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The Celina Coldwater Bikeway is an early rail-with-trail project from the 1980s. Long a popular trail, users follow the Penn Central Railroad between the village of Coldwater and the city of Celina, ending in the north near Grand Lake, the largest inland lake in Ohio.
The route between the communities is dominated by views of the active railroad line to the west and cultivated fields to the east.
Limited parking for the Celina Coldwater Bikeway can be found at its northern terminus in Celina at Schunk Road. Additional trail access is available from Vine Street at the southern terminus in Coldwater and elsewhere along the route at five rural road intersections: Monroe Road, Brown Road, St. Anthony Road, Meyer Road and Fleetfoot Road. Monroe Road and Brown Road are accessible via US 127.
This is great for what it is - a converted railway, so it is flat. It is well maintained and does have scenic tree shading. We don't do this one often, as we prefer more technical walking and riding, but it is a great trail for the purpose it serves.
I rode this trail in October 2018. The Celina Coldwater Bikeway is a straight as an arrow converted rail line that connects the two towns of Celina and Coldwater, Ohio. As with most of the farmland in the western Ohio, it is very flat with little variation in elevation. This allows the rider to ride at a good clip and cover quite a bit of ground. On this Sunday, there were a number of bikers, walkers, and runners out on the trail, but it was not busy at all.
An interesting feature of this trail is how they mark mileage. There are two sets of tiles that are placed along the trail indicating how far you have ridden from your starting town. Heading south out of Celina the markers are green and heading north out of Coldwater the markers are red. They are placed in the pavement every quarter mile and at the end of the trail with a 4.61 mile marker which is the length of the trail. In addition when you reach a street crossing, there will be a sign telling you the name of the road and the exact mileage to the town you are heading toward.
The Celina Coldwater Bikeway is a nice trail for what it is, a local commuter trail. It is not a trail I would recommend going out of your way to ride. But for these two local communities it serves a purpose. Looking at the map of the area around Grand Lake St. Marys I could see that a plan could be drawn up to use the CCB, the Franklin Township Greenway, and the Miami & Erie Canal Towpath could be used as the basis of creating a greenway all the way around Grand Lake in the future.
I live in Coldwater and if you start there you can work your way around to the north side of the lake from the Celina Coldwater bike path. There is some road riding in this route but it is a nice ride overall. Heavy traffic can be mostly avoided with a bit of planning or a GPS. The Highway on the north side of the lake has a bike lane available. when you get to St. Marys you can ride the northeast corner inside the state park where traffic isn't moving so fast. You then have to ride on the back roads until you hit the Greenway trail. Once in Montezuma you have to ride the road again into Coldwater to get back to your car. As mentioned in one of the other reviews, I will always ride on Westbank road back to the end and back as part of this trip. I believe it is about 33 miles with about a third of it being on asphalt trail dedicated to cycling and walking. I just joined this site so perhaps once I figure out how it works I will map the route on the phone and submit it to the site somehow.
Wife and I rode our trikes Week end of May 22 2015 New pavement last fall. Very relaxing ride.
Couple of benches, maybe 4 total lengh of trial.
South end of trail, nice little park with running water No portapotties any were. So take your tissue. The wild flowers were very pretty. Would be a great trail when black berrys come into season. Bushes all along the trail
Best part no road apples
I do distance running and use this trail when I want to get longer miles. I park in Coldwater and run to Celina via the trail. That would give about 9 miles round trip. If I want to go longer I can cross 127 (very carefully) and run along Grand Lake St. Marys. It is easy to add another 4 miles by doing loops there (run south on Lake Shore Drive). You will pass boat docking ramp and go through park. This area is along the water with nice tree coverage. You will also find bathrooms/water fountains/picnic areas at the boat ramp near the lake.
I've ridden about 1,500 miles of trails in Ohio but hadn't ridden the Celina-Coldwater Trail yet so I drove over from Columbus to ride it. Overall I would call this a very good trail.
There is no dedicated parking at either end of this short 4.7-mile paved trail. The best place to park near the trailhead in Coldwater is in the gravel parking lot of a small industry located at the intersection of East Vine Street and North 4th Street, which is at 40-28.916N and 084-37.579W. Others park along the curb nearby. The trailhead is located at 40-29.012N and 084-37.572W. All of the roads in this area run north-south or east-west while the trail runs northeast from Coldwater to Celina so it crosses several roads along the way at angles. There is no nearby parking in Celina, which is why I suggest parking in Coldwater.
Once in Celina at the terminus located at 40-32.293N and 084-34.578W, it is a very short ride of about 0.2 miles over to Grand Lake St. Mary's up a slight grade to reach West Bank Road. The lake is actually slightly above the trailhead so it isn't visible from the end of the trail but just ride due east and you'll reach it in about three minutes. West Bank Road is a very slow-paced road that is suitable for riding. Turn south and you will arrive in Grand Lake St. Mary's State Park in about five minutes. Turning north will be a 10-minute ride into downtown Celina where there are various eateries along the route. If you're going to ride the trail, then I strongly suggest making the side trip over to and along West Bank Road. It's very scenic and the spillway is particularly impressive.
Although the trail is well-signed and maintained, my overall evaluation is only a very good or three star due to the short length and the absence of designated parking.
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