Here is a historically very special trail!... The state of Ohio's very last commuter train ran over this 66.2-mile Cleveland-Youngstown route until January 14th, 1977! And the train was run by freight railroad, Conrail, after most of the west end of its bankruptcy-inheirited Hoboken-Chicago Erie Railroad component was not absorbed into the Conrail system, but outright abandoned! First, some very interesting facts and figures, courtesy Googled "Ohio's Last Commuter Train" (Text and photos at this site just wonderful!). From Cleveland, Mantua was located at Milepost 29.7, and Garrettsville MP36.4. This former Erie, then Erie-Lackawanna (1960), and finally Consolidated Rail Corporation (4-1-76) line was double-tracked with CTC (Centralized Traffic Control), and its speed limit was as high as 83mph (!) at one time, then it dropped to 48mph by 1971-74. The line's last through train ran in 1980, a daily mixed train from N. Randall to Conway, PA. Towards abandonment in 1981, the signals were darkened and turned sideways. Locals from Cleveland ran out to Carlon Cement in Mantua Twp. until 1993. Our trail segment's track was removed in 1982, eastward to Girard. Now, my observations from this afternoon: The trail is on a noticeable uphill grade from Trail MP0 at Garrettsville to about MP5.0 (the watershed crest?), then it is flat or only very downhill to Mantua, then uphill again for the remaining 1.0 miles west from Mantua. The trail dead ends at a former highway underpass, 8.5 miles west of the Garrettsville trailhead. There are trail mileposts at MP0, 0.5, 1, 2, and 6. There is a wide and ever-changing variety of trail surfacing here, including that grass surface at the Garrettsville end. Otherwise, for about two miles at both ends of the trail, the surface is nice, smooth, worn down pulverized limestone on a "double-track" (2 defined traffic lanes with a grass median), which I always like best, for opposing bike traffic and for a real "railroad track" feel. The center miles of the trail are being ditched, and there are many parts where the trail base is down to 1-inch or even down to railroad ballast base in spots... Very uncomfortable riding! Somewhat unusual for Ohio trails, this one has the feel of the Great Allegheny Passage in Southwest PA... VERY isolated and remote forest, and 75% of the trail is nicely canopied over for a comfortable ride, even on an 85 degree day like today was. Railroad artifacts are confined to the west end. The Erie depot at Mantua is a realty office today. The station's crumbling asphalt platform from those commuter train days is still there, as is the light pole of one platform light. And that "Mantua" spelled out in concrete blocks beside the trackbed. The big bridge just east of the Mantua depot was removed, and was replaced with a nice trail bridge span. The north-south highway overpasses were all removed, and trail users now have to climb and cross the roads where those overpasses once stood. A few of those CTC concrete signal bases hide along the right-of-way; I saw one of them at MP4.2 from Garrettsville. Of particular significance is that plaque from the Erie train wreck of 7-14-1949, when a mile-long Meadville-Cleveland freight train's steam boiler blew up at 2:30am, mortally wounding all three members of its crew. That plaque is located at Mile 4.0 from Garrettsville, on a large boulder just west of the nearby road (former overpass) highway crossing. Last but not least, the most important part of your ride... Food and drink. Right adjacent to the trail, 0.3 miles west of the Garrettsville trailhead, you will find the "Save 4 Store." Burrito-style sandwiches and cold drinks abound here (Heat your burrito for 1 minute and 45 seconds). At the Mantua end, your friendly McDonald's is located right on the railroad grade, across the street from the Mantua depot. Yes, there is a Port-a-Potty at the Garrettsville trailhead, and that's it. This is a nice trail, not crowded, with scant traffic between the populated endpoints, even on today's Memorial Day holiday. I expected crowds. A few more users appeared towards the Garrettsville end towards evening. So enjoy the trail, and do keep in mind the significance of this route. Besides hosting Ohio's last commuter train, this railroad eastward, through northern Pennsylvania and New York State, was once also a gateway to New York City's Hoboken Terminal, as this Youngstown-Cleveland Erie "branch" line joined the Erie's Chicago-New York City main line (route of the first-class "Erie Limited" and pre-1970 Erie-Lackawanna "Lake Cities") not too far east of Garrettsville, at Leavittsburg, Ohio. Happy Trails! -Rich Ballash, Latrobe, PA 5-26-2014.