Trail. This is a paved commuter route that runs along the OH-16 freeway from the intersection with the T.J. Evans Trail just off of Cherry Valley Road on the western end to the Licking County Family YMCA off of 12th Street in the east. This trail needs to be extended further east to the county courthouse in downtown Newark, and then onto the T.J. Evans Panhandle Trail. When traveling eastward, once you reach the Y you can follow the designated route into downtown but you are no longer riding a trail nor riding in a bike lane but rather on streets marked with sharrows. There is an additional spur to this trail that crosses over OH-16 and connects to the campus of Ohio State University-Newark. This spur actually goes 1.5 miles further north of the OSU-Newark campus to Goose Pond Road which gives the trail user access to Rotary Park, the Lou & Gib Reese Ice Arena, and the Newark Area Soccer Association athletic fields. I only rode this spur up to the OSU- Newark campus as a weather front was coming in and I wanted to avoid getting wet.

For a commuter trail I think this trail has a number of unique sights and certainly a certain level of utility. However, I think that for this trail to become completely useful to the citizens of Newark, and Licking County in general, the city and county leaders must find a way to create an off-road trail or series of protected bike lanes from the eastern end of the Newark Trail into downtown Newark, and then on to connect to the T.J. Evans Panhandle Trail. It will be at this point where there will be a backbone of a regional trail system of which they can be proud.

T. J. Evans Panhandle Trail

A Successful Example of Rail with Trail

October, 2020 by orangedoug

I rode nearly 20 miles on a round trip on the T.J. Evans Panhandle Trail. The trail appears to have been created on an abandoned spur that runs along an active rail line. I parked and started at a parking lot that abutted the railroad tracks at the corner of Marne and Licking Valley Roads near the center of the trail's length. I chose this particular starting point as it seemed to be the most visible of the parking lots along the trail. While other reviews here have mentioned a lack of parking along the trail, I would also add that there is also a lack of bathrooms or Porta-Johns along the trail as well.

I first headed east from Marne out to the eastern terminus of the trail at Felumlee Rd. The trail climbs as you head east. The slope is typical for a rail trail so you really aren't straining to climb but you are aware that you are climbing.

Once I returned from the eastern end, I pushed on to reach the trail's western terminus in Newark, Ohio. The western half of the trail is much more flat and the scenery becomes more urban and industrial. A highlight of the trail comes between Lambs Lane and Swans Road where you travel by the Longaberger Basket Building. The building looks like a giant picnic basket that the company sells. From here you will travel through an industrial area which will give way to a neighborhood of homes until you reach the end of the trail at North Morris Street.

As mentioned by other reviews here, there is a chain link fence that separates the trail and the railroad. While some find that this fence ruins what little scenic beauty they see in this trail, I think that it is a small price to pay to have a trail of decent length to ride on. There are many trails across the country that a trying to connect to a certain destination within a city or town but are finding completing their trails difficult because of the inability to get a rail with trail agreement worked out with a local railroad company. Those trail groups should inquire with the trail leaders in the city of Newark and Licking County, Ohio how they were able to successfully create this trail.

Despite the lack of parking and bathrooms I think the T.J. Evans Panhandle Trail is a nice trail, particularly if you live in the Newark, Ohio region.

Blackhand Gorge Trail

This is a Trail That is Worth the Drive

October, 2020 by orangedoug

I did an out-and back ride on this trail for a distance of 8.5 miles. The trail runs through the Licking River's Blackhand Gorge east of Newark, Ohio. For the most part, this rail trail runs about 20 to 30 feet above the river's surface through the gorge. On the western part of the trail you drop off of the original rail bed and dip down and through a tributary creek called Brushy Fork before returning back to the rail bed and crossing over a bridge spanning Claylick Creek at the western end of the trail at Brownsville Road SE.

The trail is paved and the surface is in good shape. Stay on the trail as the steep banks of the Licking River in the gorge could make getting back out nearly impossible. The trail is very scenic with the river, rock formations, the nearby trails, and in autumn the spectacular fall colors. Keep an eye out for the flora and fauna as some of it can't be found elsewhere in the state of Ohio.

The only drawback to this trail is that its shorter length leaves you wanting more. However, the rail right of way upon which the trail is built does cross and continue west Brownsville Rd SE. Perhaps efforts should be made to try to convert the rest of this rail line into a trail that stretches into Newark, Ohio which is already a hub for several other rail trails.

Kokosing Gap Trail

Mount Vernon to Gambier

October, 2020 by vicki1960

Nice bike ride from Mount Vernon to Gambier and back. Great trail though mainly wooded sections. You will cross a few nice old rail bridges on this section. And over the Kokosing River a few times.
We parked at the old train station in Mt Vernon and took the connector which is about a mile long and under construction. They are re-doing it.
We biked to Kenyan College.
Lunch near the trail at an old Diner in Mount Vernon and the food was delicious. After the ride there is an ice cream place a few hundred yards from the trail in Mount Vernon. Between Mount Vernon and Gambier there is nothing so make sure you have water/snacks.
Connecting trail are Heart of Ohio, Mohican Valley and Holmes County. All asphalt paved in great condition.

Kokosing Gap Trail

Danville to Gambier

October, 2020 by vicki1960

Danville to Gambier and back for a nice ride. Trail is mainly flat, asphalt paved in good condition. There are a few bridges to cross along the ride also through open farmlands and some wooded areas. Trail services in Danville....food and water. There is a grocery store, sub shop and Dollar Store located near the parking area.

Heart of Ohio Trail

In the Heart of Ohio

October, 2020 by vicki1960

Trail is purely a taste of what Ohio is all about. Open farmlands through small towns and add in some wooded areas as well. And this trail is flat!
We parked in Mount Vernon and accessed the trail at Ariel Foundation Park which is a cool historic place of the former PPG glass works which closed in the 1970's. We biked to Centerburg and back for a 30 mile round trip. Along the trail there is basically nothing as far as trail services so take water and snacks with you. In Centerburg you can go to the little town a few blocks off the trail. We found places to grab lunch, snacks and water.
This trail connects with several other trails. You can bike from Centerburg OH to Glendale OH on 40 miles of paved asphalt via connecting trails Kokosing Gap, Mohican Valley and Holmes County.

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