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Mile marker 0 for the Little Beaver Creek Greenway Trail can be found at its southern in Lisbon. Located in a former railroad depot, the Lisbon trailhead is about a quarter mile from the actual start of the greenway. From there, the trail gradually rises about 450 feet over its 12.5-mile length, running north to Washingtonville.
The paved pathway parallels 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. A highlight is the Teegarden-Centennial Covered Bridge, on the National Register of Historic Places, located in the community of Teegarden, about halfway along the trail.
Remnants of the area’s industrial heritage can still be found along the trail. In Leetonia, near the northern terminus of the greenway, the Beehive Coke Ovens Park sits on the remnants of 200 coal-fired ovens built in 1866. Burning the coal without oxygen creates coke, which burned hot enough to melt iron. More than 70,000 tons of coke were produced annually during the site’s heyday, shipped by rail car to Pittsburgh and other iron-producing cities. The ovens were permanently closed in 1930, but like the rail line, would find new life decades later. In the 1990s, the site was turned into a park and nature preserve, and the coke ovens added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The greenway is built on the right of way of the Pittsburgh, Lisbon & Western (PL&W) Railroad line. For most of the first half of the 20th century, the PL&W ran both freight and passengers throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio. When the PL&W ran into increasing financial difficulties in the late 1950s and early 1960s, it merged with the Erie Lackawanna Railroad. The outlook improved for a short time but took another downturn in the following decades. After the railroad abandoned the track, much of it fell into the hands of local philanthropist Allen Dickey, who would later donate it to Columbiana County. The first 10 miles of trail were built in 2000. Twenty years later, the trail may be as important to the local community as the former railroad.
As a segment of the Great Ohio Lake to River Greenway, the Little Beaver Creek Greenway is a part of the trail system that begins in Ashtabula County and continues through Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties. When complete, the Great Ohio Lake to River Greenway will be more than 100 miles long.
Additionally, the Little Beaver Creek Greenway Trail is part of the Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition efforts to establish a multiuse trail network spanning more than 1,500 miles across 48 counties in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and New York.
Parking is available at multiple locations along the trail, including at the northern trailhead (415 S County Rd, Washingtonville) and at the southern trailhead in Lisbon (S Lincoln Ave, one block south of Maple St). Visit the TrailLink map for all options and detailed directions.
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