National Road Bikeway


11 Reviews

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National Road Bikeway Facts

States: Ohio
Counties: Belmont
Length: 2.6 miles
Trail end points: Reservoir Rd/Twnshp 278 and North Market St./Twnshp 435 (St. Clairsville)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6121451

National Road Bikeway Description

Though only 2.5 miles, the National Road Bikeway features an impressive below-grade tunnel, which was built in 1902. The narrow tunnel is 532 feet long and is lighted but still gives you the impression of passing through a cave. Water trickles from the ceiling. A platform above the tunnel allows views of the trail. You'll also cross a 342-foot bridge, and be prepared to slow down for the gazebo—smack in the middle of the trail.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available at both ends: on the south at Township Hwy 278 nr. Wamock St. Clairsville Rd. (SR 9); on the north at N. Market St. (Township Hwy 435).

National Road Bikeway Reviews

A Visually Appealing Well-Maintained Trail

I rode a 5 mile round trip on this trail on a beautiful fall day. The trail is well maintained and in its short length has several interesting visual features such as two tunnels, a gazebo, and a 40 foot high trestle. Small markers along the way commemorate the conversion of the once rail line into a trail. The tunnels run under Interstate 70 and US-40 which historically is the old National Road from which the trail gets its name. For a rail trail it features quite a bit of elevation gain over its 2.5 mile length with a gain of about 223 feet. However, since it is a rail trail, the rise is never physically taxing. The only reason I did not rate this trail as a 5-star trail is because its short length leaves you wanting it to be longer.

We really enjoyed this trail! 5 miles round trip, nice shade, would have loved if it was longer. Good workout as it's up hill each way to the middle, then downhill to the ends. Plus, it has outhouses! (Always a plus for me!)

We really enjoyed this trail! 5 miles round trip, nice shade, would have loved if it was longer. Good workout as it's up hill each way to the middle, then downhill to the ends. Plus, it has outhouses! (Always a plus for me!)

Good for runners

This is a good trail to run. It's paved, away from downtown, and peaceful. There is a water fountain as well.

Valley trail

This trail is small in lentgh, but maintained well. 2 tunnels, bridge overpass and a ride thru sprinkler. Always a quick, but enjoyable ride. There are a couple off shoots for hikers/walkers. I hope they can extend the trail a little farther. I always climb towards the baseball fields and extend the opposite direction with some riding on Reservoir Road. Great little ride.


Wonderful trail

this well maintained trail was a great walk. Smooth trail, lovely trees, nice features, great distance. The old tunnel is a step back in time.... Made me think of Harry Potter┬┐┬┐

Great sight-seeing and relaxing trail

Once we finally were able to find one of the ends to this trail, so we could walk the whole of it, after asking 2 local people, it was worth the bother of the 1 1/2 hour drive and hunting for it once we did get there!
The scenery was beautiful, with the beautiful gazebo, bridge, tunnel and 103 steps (worth every step) to the look-out. Also the bonus cemetary hike and wild-life path were wonderful. Everything is beautifully maintained and the people very friendly.

More than a bikeway

This beautiful trail is more than a bikeway. Any time of the day it's great for a pleasant run, walk or ride. The shade trees, following stream and protecting slopes keep it cool throughout the summer. Don't forget to stop and get a picture of the historic "Mail Pouch" barn that is still very much in use.

Peaceful and Relaxing

I've been wanting to walk this trail for a while now. I finally got a chance to do that today. This walk was beautiful, and quite peaceful and relaxing. The gazebo was breathtaking. The tunnel was very interesting to say the least. I spent a lot of time in there just looking at the walls. I'm so glad I took the time to enjoy this. I have a feeling I'll be back very soon. Thanks St. Clairsville!! I really enjoyed the bikeway.

Very bucolic trail

I originally read about this trail on the internet. While traveling through the area I stopped off to bike it on an early morning in 2007. I parked at the southern trailhead, biked to the northern end, and then pedaled back to the southern end.

The trail is very scenic and runs through a nice area which is by turns a small town, and then rural. An interesting feature of the trail is the tunnel which occurs near its mid point. The tunnel was originally a rail tunnel, and has been adapted to use as part of the bike trail. The tunnel is rather short (a few hundred feet), which means that you don't need to fear that it is dark. It is rather cool (temperaturewise) and moist in the tunnel, which is a welcome respite on a hot day. Another review mentions that the tunnel is wet, but I didn't find it to be a problem.

Personally, I also enjoyed the cow farm visible off the trail's northern extent, but that's 'cause I don't see farms very often since I live in a big, dirty north-eastern city. I thought it added a bit of laid-back rural interest to the trail.

Finally, the town has put a little park with a gazebo located at about the trail's mid point. When I was there in the morning, I found the park very picturesque but deserted. Maybe the residents were still in bed at the time? The drinking fountain there provided welcome refreshment.

In any event, a very nice rail-trail. Bravo, St. Clairsville!

Nice Trail

"This trail is located in St. Clairsville. We are local area residents and use this trail frequently. It is a nice fairly level ride with some long gradual slopes. The center of the trail has a beautiful gazebo and a drinking fountain. There is also a nice old tunnel that helps you cool off on a hot day. (However, you have to be cautious for wet spots in the tunnel.) The trail also features an arbor with misting hoses that you can ride right through to cool off. We always start from the Route 9 south end and go north. My kids (ages 3 and 6) are easily able to ride the first half of the trail from there. "

Great trail and wonderful people

"This is a beautiful bikeway with many different things to see. The tunnel is the first one I have seen that had lights in it and is an awesome sight; there is also a great overlook should you care to park your bike and climb the steps. Located at the halfway mark is a stunning gazebo, and water fountain. At one end is another rest area next to a pond and ballfields up the road a little way.

Although the ride was only 2.6 miles - one way (on the bikeway itself) - it is worth every mile you travel to get to it.

It's always nice to go somewhere that the local people seem to really take an interest in the trail and genuinely enjoy the trail themselves. Very nice people.

We will definitely visit again. Thank you."

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