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The nearly 11-mile MetroParks Bikeway provides a scenic and well-designed link to communities and natural sites in this northeast region of Ohio. The rail-trail follows a corridor between Canfield and Austintown townships that was originally built in the 1860s as a portion of the Cleveland and Mahoning Valley Railroad. This rail line provided an important link between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, while also offering passenger service to towns along the way. Though rail service here is long since gone, today the rail-trail connects several of the communities that were once served by the railroad. For visitors and locals alike, the route provides an ideal way to discover the charms of this tranquil region of the state.
The paved MetroParks Bikeway passes through both suburbs and countryside. Traveling north from the trail’s beginning at West Western Reserve Road, find the Metro-Parks Farm. This 400-acre working farm sprawls along both sides of the trail and presents educational programs, tours, and agricultural displays seasonally. On the east side of the trail, the Canfield Fairgrounds holds one of Ohio’s largest fairs every year.
Farther along, you’ll travel alongside Sawmill Creek Preserve, a 154-acre forested area with trees and shrubs that prevents sediments from entering Sawmill Creek. This is a tributary of Meander Creek Reservoir, the major source of drinking water for the region. Keep your eyes open for diverse species of birds and other wildlife that live in the preserve.
Enjoy a break at one of the jewels of the trail: the Kirk Road trailhead. This award-winning, depot-themed facility provides trailside basics, such as a picnic pavilion, drinking fountains, and restrooms, and also hosts educational and trailside activities. Housed in a historical 1938 Works Progress Administration–built sandstone structure at the trailhead is a bicycle rental and repair shop. Spend time at the shop exploring both the interior and exterior of the site. Later, travel over the Mahoning Avenue overpass, and see additional nods to the route’s railroad past in this unique structure, designed to resemble a historical trestle.
The trail ends at County Line Road, where you can make a seamless transition to the 4.5-mile Niles Greenway.
There is no parking at the southernmost end of the trail; the closest parking is at MetroParks Farm. From I-80, take Exit 224A. Take OH 11 south 6.2 miles to Exit 34. Turn right onto US 224 and go 1 mile; then turn left onto OH 46, which becomes S. Broad St. In 0.8 mile, turn left to remain on OH 46. The bikeway parking lot is immediately on your right after turning.
To reach the Kirk Road trailhead from I-80, take Exit 223, and head south on OH 46 N/Canfield Niles Road. In 3.8 miles, turn right onto Kirk Road, and go 1.4 miles. The trailhead and parking lot are on the left, just before you go under the I-76 overpass.
To reach the Mahoning Ave. overpass from I-80, take Exit 224A. Head south on OH 11, and go 1.4 miles to Exit 39. Turn right onto Mahoning Ave./County Road 18, and go 1.9 miles. Immediately after traveling under the overpass, turn right onto Harold St. to reach a small trailhead with a gravel parking lot on the left. This access point is approximately 2.5 miles from the northern end of the MetroParks Bikeway.
I rode this trail on June 24, 2017. The Mill Creek MetroParks Bikeway is a gem. It is well maintained and from the number of riders I saw on the trail on this Saturday, appreciated by local residents. It is well marked, features an award-winning trailhead design at Kirk Road, and also has a trail map available at the Mill Creek MetroParks Farm trailhead. You've got to love a 10.5 mile trail that comes with its own printed map. My only complaint is the number of road crossings that you experience on this trail and the odd crossing angles and near blindspots at a few of those crossings.
The MetroParks Bikeway is designed to be part of the bigger Great Ohio Lake to River Greenway, a developing corridor that when completed will allow trail users to travel from Lake Erie to the Ohio River. At its current southern end the trail just ends at Western Reserve Road. There is a small parking lot on the other side the road. There is the possibility that this trail could be extended beyond this current terminus and connect up with the Little Beaver Creek Greenway in Washingtonville, Ohio. When you ride north you will pass under the Ohio Turnpike (I-80) and when you cross into Trumbull County the trail becomes the Niles Greenway. If the gap between Niles and Warren, Ohio is filled in you will connect with the Western Reserve Greenway and will be able to travel all the way to Ashtabula, Ohio.
We really enjoyed this trail. Definitely a repeater. Our 7 year old enjoyed visiting the Metroparks Farm. Lovely trail!
Also known as Mill Creek trail. We parked at the Kirk Rd trailhead and rode north to Niles (the trailmap needs to be updated since trail goes all the way to Niles now), turned around and rode to the other end at Western Reserve Rd. - 30mi roundtrip. Trail is paved, in good shape, and mostly shady. Gradual uphill as you go south. Not much in the way of scenery, but an enjoyable ride nontheless.
Labor Day Weekend Ride was good. We always park at Depot Street in Mineral Ridge which is part of the Niles Trail. Go about a tenth of a mile and connects with this one.
Trail has nice mile markers. Nice asphalt pavement. Trail goes through open areas and shaded areas. Nice restroom at Kirk Road. Picnic area as well. Also new Bike Rentals. Trailside Bicycle Company is the name. Not sure of thier hours, check with them.
Trail ends at Western Reserve Road in Canfield about 1/4 of a mile from the Canfield Fairgrounds.
Wonderful trail, I ride it often. You can easily get 25+ miles roundtrip from end to end of this trail. Best thing is, there are plans for this to meet up with the Western Reserve Greenway, which goes up to Ashtabula (lake Erie). There are also plans to complete sections of the trail that will head south through Ohio to the Ohio Rive. Coming soon: Lake to River trail!!
All paved. Lovely facilities and bike accessory shop/rentals at the Kirk Rd trailhead in Austintown. It does cross many busy roads during the course of the trail, so be careful when crossing! Just stop and look both ways, its not worth it to rush.
As a youngstown native, I take pride in Mill Creek park and the Mill Creek bikeway (they are two separate places, so do yourself a favor and go ride in the park too!! 2nd biggest metro park in the country after Central Park in NY!) The park and bikeway are hands down my most favorite things about this whole area of Ytown!!!
Trail is well maintained and super smooth blacktop is usually the norm. Water is available at the trailhead in Niles (Mile 0) and at a real nice rest area at Mile 1, and the Metro Parks office at mile 9. Trail is mostly downhill as you head north . Only complaint is there are MANY roads intersecting the trail and some of these roads have heavy traffic moving quickly. Be careful. Stop!
I have ridden this trail several times from the trailhead in Canfield Ohio, near the Trailside Bicycle Company out to the other end in Niles Ohio. It has some nice scenery along the trail, it is not too crowded, and is decently smooth. However since it is a ex-railroad right of way the terrain is fairly flat.
Unseasonal warm and sunny day in March, temps near 60. A lot of people were out using the trail.
Uphill ride from mile 0 at the county line. Trail ends at mile 11 in Canfield at Western Reserve road. Trail passes
Kirk Road rest area with parking and picnic area. Mile markers each mile.
Downhill ride back from mile 11 to 0! Trees bare, Spring flowers coming up.
A friend invited me to go on a bike ride at the Metroparks Bikeway starting in Canfield Ohio. Sure glad I went. We started just across from the Canfield Fairgrounds. We decided to go the whole trail to Niles, Ohio. The trip was about 27 miles all together. The trail was all paved, level and plenty wide. Many benches to stop and rest if needed and several restrooms along the way. Just one minor caution. Several roads to cross at the beginning. Hope to make it back before weather gets to cold. What a great way to spent a day.
I was back in Ohio visiting family and had heard about this trail so took off to explore in the fall of 2010. I was riding by myself on a week day and only passed a few people out jogging otherwise I had the trail to myself. It was a beautiful fall day and the colors were exploding!
Beautiful, well kept trail. I rode the entire trail from the fairgrounds to the end and back. Flat and scenic the entire way. Will do this again some day!
Rode from Lisbon Little Greenway up Washingtonville Road to Metropark Trail. What a beautiful trail and well kept. I've heard many good comments about this trail and all are true. Riding on Washingtonville Road is not a picnic but doble with a partner. We both enjoyed the ride up to Kirk Road.
Any timetable on proposed expansion to Washingtonville Greenway?
We picked up the trail near Niles OH. In Trumbull County. Less than a mile South you enter Mahoning County.
Trail has some bumps due to the harsh Winter. Otherwise nice pavement. Small uphill grade from Niles to Canfield at Western Reserve Road. So it's a nice downhill back to your car, and you can really get moving!
We biked the length from Niles to it's end near the Canfield Fairgrounds at Western Reserve Road. Trail crosses over some roads. There are stop signs.
Nice rest area at King Road with restrooms, picnic shelter, water and large parking area.
Trail goes under Interstate 80 and under the Ohio Turnpike. Crosses over Mahoning Avenue.
Mile markers every miles. Just a pretty trail.
New small parking lot at Western Reserve Road, holds about 4 cars.
Trail has some shade and some open.
My wife and I travel to various trails. We live in Pennsylvania and this trail is only about 1 1/2 hour drive from here.
We began at the farm trailhead and traveled 12 miles before returning. This is one of the nicest trails we have done so far. The entire trail is paved with asphalt and except for the numerous rough joints it is smooth and nice. The trail was free from debris, the grass along the whole trail nicely manicured and we did not see ANY trash anywhere. The journey took us through backyards of several neighborhoods, past farms, a lake, a bog with thousands of water lilies, farm land, small towns and peaceful countryside. The various trailheads were exceptionally well cared for also.
A wonderful riding experience.
this is the second time we rode this trail. very well kept and nice ride. I would definite recommend this trail to families and expert riders. love it and will definitely drive the hour to come again.
We rode this on Monday, November 10 which happened to be one of the two day Indian Summer days we had this year. Nice afternoon ride. It warmed up to about 70 degrees. We rode from Depot Street in Niles to Western Reserve road and back.
I have ridden this trail several times. It is well maintained and has beautiful scenery along the way. Kirk Road Trail Head is a nice spot to rest a bit, with water, clean restrooms, and picnic area. There are no signs on the trail telling you where to get off for the Trail Head in Canfield, which is located at the Mill Creek Experimental Farm. Aside from that, it is a very enjoyable ride from start to end.
We parked at Depot Street in Niles and headed up the Meander Reservoir. Turned around and went South to the end of the trail at Western Reserve Road. We went through two counties, under I-80, over Mahoning Avenue (cool bridge) and under the Ohio turnpike, rode passed Canfield fairgrounds. Nice open and wooded areas. Flat asphalt. King Road parking lot and rest stop is the Taj Mahal! Mike & Vicki....May, 2014
I've ridden the trail many times. I enjoy it every time. I can't wait for it to be extended past Robinson and Western reserve. Does any one know when the trail will be extended from those 2 points?
We discovered the bikeway is now paved from County Line Road, north to a new trailhead located near Robbins Ave. in Niles…
Today, i road south fr/ kirk rd. to westrn. reserv. rd canfld... this seem to be the highest part of the trail , libson rd. area , " mostly incline ", " not the scenic end of the trail ".
Yesterday, i road north fr/ kirk rd. to co. line rd. mineral ridge...this is the most pleasurable part of the trail i think , "because of the overpass, the tunnel and of course the view of the reservoir and duck pond ". Note :inclining overpass a little challenging. I choose kirk rd trailhead cause of the 50 car parking.
The Mill Creek Metroparks Bikeway is the second of two Northeastern Ohio trails utilizing the former Erie Railroad Branch. The first, a few miles farther south, is the LIttle Beaver Greenway, and while the scenery on this trail doesn't quite match that of its southern neighbor, this is also a very nice trail, with much superior facilities. A very nice trail brochure is available at that wonderful Kirk Road Trailhead, which supplies the trail's railroad history which, unfortunately, is not presented trailside. The Niles & Lisbon Branch, a 33.2 mile branch line off of the Erie's New York-Chicago main line at Niles, Ohio, was constructed in the 1860's, to haul coal, steel, iron ore, produce, dry goods, and passengers between its namesake Ohio towns. Stations on the line were listed (from the south, as Lisbon (Milepost 0), Teegarden, Leetonia, Washingtonville, Greenford, Calla, Marquis, Canfield, West Austintown, Ohlton, Mineral Ridge, and Niles (at Milepost 33.2). Passenger service on the line was discontinued in the late 1930's. The Erie was absorbed into the creation of Conrail in 1976, and most of its west end through Ohio and Indiana, to Chicago, was immediately abandoned. The tracks and ties on this branch line were removed in 1989. Planning for the trail began a year later, and by the year 2000, the 11-mile trail was opened for use. I am sad to report that there is only one single, solitary railroad artifact left on the lower eight miles of the trail, the concrete bases of a classic Erie water tower (for steam engines), located at Trail Mile 8.5. Although unfortunately not classic Erie mile markers, the trail boasts ten beautiful solid granite pentagonal pyramid mile markers, showing mileage and kilometers from the north end of the trail, at (Trumbull) County Line Road. Grades on the trail are what I call "mild rollercoaster", but there is a substantial uphill grade from just south of the Kirk Road Traihead, at MP5.5, to Mile Marker #8, and a "railroad steep" 2 to 3% grade from MP7 to MP8. You can SEE the hill from the bottom at MP7 (which is steep when you can actually SEE a railroad grade!), and coming back down, you can coast, FAST, at 10 to 14mph, from MP8 to MP5.5... No pedaling at all! The dedication of the Mill Creek Metroparks crew is most apparent at the Mahoning Avenue Overpass. In my just short of 800 miles of regional rail-trail riding, this is the most awesome structure, specifically DESIGNED for a rail-trail, which I have seen! It is an engineering beauty, designed, as the trail brochure states, "to resemble a historic railway trestle and to mimic architectural features found along the former Niles and Lisbon Branch..." And I must applaud the interesting nature posts near the south end of the trail, describing the resident longhorn cattle, native plants, and wildlife which can be observed in the vicinity. Finally, in regards to trail access, your best bet is the Kirk Road Trailhead, paved and with plenty of parking spaces. But I did note a small (maybe 10-car) dirt parking lot at the north end of the Mahoning Avenue Overpass. Both of these access points are easy to find. Exit Interstate 76 at the "To Ohio-45" exit. Follow the signs to Ohio 45, then take 45-South to Kirk Road. Mahoning Avenue is the main east-west road paralleling I-76 east from the Ohio-45 exit, and that road will take you right to the smaller of the two parking areas for this trail. - Rich Ballash, 11-25-11.
Tried this trail out yesterday, getting on at the Mahoning Ave. trailhead heading South. I was with a friend who is handicapped and is a beginning cycler. Just getting up the bridge incline to cross Mahoning was a chore, coming back was worse. The trail itself is very clean and well maintained with the Kirk Road trailhead providing shelter, water and clean restrooms. Plenty of chipmunks use this trail as well! Besides the gradual, but constant uphill ride (going), I found crossing traffic intersections a bit concerning. All-in-all, a decent trail, but not for beginners or cyclers looking for a flat easy ride. I give this trail 2 out of 5.
Really needs to have parking areas available at both ends of the trail. There is absolutely nowhere to park where it ends at Western Reserve Rd. Personally, I don't want to get on a trail in the middle and would prefer to ride it from end to end. Does anyone know if there are plans to build a parking area out that way?
Was there today - (Saturday 11/13/2010). The extension from County Line road Mineral Ridge to East Park in Niles is paved in 2 sections as of today. About 1.8 miles of new pavement from old County Line road to Salt Springs road by Rt. 46 is paved. Then there is a gap again across Rt. 46 to Rupple road (a no outlet street) nearby. Then pavement starts again to Mckees Ln., (another 1/2 mile of pavement). Then dirt again to East Park road in Niles.
More to come.....
I just got to use this trail yesterday. I rode my bike,boy what secenery. I saw everything from deers to a baby bunny. It was AWESOME ! Lots of people were there too. From familys to people walking theirs kids & dogs ! I like it because I don't have to worry about cars. The only time I have to watch for traffic when I'm crossing the intersections on the trail. You can do just about anything on the trail with respect to others and to nature. You can walk,ride bikes,inline skate,hike,cross counrty sking,walk your dog you can do it all in one place ! Whats also nice is that MetroParks Police & Bike Patrol Volunteers are there to help you if you need it. I'm sooooooooooo glad we got this place to go to. I just might bring my one of my dogs with me.
If you haven't been here I suggest you go. You will love it ! I will make sure to tell all my friends & family about this place !
I give it: 5 stars
This trail has many different scenes depending on which section of the trail you ride. The southern section mainly consists of farmland. As you head north it becomes more of a residential area. This gradually changes to a more wooded section of the trail with a few homes and businesses alongside the trail. The scenery is constantly changing with the trail.
The main drawback to this trail is the many intersections that you must cross when using it. Many of the streets are very busy with alot of motor traffic. The longest section that you can ride before crossing a street is around 1.5 miles. Caution needs to be observed when crossing Turner Rd. as traffic from the west crests a hill and can't be seen until it is quite close. Sometimes you get lucky and only have to wait for traffic at a couple of intersections. Evening hours usually have less traffic.
The Bikeway is very popular with local residents. The busiest section is from Kirk Rd. to State Rt. 224. If you are riding a bicycle you may have to slow down in this section due to the amount of people on the trail. The trail is very well maintained by Mill Creek Park and a police officer cruises the trail every afternoon and evening.
"This trail has a good surface. It is well taken care of and has slight grades to give you a workout. There are a few busy intersections in which you have to wait to cross the road. Also, on weekend days that are nice, the trail is crowded with lots of families with little kids, which makes it hard for someone like myself to get a workout because of always having to slow down or stop for them."
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