Upper Arlington, OH Atv Trails and Maps

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Recent Trail Reviews

Marion Tallgrass Trail

In Good Condition, Fairly Good Wildlife Towards Western End

October, 2021 by jonesandrewd_tl

I made the trek up from the Columbus area today to check out the Marion Tallgrass Trail. It's just over 12 miles long, and almost as straight as an arrow. For the first couple miles you are by farm fields, but there is at least a little bit of woods for most of the remaining 10 miles.

It's a tough call between 4 and 5 stars. Let's start with the positives. The woods make it peaceful, and shaded. And there is a lot of wildlife, especially for a trail that isn't exactly in the middle of a forest. I saw quite a few deer, a rabbits, squirrels, and a medium-large bird which walked (not flew) away from me; my best guess is it may have been a pheasant. There's more wildlife as you go west; this time of year may also be near peak wildlife season, shortly before the major hunting seasons begin. And best of all, the wildlife I encountered did not include the swarms of mosquitoes others mentioned (I visited in mid-October, on a day with a high in the low 60s).

On the not-quite-five-star side, are that it can be pretty windy (especially near the windmills on the east side; who'd have thought they'd put windmills in a windy place?), there are some bumps between miles 4 and 5 that could use smoothing out, and that aside from the wildlife, it's not an especially scenic trail. Oh, and the farm around mile 6 that uses natural fertilizer; it has usurped first place for worst-smelling place I've been by on a bike trail.

Comparing the level of scenicness to other regional trails, I'd put it ahead of the Heritage Trail in Hilliard, slightly behind the Richland County B&O Trail, and behind the Alum Creek Trail in Columbus, which despite being in a city is for the most part a very scenic trail.

Facilities are somewhat improved from what is on the TrailLink map; there is also a port-a-john around mile 8 (I didn't note the exact location), and there's a water fountain at the eastern trailhead (mile zero; I didn't verify that it is functional). The official site also lists parking at mile 8.4 (probably the same park area with the port-a-john), 1.75 (an ODNR grassy lot), and at the Espyville Baptist Church by mile 3.7, when church is not in session.

The other thing that's a bit odd about the trail is that it currently doesn't connect any population centers, despite its 12+ mile length. There are some dwellings nearby, but unless you're one of the few dozen people who live nearby (mostly in a trailer park around mile 5), you have to drive to the trail. Looking at a map, it's easy to see that the reason it can't easily be extended east is that there's an active rail yard to the east. Still, figuring out a way to extend it into Marion (population 35,000) would likely improve its visibility to a lot of people, and significantly increase ridership; it would also encourage out-of-towners like myself to stop in Marion.

Sawmill Parkway Trail

An Important Piece of Infrastructure in a Growing Area

October, 2021 by orangedoug

I recently rode 18.73 miles on an out-and- back ride on the Sawmill Parkway Trail between the cities of Powell and Delaware, Ohio. This trail is an example of a trail type that is indicative of many midwestern cities, such as Columbus, Ohio, where surrounding once rural farming communities are transitioning into more developed suburbs. This trail is similar to other Columbus area trails such as the the Buckeye Parkway Multi-Use Path in Grove City and the Hellbranch Trail in Hilliard. It appears that the Sawmill Parkway Trail is destined to become the spine of a developing trail system between the communities of Powell and Delaware as this area of Delaware County transitions into a Columbus suburb. As you travel north on this trail you can see that it is much easier to put these trails in before open land is developed rather than trying to fit in a trail after an area has built up. Kudos to local government officials for being forward thinking. At present, the northern end of the trail is much more rural. Here, farm land is found on both sides of Sawmill Parkway, but there are already roadway cut-ins into these fields anticipating continued development of the land into future residential, retail, and commercial areas. As growth occurs, more trails will need to be built along the streets crossing Sawmill Parkway in order to create greater access for the area’s present and future residents in order to make the Sawmill Parkway Trail into a useful alternative transportation network.

As for the trail itself, it is a paved pathway that is in good shape, although the southern end in Powell is beginning to show its age. The trail itself crosses Sawmill Parkway twice, once at Big Bear Avenue in Powell and again at the US-42 intersection in Delaware. Definitely use the crosswalk call buttons at these crossings. Automobile traffic on Sawmill Parkway is heavier on the southern end of the trail from the shopping district to Olentangy Liberty High School. Extra caution should be taken at street crossings in this area by following pedestrian crossing signals. Starting with the Sawmill Parkway-Hyatts Road intersection, traffic lights have been replaced with roundabouts. There are five of these roundabouts along northbound Sawmill Parkway until you reach a final traffic light where the parkway runs into US-42 in Delaware. The trail’s street crossings at these roundabouts have been moved out from the center of the circles. Visibility is good for the trail users at these traffic circles but caution should still be practiced here, particularly when traveling south on the trail. This is because southbound cars could be turning right onto the street you’re crossing from behind your line of sight. Traffic becomes lighter as you enter more rural areas the further north you go along the trail. However, as the area along the parkway develops, traffic will become heavier and these crossings at the roundabouts may become more problematic.

Buckeye Parkway Multi-Use Path

A Typical Trail Found in Many Growing Midwestern Cities

October, 2021 by orangedoug

The Buckeye Parkway Multi-use Path in Grove City, Ohio is one of those trails where you sometimes wonder why it is listed in TrailLink. It is a trail that parallels a street (Buckeye Parkway) for almost its entire length. It is certainly not a rail trail. However, it seems to be a type of trail that is indicative of the suburbs and exurbs of midwestern cities, such as Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana, where once rural farming communities became developed. It appears that the trail will become the spine of a developing trail system in the southeast section of Grove City. It currently connects the Southwest Acres, Meadow Grove, Holton Estates, Creekside and Pinnacle Club neighborhoods to the Parkway Centre Shopping Center located along Stringtown Road.

As for the trail itself, it is a paved pathway that is currently in good shape. However, a section of the trail was closed off when I rode it as some infrastructure work such as a gas line or cable line was either being installed, repaired, or improved along this bike path. Automobile traffic on Buckeye Parkway is heavier on the northern end of the trail closer to the shopping district and the Interstate 71 entrance/exit at Stringtown Road. Extra caution should be taken at road crossings in this area. Traffic becomes lighter the further south you go on the trail as you then enter into residential areas. There is a small 2/10ths of a mile on-road section included within this trail between the Indian Trails Park and Hawthorne Parkway. There didn’t seem to be any reason why the trail couldn’t have been completed through this stretch, but currently this gap exists.

The Buckeye Parkway Multi-use Path is a useful trail for the residents who live along its length. It provides residents a non-motorized connection to a park, a golf club, and a retail area. It could become more useful to a greater number of local residents if additional extensions are built into the neighborhoods that are located along Buckeye Parkway. It is not a trail that people outside of Grove City need to seek out, at least, not at this time.

Accordion

Camp Chase Trail

Very Nice

October, 2021 by shcavan

Enjoyed the well maintained trail but at a few points it was confusing.

Scioto Greenway Trail

Enjoyable Trail

October, 2021 by shcavan

Well maintained, easy ride.

Pickaway Trail

Recent Paving Has Improved the Trail But More Work Needs to be Done

September, 2021 by orangedoug

I rode 3.3 out-and-back miles on the Pickaway Trail near Circleville, Ohio on August 26th. This rail trail currently is listed at 2.5 miles in length but not all of it is paved. I started at the Canal Road trailhead and headed west. When I reached Ohio-104 the paved trail ended but a sign on the other side of the road stated that the trail beyond this point was under development. It looked like a gravel driveway so I decided to cross and check out the current level of development. Well, the driveway turned out to be exactly that and as it curved to the right it became obvious that the grassy opening straight ahead was what was the undeveloped trail. The trail map on TrailLink.com shows the trail continuing westward until it reaches Sisk Road. While I was curious what more I would find if I continued, the sound of thunder told me to call it quits and get back to the car. The paved trail appears to be brand new — a very smooth ride. The trail is arrow-straight throughout its current length. The trail runs through corn and soybean fields and is tree lined in parts and wide open when running through the farm fields. My one complaint has to do with the positioning of the bollards to keep motorized vehicles off of the trail. I feel that the spacing between posts is a bit narrow and could be hazardous to cyclists who may not be paying attention.

Roundtown Trail

A Nice Exercise Trail

September, 2021 by orangedoug

I rode a quick out-and-back ride on the 1.5 mile long Roundtown Trail in Circleville, Ohio back in August of this year. The primary purpose of this trail seems to be to connect the Pickaway County YMCA to both the Circleville City Schools campus (high school, middle school, and elementary school) and the campus of Ohio Christian University. Both ends of the trail have a picnic pavilion. This is a paved trail that is in excellent shape. I think local residents would find this trail excellent for exercise purposes such as walking, jogging or cycling, but unless Circleville plans on expanding the trail or connecting it to the nearby Pickaway Trail; it is not one to seek out if you are not from the area.

Fairfield Heritage Trail

A Community Trail That Needs a Bit of a Makeover

September, 2021 by orangedoug

Back in August, I rode almost 19 miles on an out-and back on the Fairfield Heritage Trail in Lancaster, Ohio. This trail connects many of this citizens to the town’s parks, Ohio University-Lancaster, Lancaster High School and River Valley Mall. The crescent shaped trail encircles about 3/4 of the city. It would be interesting to see the city/county make the trail an actual loop by connecting the OU-Lancaster and Ety Pointe Drive ends of this trail. The trail utilizes a lot of greenway space by running along the Hocking River or its small tributaries. However, there are a few sections where streets with bike lanes or sharrows are used to connect some of the off-road parts of the trail.

There is a section that is an old railroad right of way so I guess the trail qualifies as a rail trail. This section runs between Cenci Lake Park and Olivedale Park. If you look at an aerial view of Lancaster on Google Maps you can see that this abandoned rail line (the Cincinnati & Muskingum Valley Railroad) runs west and could conceivably be developed to connect to the towns and cities of Amanda, Stoutsville and Circleville. However, at present, I don't know if there is much of a will to do so.

There were quite a few people either riding, jogging or walking on the trail during the Thursday morning I chose to ride. Thus, the trail seems to be popular with the citizens of Lancaster. I found the trail to be in good to fair shape with quite a bit of tree root uplifting. In some areas potholes are starting to form and in other places the edge of the trail along the Hocking River and small streams is starting to crumble and slip toward the water. These sections could use some repair. I want to recommend this trail to people from outside of the city, but at present, I can't give this trail my whole-hearted support until its upkeep issues are addressed. This is a nice community trail but it could use a bit of a makeover in a number of places throughout the city.

T. J. Evans Trail

The trees along the trail provided shade keeping us cooler than expected.

September, 2021 by convertiblewoman

We rode the trail on a hot, sunny Sunday morning in Mid-September, but the trees along the trail provided shade keeping us much cooler than we expected. The parking areas listed on the county map were a little hard to find but once we found the Bicentennial Park (no amenities) all was well. We really enjoyed the ride as there's a little bit of everything on the trail as well as beautiful scenery and lots of wildlife.

The one downside is that the majority of the trail that we rode on had no berm and the drop off in some areas was a little scary for me (our home trail has a two foot berm on both sides except for bridges). The other bikers on the trail were great in going single file when they met us.

I would expect that it's a beautiful trail in every season based on the trees and plants that we saw. Granville is beautiful little town with a lot to enjoy in the down town area. It's definitely a trail and area that we would come back to.

Little Miami Scenic Trail

shady on a sunny day

September, 2021 by d_danek

Did a 50 mile out and back from trailhead start off highway 32. I’d say 80% in the shade even in the heat of the day. A few places to get water. Lots of places to eat right off the trail. Pretty easy to ride hard, not a lot of traffic. I’m not a big trail rider but this one is pretty good.

Alum Creek Greenway Trail

Trail was good for 50 miles to and fro. The only one think I would like to mention is the dangerous curves where you cannot see the cyclist coming from the other side.

September, 2021 by prasthak

Trail was good for 50 miles to and fro. The only one think I would like to mention is the dangerous curves where you cannot see the cyclist coming from the other side.

Jim Simmons Memorial Trail

A Well Kept Trail That is a Community Asset

September, 2021 by orangedoug

The Jim Simmons Memorial Trail in Marysville, Ohio is a recreational greenway that traverses park land along Mill Creek which connects to different streets in a large residential area of the city. It also connects the neighborhood with Marysville High School. There is a large bridge that crosses over US-36 that enables students to access the Marysville High School campus. This local paved recreational/commuter trail is in very good shape. If I were a Marysville resident I would like to see this route extended just a bit further east along Mill Creek from Schwartzkopf Park in order to connect to McCarthy Park. The Marysville Disc Golf Course is found in Mill Valley Park. Look for disc golf "holes" on both sides of the trail in that area.. Also look for the bald eagles' nest around mile marker 2.75.

This trail is very nice for a local recreational/commuting trail, and although it is not a rail trail, it is a trail that would be worthwhile checking out if you are in the Marysville area.

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