Top 10 Trails in Ohio

 

Ohio is a flourishing trail state with exciting projects like the state-spanning Ohio to Erie Trail, the 340-mile Miami Valley Trail network and the epic Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition system, which incorporates more than 1,500 miles of trail across four states, including Ohio. And, with nearly 100 rail-trails to chose from, you'll have no shortage of places to bike.

1

Ohio & Erie Canalway Towpath Trail

Photo by: Bruce Ford Courtesy Summit Metro Parks

Along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, adventurers will discover a series of canal locks, restored historical buildings, interpretive signage and, of course, the early-19th century canal itself—a magnificent structure of well-worn sandstone. Spanning more than 80 miles, the trail is perhaps defined as much by its surrounding bodies of water as by land: the canal, the Cuyahoga River, the Tuscarawas River, Lake Erie (one of the Great Lakes) and Summit Lake, over which the trail floats on a buoyed bridge. One of the trail's most popular sections runs through Cuyahoga Valley National Park, a well-loved recreational escape for city dwellers in Cleveland and Akron.

2

Little Miami Scenic Trail

Photo Courtesy: Green County Parks and Trails

In the course of its 78 miles, Little Miami Scenic Trail users get to cruise a paved, well-maintained, largely shaded route—including a gradual downhill grade heading south from Springfield to Cincinnati. They get to enjoy the Little Miami National Scenic River, as well as protected wildlife areas and an Ohio countryside of grassy pastures, wildflowers, farmsteads, soybean and corn fields.

3

Great Miami River Trail

Photo by: Laura Loges

For those whose hearts call out for adventure, the fully paved, sinuous Great Miami River Trail irresistibly beckons. Nestled within western Ohio's Miami Valley, the 86-mile trail winds through woodsy parks beneath the soft rustle of tall, broad-leafed trees, quietly glides into the rich green and gold hues of farm country, and resonates with all the vibrancy and excitement of Dayton at its center.

4

Western Reserve Greenway

Photo by: Tom Bilcze

Beginning a few miles south of Lake Erie, the Western Reserve Greenway stretches 43 miles from the historical district of Ashtabula to downtown Warren. Along the paved pathway, you'll pedal through the state’s rural north coast landscape with views farm fields, woodlands and suburban neighborhoods. Several bridges take you over the area's many waterways. Two highlights are the historical King Bridge, a steel railroad trestle built in 1897, and the Rock Creek Trestle, a bridge featuring bump-outs that give a bird's-eye view of the river and scenery below. For nature lovers, the chances of spotting an animal are good with the Orwell Wildlife Area and Mosquito Creek State Wildlife Area along the route.

5

Bike and Hike Trail

Photo by: vicki1960

Though not far from two of Ohio’s largest cities, Cleveland and Akron, the Bike and Hike Trail passes alongside scenic natural areas, including the 65-foot Brandywine Falls, a stunning cascading waterfall. Unlike most rail-trails, which are fairly flat, this route has delightful dips and rises. Starting at the northern end, experience a beautiful, mostly secluded route, much of which borders Cuyahoga Valley National Park. As the 34-mile paved pathway winds south, it passes through rural neighborhoods and wooded areas. With an early enough start, you might see some deer grazing at the path’s edge.

6

Zoar Valley Trail

Photo by: dgoodwin

Northeastern Ohio's Zoar Valley Trail winds along the Tuscarawas River for 20 miles through wooded tracts, open spaces, farmland and suburban backyards. The rail-trail passes by many historical sites of interest, including the villages of Zoar and Schoenbrunn (the latter founded in 1772), Camp Tuscazoar, Dover Dam, the Ohio & Erie Canal, Fort Laurens and a pre-Revolutionary War encampment. You'll also find a couple of railroad trestles, including the Fink Truss Bridge, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

7

Holmes County Trail

Photo by: dr. dave

Nestled in the heart of Ohio's Amish country, the Holmes County Trail accommodates Amish buggies, and throughout much of the route it is just as common to pass a horse-drawn buggy as it is to pass a bicyclist or walker. Spanning nearly 16 miles, the paved pathway winds through bucolic countryside and scenic natural areas dotted with numerous stream crossings, including a couple over restored railroad bridges. With such a peaceful backdrop, you're also likely to encounter turtles, snakes and birds of all kinds.

8

Kokosing Gap Trail

Photo by: huber

The Kokosing Gap Trail delights visitors with its rich railroad history, which is on display throughout the paved route. Enjoy a landscape of ravines and farmland as you cross the Kokosing River twice along railroad bridges more than 250 feet long, and enjoy passage through the cool Howard Tunnel. Stop to marvel at an old locomotive and a bright red wood caboose, which sit trailside, and wander through the butterfly garden of the Brown Family Environmental Center at Kenyon College.

9

Little Beaver Creek Greenway Trail

Photo by: tombilcze

The Little Beaver Creek Greenway Trail runs parallel to the Middle Fork of the Little Beaver Creek and has many beautiful and interesting features, including glacial outwashes, upland fields, mature ravine woodlots and wetland wildlife habitats. Remnants of the industrial past also dot the paved pathway with the remains of lime kilns, pig iron furnaces, coal mines and coke ovens. The 12.5-mile route also features a covered bridge.

10

MetroParks Bikeway

Photo by: rickl8327

The MetroParks Bikeway provides an ideal way to explore the charms of rural northeastern Ohio. A not-to-miss attraction on the nearly 11-mile route is Metro-Parks Farm, a 400-acre working farm spanning both sides of the trail. The farm offers educational programs, tours and agricultural displays seasonally. Farther along, you’ll travel alongside Sawmill Creek Preserve, a 154-acre forested area that's a haven for birds and other wildlife. Approaching the trail's northern end, the Kirk Road trailhead makes for an interesting stop with a historical 1938 sandstone building housing a bicycle rental and repair shop.

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