Bridgeway Trail


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Bridgeway Trail Facts

States: Ohio
Counties: Lorain
Length: 4.8 miles
Trail end points: Day's Dam at 31st St. nr. Norfolk Ave. (Lorain) and High Meadows Picnic Area at Ford Rd. (Elyria)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6121483
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Bridgeway Trail Description

The Brideway Trail is found within the Black River Reservation, a park in Lorain County, where you can walk, jog, inline skate, cross-country ski or bike. The trail runs between Day's Dam in Lorain and the High Meadows picnic area in Elyria, covering 4.5 miles. Along the trail you'll encounter meadows and forests, passing both under and over bridges, including crossing 1,000-foot bridge over the Black River, the trail's highlight.

This bridge offers great views of the river, shale cliffs and bottomland habitat. Interpretive signs along the trail tell more about the natural history of the area, and you'll likely see wildlife, including great blue herons, ducks, and beavers. During spring look for dame's rocket blooming in the woods north of the double-back bridge.

You can also explore the Steel Mill Trail in the Black River Reservation. Just pick up the trail at the northern end of the Bridgeway Trail at 31st. Street.

Parking and Trail Access

Park at Black River Reservation, 1768 Ford Road in Elyria, to access the southern trailhead and off 31st Street to access the northern trailhead.

Bridgeway Trail Reviews

Back in May 2017 I rode the Bridgeway and Steel Mill Trails in Elyria, Ohio. While TrailLink lists these as separate trails, I view them as one continuous trail. On this out and back ride I traveled a little over 12.5 miles. These trails are multi-use trails found in the Black River Reservation of the Lorain County Metropark System. I spoke with a Park Ranger who said that the Steel Mill Trail will eventually connect into Cromwell Park on the north end. To the south, the Bridgeway Trail follows Ford Road out of High Meadows Section of the Black River Reservation to Midway Blvd., and then heads south along wide sidewalks of West River Road N, to Gateway Blvd. S to eventually W. 2nd Street where a cyclist can pick up the North Coast Inland Trail. While this part of the Bridgeway Trail exists, and is well-signed along the route, it crosses through the very heavily trafficked commercial and retail area of Midway Mall. I chose not to ride this section. I think you'd be better off strapping your bike to the back of the car and traveling the 3 or so miles to the North Coast Inland Trail if you want to make that connection.

Nice paved trail in Lorain County, Ohio. Used by bikers, runners and walkers. Majority of trail is wide. Road south to north and back. one modest climb southbound near end. Most trail users polite.

Or is it four? Trail starts at High Meadows on the Elyria side of Ford Road, comes downhill to Bur Oak and Black River reservation which turns into the Bridgeway Trail and leads to Days Dam park (after a steep uphill)as you cross the street you enter the Steel Mill Trail which ends at Colorado Road in Sheffield Lake. There are many bridges. flats and hill as well as sights to see along all of the trails. Halfway through the Bridgeway trail you can detour on a grassy path to the falls. The only thing I do not like about the trails is there is not any offered parking at the Colorado Road end of the Steel Mill Trail. The trails are great for all activities. If rollerblading or skating it is a bit difficult to go across the bridges since they are wood planked. If you are interested in kayaking there is a point to enter at Bur Oak.


The Bridgeway trail is a 4.5 mile trail from Colorado Ave in Lorain to Burr Oak in Elyria. Days Dam is 2 mi from Colorado ave and 2.5 from Burr Oak. It is the mid-point, not the end of the trail. On Traillink they have the northern section as the "Steel Mill Trail." That's what it is, but that's not the name. It is simply the northern section of the Bridgeway Trail.

I come from Lorain and have visited this trail many times. It is a fun scenic trail that makes for a very pleasant bike ride or walk. My only gripe is that the trail is not long enough and does not connect to any other trails.

The Bridgeway Trail is a beautiful ride through the Black River Reservation as the trail runs through woods and over the Black River on a series of four long steel and wooden pedestrian/bike bridges.

To ride the trail north, park in the Black River State Reservation parking lot near the trailhead off Gulf Road at 41-24.168N and 082-06.109W. Ride north over the first bridge into the nice Bur Oak Picnic Area at 41-24.738N and 082-06.105W. Continue north and cross the second bridge near Detroit Road then, when you see the railroad tressel overhead, you'll cross the showpiece of this trail, the third and fourth double bridge that crosses the Black River twice to avoid the stone cliffs nearby. This area has some great scenery for photography or just for hanging out on the bridge. Just north of this double bridge is an unmarked trail that leads about 25 yards east of the trail and allows easy access to the river for hikers, joggers, and bikers. Those with children should visit this area. At the time that I was there, the water was only 4"-8" deep, had a flat, rocky bottom, and would be a great and safe place to wade in. The water was particularly shallow and flowed very slowly. (Use your own discretion at other times of the year.) Mountain bikes could easily ride back and forth across the river in this location. The trail then continues north to the Day's Dam Picnic Area on E. 31st Street at 41-26.569N and 082-06.492W where safe paved parking can be found. To double back at this point would make for a 6.85-mile round trip through beautiful scenery along well-maintained trails.

Just across E. 31st Street from the Day's Dam parking lot, the trail continues north. Here, however, the trail is known as the Steel Mill Trail. This trail takes riders north from Day's Dam over a bridge to the US Steel slag grounds, then over another bridge, past an observation area, to a paved but ill-maintained parking lot on Colorado Avenue located at 41-27.698N and 082-07.392W. By adding this 4.25-mile round trip extension to the Bridgeway Trail, the total round trip becomes 11.1 miles. See my review of the Steel Mill Trail for more detail of this section. Also go to Googlemaps, use the Satellite view, and look down on this area from above to really get a feel for how industrial the area is.

Overall, the best places to park are in the Bur Oak Picnic Area (south) and the Day's Dam Picnic Area (north). The southernmost Black River State Reservation parking lot is also safe.

I've ridden 1,700 miles of Ohio trails and would list this trail as one of my favorites due to the safe parking, river scenery, woods, shade, and best of all, crossing bridges 12 times on this 11.1-mile round trip ride!

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