Looking for a tough assignment? Try this one. I might be the first reviewer to have done this trail from end to end. This is the slowest 36 miles that I have ever done.
Why do it? My interest in the Miami and Erie Canal started as a kid, as the canal was part of the backyard of my parents' house near Dayton, about an hour's drive south.
In 2019, I set out to do this trail from its beginning in Ft, Loramie Ohio to its end in Delphos Ohio. It took me three attempts.
Some facts: The entire 274 mile length of the Miami and Erie Canal started in Cincinnati and ended somewhere near Toledo. This particular "Miami and Erie Canal Trail" trail covers about 36 miles of it. Another reviewer referred to "Farnsworth" ...actually, that is a misplaced review that belongs to the "Towpath Trail" which is not this trail, but easy to be confused, as that trail also is along a more northerly section of the same Miami and Erie Canal. (BTW the Towpath Trail is much easier than this one.)
It took me three tries to finish the Miami and Erie Trail (e.g., see comment about culvert) but it's feasible to do it in one trip if you know where you are going.
While the trail is "good," as in clearly marked, and hikers have no problem, it is not easy to cycle with a few exceptions. You will need a mountain bike to take it from end to end. Forget about taking your kid along for this one - it's really rugged in spots. Some parts of the trail are hard-paved, others are graveled, but much is grassland along the edge of farmers fields. Sometimes the trail disappears and you are riding the adjacent road.
Fort Loramie - In a word: disconnected. Go to the State Park and ride along the lake's edge on the road side, and do a quick tour of the park. The lake was a feeder to the canal. It's placid and pretty. Ride the road along the canal hiking trail, then you will come to Ohio Rt 66, and realize that the bike path isn't really there...it's someone's backyard, or - across the road - a rough uncut farmers field with ground hog burrows under the uncut grass. That might be Ok for hiking, but not for bikes. If you want to make it to Minster-New Bremen, then load the bike on your car, or ride the edge of OH 66.
Minster-New Bremen - this is a nice stretch, the trail is a mix of graveled and hard-paved path and canal-side streets. Stop at the AWESOME WORLD CLASS!!! Bicycle Museum of America. On display is the world's first bicycle .. the real deal.
Going north, expect the paving to be excellent for awhile, and suddenly you are riding through rough grassland along the edge of farm fields. Get used to it and enjoy the solitude and the relaxed speed of 6 mph. Sometimes you are on tire tracks in the woods. Nice!
As you approach St. Mary's OH. you realize you are again in people's yards, so you go back onto Ohio Rt 66 for a bit. Go into Geiger Park and get back in the trail, see the canal boat in the center of town, and then,,,you might get lost (as I did), ask for directions, it's OK. Friendly locals. Suddenly, you are dead-ended at a culvert (just too small and wet to be reasonable for biker, but a hiker, hmmm) that goes under the divided highway. Later, you learn that you were supposed to go left at the culvert, and cycle on the grass along the highway, go under the bridge, and you are back on track. It gets nice with 40 acre lake.
After St, Mary's comes Kossuth, then Spencerville - lots of grass pedaling until you reach the adjacent gravel pit, where the the trail is paved with stone chips. Nice!
Then continue onto Delphos, which is quizzical. What do they have in mind as they newly pave the trail (in process as I write this) but come to a dead-halt in someone's backyard?
Overall, a tough and sometimes confusing path combined with the world class bicycle museum. Glad to have done it.