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The County Line Trail travels the path of the former Erie Lackawanna Railroad between Rittman and Creston. A highlight of the trail is a former Baltimore & Ohio freight station located just west of the trailhead in Sterling at Kauffman Avenue, which will be refurbished and repurposed as a museum.
The route provides pleasant views of the countryside and crossings over Chippewa Creek and Tommy Run. Two community parks are located near each end of the trail: Brooklyn Park on the western tip and Martin Fritz Memorial Park to the east.
Designated parking is available at the eastern trailhead in Rittman. In Creston, the trailhead is just south of the Creston Police Department on Brooklyn Avenue; a large public parking lot is available southwest of the end of the trail. There also are trailheads and parking at both Sterling Road and Kauffman Avenue in Sterling.
This roughly 7 mile trail runs between the city of Rittman and the village of Creston in Wayne County, Ohio and parallels a very active CSX rail line. It's a flat trail that a family can enjoy together, although there is a one mile on-road section near the village of Sterling and one active rail crossing there as well. Therefore, families with younger children may want to avoid this one. One interesting feature of this trail is a downloadable trail app that provides information about history, fitness, and wildlife at certain markers along the way.
Rails to Trails of Wayne County deserves to be commended for their decision to convert the old Erie Lackawanna right of way into a trail - it parallels the CSX ex-B&O mainline for much of its length between Creston and Rittman. Since I found the trail in late 2013, I have visited it many times and seen countless trains, but one really stands out. On August 8th, 2016, while I was sitting in my car at the Kauffman Avenue parking lot, a CSX freight went past me... with Norfolk Southern SD70ACe 1071 (Central of New Jersey heritage) trailing the leading CSX diesel! On two occasions, I spent an entire day in Sterling watching and recording trains on my Sony HandyCam. Over in Rittman, there is a restaurant in the old Erie depot at the east end of the trail. They serve good food, but they aren't open past 3pm (2pm on Saturday). If you're a railfan from Wayne or Medina County, I recommend that you visit this trail!
Awesome little (almost 7 miles in length) trail! Super flat, well maintained.
Mileage starts at 0 in Rittman.
We started in the Village of Creston, Tree City USA. Very large dirt/gravel parking lot. Next to the Police Dept. on Brooklyn Ave. No facilities there though. Services near the trail include a Dollar Store and a Subway Sandwich shop in Circle K which you can see from the parking lot.
Along the paved trail there are some old rail mile markers. Also new ones for the trails length. Each mile is marked. Trail is very open (bring on the sunscreen) and goes through lot's of farmlands. Corn, corn and more corn!
The trail passes through Sterling, and the old Sterling train station. Also an active train line, which a train did come through. At Sterling, there is a large paved parking lot and portable restroom. At this point, it begins the road section of the trail. Follow the signs. Paved back roads for about a mile until you pick up the trail again.
In Sterling there isn't much other than a farm equipment dealer.
Between Sterling and Rittman there is a rain shelter.
Coming into Rittman there is another old train which is now a diner. Mile 0 is at the Morton Salt plant. Large paved parking and a portable restroom. There is a convenience store a few blocks from the trail if you would happen to need anything.
Just an all around nice trail, 5 stars!
7 miles in length, out and back is 14. We got off the trail a few times and rode along the country roads making our total mileage of the day at 20.
My kids (8 & 10) and I rode part of the trail this morning. They were excited to see the train. The two street crossings in Rittman were easily managed. It was a nice mix of trees and fields. Easy and well kept path.
I bike this trail several times a week and really enjoy it! Nice wide, paved trail with beautiful views of farmland. Shaded in parts and has some smaller hills that make a challenge without being too exhausting. Enjoy!
This paved, flat trail is perfect for those who haven't ridden a bike in a while! It was easy and nice and flat! Me and my husband will be coming down to Rittman to ride this more often!
This paved, flat trail is perfect for those who haven't ridden a bike in a while. My husband and I frequently bring family and friends on this path. We start in Creston and ride to "The Depot" restaurant in Rittman (Red building that sits right next to the path close to the end of the path in Rittman). The food is great, and the service fast and friendly. It provides a nice break before the return trip to Creston.
Thanks to the reviewers providing the history and information on the railroad. - interesting!
The Wayne County Impact (Biking Division) recently ranked this trail #2 on the "Most Outstanding Rail Trail" list. This is a great trail. We enjoy the railroad track that runs along side most of the trail. Rarely do we ride this trail without seeing a train. Also, the snack stand in Rittman is great for a break. Check this new, outstanding trail out!
My wife and I love having this trail practically right in our back yard. We are extremely grateful for Rails to Trails organization and all of their hard work converting abandoned rail beds into recreational paths for families to go outdoors and enjoys the beauty around us. This trail has been a major improvement on our community as a whole and we cannot wait to see the trail systems expand around us.This trail may not have the views of the many other trails we have rode, but this is our home trail and I would encourage anyone to come take a stroll through our back yard trail!
Just got done riding this trail today and I have to say there wasn't a dull moment! The people are very nice and there's lots to see. I think i've seen more trains today than I have in the past 2 years! There's cows, open fields, and there was a tuttle on the path also. I was glad to see people out on the trails and enjoying the day!
I just had to chuckle when I read the review by the guy who was glad that the live railroad views were "buffered" by the trees! Ha ha! MY goodness! I was out there in the 97-degree heat Saturday, just THRILLED by the wide-open 5 miles of riding alongside the ex-B&O CSX Pittsburgh-Chicago main line! No less than 7 trains over my 3-hour ride! And I am THRILLED that at least one other person noticed that this trail WAS a railroad!... A very SIGNIFICANT railroad!... The Erie (and post-1960 Erie-Lackawanna) Hoboken-Chicago main line! E-L's New York-Chicago "Lake Cities" passenger train plied this route until it's pre-Amtrak demise in 1970. First, the mileposts... 3 of them. cast concrete "S220" and "S221", and cut stone "225" ("S" for Salamanca, NY). This railroad "zeroed out" its mile markers at its Hoboken origin, "JC" for Jersey City, "S" at Salamanca, and "M" at Marion, Ohio. These were originally different railroads, which eventually made up the through Erie Railroad system. Located at Milepost 219.9, that little depot at Rittman is a RARE... VERY rare... Erie classic, right down to the Erie station signs! Two classic, cast concrete whistleposts remain, as with the mile markers, BEAUTIFULLY restored and maintained! GREAT WORK, GUYS! Thank you so very much! Whistleposts, as the name implies, "WHISTLE" for the steam engines (and later, those hated DIESELS!), remain in place at MP 221.2 and at MP 224.2, just west of the relocated B&O freight depot at the Sterling crossing, where the Erie crossed CSX's former B&O main line, at grade, on diamonds. That's why the trail can't go straight through on the old railroad grade (Google "B&O Sterling Tower" for an image here). One unique CUT STONE milepost has been beautifully restored at MP 225. And our "most unlikely" historical remnant is that little METAL whistlepost at the former LOCATION of MP 222.0. This is an E-L "post concrete era" classic marker. (If you have a bicycle cyclometer, you can use MP220 at the east end of the trail, and MP225 near the western end of the trail, as reference points to locate all of these locations) One solitary relay case at the Rittman Main Street crossing is the only extant piece of electrical hardware on the trail. Finally, just a few interesting general observations: Is ATLANTIC Avenue, which the eastern "half" of the trail exits onto east of the Sterling crossing, short for "ATLANTIC & GREAT WESTERN", the 6-foot wide-guage founding railroad of its famed "West End?" Just south of the trail's western terminus in Creston, observe Wheeling & Lake Erie's "Creston West" interlocking, where the Erie crossed that main line, swinging southwestward over the W&LE, just beyond the tower and signal foundation remnants visible near the road crossing. The Erie was the southernmost of the three main line railroads crossing the main north-south street in Creston. And yes, this trail is definitely downgrade heading east. I coasted the whole way back down from MP 221 to the eastern trailhead. And, before or after your engaging "railroad" tour on this WONDERFUL trail, treat yourself to a tasty sub and a cool drink at the Subway in the Marathon gas station, just a block southwest of your western trail terminus in Creston, right where the Erie once crossed that main street in town!
This 7 mile asphalt trail just opened on 5/14/2011. Kudos to all who made this wonderful trail possible. I parked in the grassy lot near the Police Dept in Creston and rode west to Rittman. Wikipedia says Creston is only 10 feet higher than Rittman, but it sure felt like a nice downhill ride to me. Maybe I just had a strong tailwind :-)
The trail runs parallel to an active CSX mainline. Thankfully, it's about 60' away with trees and brush creating a nice buffer in most places. (See my pics with 2 trains.) During my 90 min ride 3 trains went past. Most of the scenery is rolling farms. There are no mile markers or street signs, but if you look closely when riding west you'll see mileage painted in red on the north edge of the pavement. Mile 0 is in Rittman. There is a road section of approx 1 mile in Sterling. Nice country road with very little traffic. While on the road you do have to cross 2 or 3 tracks. Sterling must have been a busy rail hub back in the day.
I took some pictures of the intersting sites:
MM-0 - Ritttman Snack Shop and old depot - Wonderful snack shop with drinks, ice cream, chips, bike rentals, basic bike supplies, railroad memorabilia, and Adirondack chairs to relax in. Turns out that the guy running the place is the mayor of Rittman, Bill Robertson. While I ate my ice cream sandwich, Bill filled me in on some of the history of the trail and the Morton Salt Plant across the tracks (see pics). Water is pumped underground and then the salwater is extracted and then an evaporative process removes the salt. Bill says they make high quality salt like table salt and water softener salt. The date on the tall building looked like 1915. Bill says they hope to have the shop open on most weekdays from 3-dark and weekends from about noon-dark. Stop in and say hi to Mayor Bill or his son.
MM-1 (approx) - Old S220 mileage sign. Bill told me the S is for Salamanc, NY and it's 220 miles from that marker to Salamanca. He told me about a fellow from Creston who used to work on the mail train. He'd walk to work in Creston and sort mail on the train to Slamanc and then do the same thing on the wway back home.
MM-2 (approx) - Old W concrete whistle sign. It and the S220 were the only orld railroad remanats that I saw - beside all the old ties piled on the side.
MM-3 (approx) - Old sandstone bridge still being used by the mainline. There is a second one farther west.
MM-3.5 (approx) - CSX coal train and beautiful farm on hillside.
MM-4 (approx) - Old Sterling Depot - Looks like the old girl is going to need a lot of work. There is also Bradley's Restaurant and a park with a port-a-potty nearby.
MM-5 (approx) - One of only 2 bridges on the trail. This one is just west of the Sterling Depot. Note the 2 CSX trains on the mainline.
Thx again to everyone who worked hard to get this trail built. Be sure to vist the Wayne County Trails website for more info. http://waynecountytrails.org/index.htm. The 2009 newsletter has some pics of the massive amounts of brush and debris that volunteers had to clear away. The even had to cut up an old boat!?!?!?
Thanks to those that continue to pave the way (pardon the pun) with rails to trails. Here is another great example of what we can do with some imagination and hard work. Rode this today (5/28/2011) and it was a great ride. Lots of friendly folks out walking and riding. At the trail head/end in Rittman there's even a sit down bike friendly snack shack for water, drinks and food. They also had 2 port' o potties there as well. At the other end in Creston there's a Dollar General and a few restaurants/etc. I'd recommend driving to either trailhead as opposed to what I did which was bike in from I-76 exit 3 south on 3 to Creston. From I-76 to Seville was pretty good: wide enough shoulder for cars to pass easily and plenty of sidewalks to ride through town. However, between Seville and Creston on OH-3 there's hardly any shoulder to speak of. Cars were courteous but still if you're not an experienced and/or brave rider I wouldn't attempt this section. All in all, a great ride that I look forward to doing again.
I am so glad we finally have another trail in Wayne County. Thank you to all that made this possible. Wonderful trail.
We are THRILLED to finally have this trail here in Creston. Access to the trail is simple and accessible by anyone who either lives in our town or wants to come down and visit for the day. It is not too difficult and perfect for a lovely ride through a country setting. It is accessible for all abilities. We LOVE that it is one of the longer trails in Ohio and wish they could all connect some day. This trail is new, the paving is perfect. It is so great to have such a healthy place to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Thanks to all those who make the RtT possible. Going for a bike ride on the County Line Trail is now the number one idea our family comes up with when we want to spend time together.
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