Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail


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Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail Facts

States: Ohio
Counties: Cuyahoga, Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas
Length: 90.6 miles
Trail end points: 1468 Columbus Rd (Cleveland) and Zoar Valley Trail at RT 800 (Zoarville)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Boardwalk, Crushed Stone
Trail category: Canal
ID: 6016740

Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail Description


The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail is an amazing trail journey that takes trail users for just over 90 miles between the heart of this country’s industrial might in cities like Cleveland and Akron, to some of the most beautiful places in Ohio, like Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

About the Route

As closely as possible, the Towpath Trail follows the historic canal towpath where mules once pulled boats from 1827 to 1913. 

The trail's northern endpoint is located in the industrial valley, looking up at downtown Cleveland. Heading southeast from the northern endpoint at Canal Basin Park, the trail follows the Cuyahoga River through the lively city. The route includes scenic views of the river, the Cleveland skyline, and the Scranton Flats. 

A well-maintained asphalt surface heads south out of the city. Wonderful trailside exhibits tell the story of the adjacent canal’s past and present. Remnants of the old canal itself are an almost constant companion, and wildlife sightings are frequent even in the urban environment.

Two world-class trail bridges take users over busy intersections as the trail meanders south to Rockside Road. At this point, the path transitions into a crushed limestone surface as it enters Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Both the trail and the park don’t disappoint. The stone surface is firm, even under road tires, and the beautiful scenery of one of the most-visited national parks in the country is hard to just roll by. Constant stops are a must and there are ample opportunities. Quaint historical towns, historical sites, and pure beauty make this section of trail exquisite.

A bustling stop along the route is the community of Peninsula, once a hub of canal activity and now a station on the popular Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, which offers tourist excursions within the park. Many visitors like to bike the Towpath Trail one way and take the train back (only available April–October). In the charming village, trail users can find restaurants, art and antiques shops, an old-fashioned candy shop, and historical homes.

South of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the trail enters the city of Akron. The trail becomes paved again here and while there are some short shared on-road sections, the route is not hard to follow. Akron offers great historical stops, as well as dining and convenience options as well. 

Leaving Akron, the path becomes a boardwalk as it floats across scenic Summit Lake on a floating buoyed bridge over the surface of the lake. The trail transitions back to crushed stone and scenic views with Clinton and Canal Fulton as the next stops; don’t miss the seasonal canalboat rides in the latter.

Just south of Summit Lake, the path begins following the Tuscarawas River—a 130-mile long tributary to the Muskingum River that was a feeder to the Ohio & Erie Canalway during its years as an active canal. The river also serves as the Tuscarawas River Water Trail, which offers paddlers and anglers the opportunity to boat and fish on the Tuscarawas River. Much like the towpath, the water trail can be used for a short excursion between towns or for a longer trip through quiet stretches of nature. Access to the water trail is available at a number of trailheads along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. Boat rentals and other facilities can be found at certain trailheads as well.

The quiet, shaded experience of the trail persists all the way to the next city of Massillon. Here, trail users must again navigate a short shared on-road section. While not difficult, this route does feature a couple of short stretches along busier streets. Leaving the city of Massillon, the path is again beautifully quiet and wild as it heads south towards its current endpoint in Zoarville. After navigating around the village of Navarre, the route then switches to a brief on-road section as it passes through the village of Bolivar.

South of Bolivar, the trail becomes quiet and secluded once again and shares its route from Fort Laurens to State Route 800 (the southern endpoint of towpath trail) with the Zoar Valley Trail, which then continues further south. 


The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail is also a major component of the Ohio to Erie Trail. The growing 320-mile trail network will eventually span Ohio from the shores of Lake Erie in Cleveland to the Ohio River in Cincinnati.

At Scranton Flats in Cleveland, the trail meets the Cleveland Foundation Centennial Lake Link Trail.

In Cuyahoga Heights, the trail meets the Washington Reservation All Purpose Trail.

In Valley View, the trail meets the Hemlock Creek Trail.

With the Brecksville Reservation, the trail meets the Brecksville Reservation All Purpose Trail.

Near Canal Fulton, the Old Muskingum Trail parallels the towpath trail (on the opposite side of the canal).

In Massillon, the trail meets the Sippo Valley Trail.

At the trail's southern endpoint, it continues as the Zoar Valley Trail.

The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath is part of the Great American Rail Trail, a 3,700-mile route from Washington to Washington D.C. 

Part of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath is part of the Industrial Heartlands Trailsa developing network of trails across West Virginia, Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. 

Parking and Trail Access

The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail runs between 1468 Columbus Rd (Cleveland) and Zoar Valley Trail at RT 800 (Zoarville), with parking available at the northern end of the route.

Additional parking can be found at:

  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park, 1550 Boston Mills Rd (Penninsula)
  • 4503 Erie Ave NW (Canal Fulton)
  • Craig Pittman Memorial Park, 8042-8062 Hudson Dr SW (Navarre)

There are numerous parking options along this route. See TrailLink Map for all parking options and detailed directions.

Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail Reviews

Nice history

It is very nice this resource has been preserved and is available for use as a trail. If riding north to south there is a bit of a climb to reach downtown Akron. This is a long trail maintained by several different entities so the surface and quality of the trail varies depending on where you are. My experience were the lowest quality portions were in the Massillon area but all were passable.

Great ride

The crushed stone was a little dusty but the beauty of the trail more than made up for it! Enjoyed a bite to eat and live music at https://szalaysfarm.com/. We will return again!

A wonderful day of riding both trails and rails

A group of 8 friends ventured to Akron with the purpose of hiking and biking in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We truly lucked out on the weather; it was sunny and 80 degrees on both Friday and Saturday. We stayed at a hotel very near the North Akron train station, which is the southernmost terminus of the historic railroad, and also very near a trailhead for the Ohio & Erie Towpath. There is also a fantastic bike shop near this same station, Dirty River Bikes.

The Towpath runs generally down hill from south to north as you ride towards Lake Erie, noticeably so as you ride out of Akron. Since this is a tow path, there are very, very few traffic crossings. The trail is well maintained, long stretches of crushed limestone in the more rural areas. the trail is suitable for any style of bicycle, narrow tires are fine, whatever you ride. Attractions we enjoyed: the Beaver Pond is a great place to stop and look for wildlife in the bog & maybe take some photos. Szalay's farm store is a great place to stop and eat & perhaps stock up on provisions for a longer ride. Peninsula is a funky little town, a couple of good restaurants and a bike shop. We only rode as far north as Independence, since that is the northernmost terminus of the train, so about 27 miles of riding. We ate at Lock Keeper's restaurant in Independence, and it was excellent.

At Independence, we put our bikes on the last train of the day, just $5 per person with the bikes. The train was not at all crowded, and we found many cyclists in good spirits, talking about various rides all over the country. It was a very pleasant way to get back to our lodgings.

I highly recommend this trail, the combination of the tow path and railroad make it unique.

once you leave cleveland, realize how precious this trail is to the city

Had bikes/ hikes along the towpath at multiple segments. Wonderful connection to nature and important part of history. Now I moved to some eastern city in the US claiming "great park and trail system". Totally not on par with what Cleveland MetroParks/ Towpath can offer. Enjoy and support!


None Better

Goes through Cuyahoga Valley National Park…plenty of scenery and wildlife!

Ohio & Erie Canal - south section

Rode from Bolivar to Cherry Road in Massillon where the trail is currently closed. We don’t usually ride non-paved trails but glad we did this one. Not flat, but doable, glad we had our e-bikes. A little rough in spots from flooding, but we did it. Probably saw 200 turtles sitting on logs in the water. Saw 2 deer, a couple Eastern Bluebirds, couple cardinals.

Enjoyed this part of Ohio

We started in Independence, where there is a big parking lot and decent restrooms, and rode to Peninsula, where there are restaurants and a bike shop, and returned--about 23 - 24 miles. Found that the surroundings became more lush and wooded the closer we got to Peninsula. Next time, we'll start there and go south or ride on a day when we could take the train one way and do the whole trail. Signs indicated the train runs Wed. - Sunday, May - October. (We rode on a Tuesday.) The trail surface varies--a combo of asphalt, well-packed or uneven gravel, or hard-packed dirt. At this time of year (Oct) there were a considerable number of walnuts on the trail to navigate through, too. We did this trail as a break in a long car trip and it was worth it. Saw some amazing herons along the way!

Lovely historic ride thru a National Park

Started the tow path in Independence, OH and rode to Peninsula. Had to back track to our parked car - so would recommend planning to take the train at Independence and then ride the whole trail from the Akron end.
Good riding surface of packed limestone - even for riders like us who prefer paved. Fun lunch stop in Peninsula. Not often you can ride 20+ miles in a National Park.

Bolivar - Route 212 Update (S turn under train bridge)

For those of you that have ridden the trail in Bolivar where you had to ride on route 212 on that dangerous S part under the train bridge, well there is an amazing and positive change.

The folks have completed the trail with a wooden deck under the train bridge and around. The start of the new change occurs at the one 212 trail head. Enjoy - the people that did the work did a GREAT job.

Akron to Independence

We biked from just south of Akron to Independence. Akron was an easy urban area to navigate. Then we went north to Independence which was lovely. Even though it was a weekend it wasn’t too crazy with people. With the exception of the city this is a lovely bike ride.

Cleveland to Independence

We biked this from Cleveland to Independence. This was a vey enjoyable ride. There is parking at the trail head in downtown Cleveland. The first five miles was more urban but not many road crossings. It felt safe. After five miles you get into the first reservation area and it’s lovely the rest of the way.

I went on a hike with my dog. We saw beautiful wildlife and the vibe there was quite serene!

I went on a hike with my dog. We saw beautiful wildlife and the vibe there was quite serene!

Biked the complete trail

I started this trail at the cleveland trailhead using my triathlon bike. The goal was to complete the entire trail ending at the Bolivar trailhead. According to my bike computer the trip was 102 miles. 7.5 hours of scenic biking. I am in love with this trail. There are so many sights to see. Most of the trail is conducive to thin wall tires. The only area that is a bit rocky is the last 5-9 miles in Canton right at the end of the trail. Much of the trail is paved or crushed limestone on top of hard pan soil. My thin walled tires did not have many issues. Great sights along the River including waterfalls, rapids, turtles and deer. I recommend this trail to any biker looking for a ride where most of the time the sun is blocked by the trees. Several places along the way to fuel up or purchase drinks.

Very nice trail

Very nice trail. Not too much incline except in Akron where the detour is. We rode from Zoar to Cleveland. We stayed in Akron after the first night at the courtyard which is just off the connector trail and easy to get too. Mostly fine gravel but we did this trail with road tires and had no issues. (A few flats) but really no issues. It does get busy in the cuyahoga valley section but most people were kind and moved over.

The trail that pulled my heart into biking

I've biked from Cleveland to Zoar on this trail and it is such a great trail with a lot of character. Of that, I'd say the stretch from Independence to Canton is my favorite. North of that it's mainly just Cleveland. And south of that is just woods and rural farms. As of summer 2020, about a 2 mile stretch just north of Akron is under renovation, so the detour is a bit of an annoyance. The trail mix stores in Peninsula and Boston Heights are a great place to grab bites to eat. My best suggestion for those who want a little more excitement than the flat terrain the trail has to offer is to detour from Peninsula and head to the Ledges Overlook in the CVNP. It's about a 400 foot climb so you'll feel a workout, but the views and the hiking are worth it especially in the fall. I camped at the boy scout camp near Zoar, and they were very easy to work with.

Cleveland Section north of Harvard Ave.

I rode the Ohio-Erie route this morning starting from Lock 39 at Rockside Rd in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. I had not ridden north of Harvard Rd and my wife and I are doing the OH2ERIE in a couple of weeks so I wanted to scout this section out to Edgewater park.

After the Harvard Rd TH the pike path runs adjacent to Harvard Rd and then turns north running along Jennings Rd to Steelyard Commons. There is one short gravel section as it crosses a company's driveway. It then goes behind the shops in Stellyard Commons. It was surprisingly pleasant with grass and trees planted. You still have RR tracks on one side and a chain link fence on the other but this is old school Cleveland Industrial area. There is a steel heritage museum along with some artifacts from the steel industry. The trail goes through two quick tunnels under Steelyard Commons and Quigley and the Towpath continues straight on the OTET turns right and goes up next to Quigley to W14th.

The Towpath continues on and its surprisingly nice - paved, with some great scenic overlooks. It deadends near Literary Rd. Its possible to go up University Rd (to be paved in the future but its rough right now) and rejoin the OTET at W14th and Abbey. If you go along Abbey Rd under the interstate you have a great shot of the Cleveland skyline with the Cleveland name sculpyure. Turn back around and pick of the Centennial Trail.

Once you leave Steelyard Commons I saw no OTET trail signs. There were other Cleveland Metroparks signs for their trails.

There was roundabout construction at W29th and Franklin so you detoured onto Clinton to parallel Franklin then I took W45th back to Franklin then W65th to Edgewater.

I had a great time. Never thought that the old part of Cleveland could be so enjoyable. If you are a fan of the Movie A Christmas story you can make a short detour and ride past it in the Tremont neighborhood.

A Beautiful Part of the Ohio to Erie Trail Route

I rode 66 miles from the northern most part of this trail starting in Scranton Flats in downtown Cleveland to the the start of the Sippo Valley Trail in Massillon, Ohio. The trail does continue further south to Bolivar, Ohio but the trail south of Massillon is not a part of the Ohio to Erie Trail route. The scenery along this trail is spectacular. You get the tall buildings of downtown Cleveland and Akron, the industrial might of Cleveland's steelyards, chemical, and manufacturing valley, the peacefulness of Ohio's only national park, and the bucolic farms south of Akron. The trail surface varies depending on your location. The trail is paved in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County north of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Inside the National Park the trail surface is primarily crushed limestone, with treated lumber boardwalks in wetter areas. In some spots the trail may be paved for a stretch in areas were erosion of the trail surface has been evident. Outside of the CVNP you will find the trail paved once again through the city of Akron, only to return to crushed limestone/gravel until you reach it's end.

My only complaint relates to the condition of the crushed limestone when it rains heavily or over an extended period of time. The rain softens up this trail surface. I had to work harder to peddle through the the wet limestone. It was pretty soft -- not so soft as to sink into the trail but soft enough to give noticeable additional resistance.

fun with trains!

Started in Akron and went downhill along the trail through the national park and just had a wonderful time. We also enjoyed riding the train back for just $5!

There's a National Park in Ohio?

We were in town for the Cleveland Kite Festival and decided to knock out a ride on the Towpath Trail inside Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The northern trail head at Rockside Station was less than 10 miles from Edgewater Park downtown and easily accessible by car (41.392790, -81.628648 Independence, Ohio Lock #39). We had ridden southern sections of this long trail and this was no different - smooth and hard packed crushed limestone. Lots of trail traffic on a Sunday afternoon, but pedestrians and cyclists co-exist. Would like to return to take advantage of the Bike Aboard program.

By far one of the nicest trails I've ever been too.

I biked this a few years ago for my birthday. We started in Peninsula, Ohio and took the train up about fourteen miles up the Cuyahoga River to Rockside Station and biked back to Peninsula. It was probably one of my favorite birthdays I can remember. They even had beer on the train. What a delight. Along the way we stopped at the Canal Exploration Center, had Ice cream at Trail Mix in Boston, peaked in the Boston Visitors Center, and watched the Steelers game at Winking Lizard Tavern. It was a great little adventure. There's so much to do and see in Cuyahoga National Park. I strongly recommend Hale Farm and Village.

Scenic Ohio Trail

We rode two parts of this trail on separate occasions. First, we rode the entirety of Cuyahoga Valley National Park from Lock 39 to Botzum. Second, we rode from Massillon (Ernie's Bike Shop) to the outskirts of Akron.

Cuyahoga Park: If you're trying to decide between your mountain bike or road bike, pick the mountain bike. This trail is mostly dirt / crushed limestone, and it's quite bumpy. There are paved portions, but they're equally bumpy. Plus, if it's busy, you're not going to get up to speed anyways.

The path itself, on a Saturday afternoon, was full of cyclists and joggers. The trail meandered through the park and was quite scenic. It's northern Ohio, so there's very little elevation to tackle. Overall, if you don't mind a leisurely pace, a nice way to spend the afternoon.

Massillion to Akron: Starting from Ernie's Bike shop going North, the trail is pretty beat up. Whatever gravel was there is gone, and there's exposed concrete mixed with gravel. Which, is a rough ride. However, the closer you get to Canal Fulton, the nicer the trail becomes. From that point, North to Akron, our road bikes did just fine on the mix of paved and crushed limestone surfaces.

Outside of the surface in the start of the trail, this was an excellent ride. Great scenery, interesting things to explore off the trail, not too much traffic (on a Saturday afternoon), and the trail was well cared for. Definitely our favorite out of the two portions.

Scenic, But a Rough Ride, More like a Road Ride w/o the traffic

On Memorial Day Weekend 2019, we road our bikes 50 miles from Massillon (Hampton Inn is just a block away from the trail) north to Northfield and back the next day. We routinely ride 50 plus miles on rail trails and towpath trails. (GAP trail, Erie Canal in NY) I had lots of problems with this trail. I had checked for alerts, and what I had found greatly understated the problem areas.
At Manchester Road, the path was blocked and under reconstruction with no marked detour. We followed others under the equipment, walking our bikes over some gravelly areas (.2 miles or so?) and then lifted our bikes over the fence at the end.
Through Barberton, the trail is lovely but the rolling terrain follows the ups and downs of the hills rather than the level ride of a towpath or train bed.
In downtown Akron, there are confusing signs and roadblocks. We went one way on the way there, and another on the way back, but doable.
After Mustil Store, the trail has been detoured straight uphill for about 1 mile before putting you back on huge gravel chunks for a bit before returning you to the trail. Very frustrating because you can see the rail bed below you proceeding on it's flat and steady route. I wanted to walk on the tracks instead of the detour, but caution got the better of me.
We stopped at R Shea Brewing on Merriman Rd for lunch which was great. The Path signage around there was confusing.
The scenery along the way is lovely with the usual geese, ducks, turtles, etc and wonderful birds around the Beaver Marsh and Summit Lake.
But there are many areas where the trail bed needed some attention. Rocky, rutted, little or no crushed asphalt.
We stayed at a lovely B&B in Northfield, Shady Oaks. But the road to reach it was an evil 1.5 mile hill. I would only recommend it to others if the owners agree to pick you up at the trail. I didn't know to ask!
So, I can see that this is a good trail and I'm glad we did it, but I would tell people that it's just not in that great shape for a long ride right now.

The OTET is Awesome!

Rode this trail from Cincinnati to Cleveland and back in three weeks. The best touring I’ve ever done. This trail is very well kept. To me, Columbus to Massillon was the most scenic. But it’s hard to find any part of this ride that wasn’t great. I went in late September and had only one rainy day followed by a half day of light drizzle. Xenia, Millersville, and Mt. Vernon were my favorite stops. Can’t wait to do it again!

Bucket List (Still)

2-day trip planned from Western PA to bike one way and ride train back. Drove pike to Route 21 (area) but somehow could not relate to directions to Canal Towpath. Found Brecksville train station to park and cycled to and into Cleveland (Port of Cleve) and returned with 34 miles of enjoyable riding even with fear of getting lost in Cleve. city streets. Could not locate North Akron train station so followed directions to Berlin. During a previous search I had found Ft. Laurens park and trail entrance but did not realize that it is in fact the Zoar trail and resembles canal towpath but not Ohio & Erie. Rode south to Route 800 and across biker friendly river bridge, but could not convince myself to search trail signs any further. Rode into and North of Berlin to find the much improved trail and enjoyed yet another 27 miles of towpath riding. Having been born and raised in Southern Tusc. County, I will hope to search out the Zoar trailhead and explore much more as only an 81 year old rider can do.


Have split up the trail into several sections from Cleveland to Mass. Really enjoy it. Curious if section North of Mustill Store is open yet. Had been rerouted for sewer project, I think.

Massillon to Bolivar

This is a section that I had not ridden before as it is not part of the Ohio to Erie Trail Route. This is a nice trail with several nice trailheads along the way, but the quality of the trail surface is not as good as that of the crushed limestone surface of the Towpath heading north toward Cleveland. The limestone surface in this portion of the trail is inconsistent. Some areas are typical of the Towpath overall, but in many areas the surface is more of a hard-packed dirt, which would mean mud after periods of rain. In other areas rain runoff has piled the limestone up into soft, loose areas that would be difficult for bikes with thinner tires. Occasionally, you will ride over short sections of pavement which I believe have been put down in areas where there may be flooding problems. Overall I found the condition of the towpath in this section pretty good, but not necessarily up to the quality of sections further north.

In terms of the area and sights along this section I enjoyed this trail. The further south you traveled the more rural the surrounding countryside became. While I might find myself traveling alone for several miles, I did not feel isolated. I came across other cyclists and quite a few pedestrians, through out my ride; not bad for a summer weekday morning.

My one complaint is that the map here in TrailLink shows the trail ending at the McDonnell Trailhead on State Route 212 northwest of Bolivar, Ohio. The trail does pick up after a short ride along Route 212 and makes a link to the Zoar Valley Trail after following bike paths, streets, and sidewalks to the Fort Laurens Memorial Site south of the town. This through-town bike route is well marked. It is much safer than following 212 through town.

Towpath Condition Update

May 1 was a beautiful evening so after work I rode from Vanderhoof Rd to Forty Corners. The section between Butterbridge Rd (south of Canal Fulton) to Forty Corners was pretty rugged after a hard winter/spring. Lots of washouts and craters so ride a little slower and keep your eyes on the trail. As an alternative ride the Olde Muskingum Trail on the west side. It can be accessed by crossing over the river on Cherry St in Canal Fulton or over the Forty Corners Bridge (now just pedestrians and cyclists) or in the middle on Butterbridge Rd.

My first long ride.

I was able to complete the entire Ohio and Erie Towpath Trail over a two day period. First day rode from Cleveland to Mansfield, finished off the second day. A beautiful ride as the trail passes through woodlands, small towns and larger cities.

Pleasant trail for hiking/jogging but not for a road bike (with thin tires)

I did a ride over a weekend on my road bike from Lock 39 trailhead towards south about 8 miles (and back). Most of the route is limestone and gravel but hard and few patches are asphalt (but they are very rough). On a sunny/dry day, you could expect some amount of dust on your bike by the end of the ride. To me on my bike it is an ok ok ride. However, a mountain bike or a hybrid bike with wide tires would be better suitable.

On the other hand, it is a very good trail for a hike, walking and jogging. The better side is, it is a bit scenic trail for walk/jog. The cuyahoga river runs through the trail and is beautiful to look at all the greenery. I am sure it would be pretty beautiful around fall season.

New to cycling, my initial thoughts of my time on parts of this trail.

I'm new to cycling and desired a safe place to ride. Canal Towpath is close to me, so I went.
I've done two sections about 6-9 miles each (one way). First time I was going to start in Peninsula at Lock 29 Trail head. Parking was over crowded there on a Saturday near noon. Avoid Lock 29 as a starting point. Went just south to Deep Lock instead. From there I went about 6 miles southward to Botzam TH. On my second visit, I started at Botzam and went to Lock 3/Canal park Akron. Most of that ride was great. Good trail, nice views and surroundings. Friendly folks in minimal amounts. Saw deer, Geese, snakes, turtles, etc. Only a few street crossings. The not so great part was down near the Mustill Store. Trail had detoured me onto neighborhood roads and a very steep hill for a bit. Got past that, back onto a trail, to then be put back on the road in Downtown Akron. I didn't mind that so much, but had my girlfriend been with me, she would have refused. Arriving at Lock 3 was nice though. There was a Hamburger festival going on with live music and vendors. I stayed for a bit to enjoy, before returning back to Botzam. Overall great experiences on this trail, even with the slight issues around DT Akron and Mustill. I plan on returning to do other more lengthly stretches heading north from Boston soon. I'd like to figure out a way to do the whole thing next season if possible. I recommend this trail do to its over all length. Many places to jump on and do short tours. A couple Bike shops along the way, as well as a couple other points of interest. Restrooms every so often. The Bike Aboard system looks great too. Lots of good stuff about this trail. The good far outweigh any particular bad that you can run into.

Massillon to Clinton

We parked at Canal Fulton and rode north to Center Rd north of Clinton, then turned around and went to Lake Ave north of Massillon. 30mi round trip. Beautiful trail. Crushed stone most of the way, flat and shady. The trail got a little narrower near Massillon. Canal Fulton is a nice little town with lots of ice cream shops. It also has historic boat rides pulled by horses. Timing worked out that we got to watch one go by.

May 20, 2017

We have ridden all the sections before but decided to ride it end-to-end and make a century ride out of it.

We parked a vehicle at Ft. Laurens near Bolivar and a friend drove us up to Lock 39 trailhead off Rockside Road in Independence. From there we rode north to the end of the path at Harvard Road. The route continues north with short sections of bike path intermixed with city streets but we opted to stay off the streets. Turning and heading south the bike path is paved for 6 miles until it enters the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

A couple of recent developments: The section in Akron between memorial park and Mustill Store is closed for construction of the Interceptor Tunnel (a MASSIVE sewer project). The detour is well marked but it goes up a very steep (but short) hill from N-S.

Between Exchange and Cedar in downtown Akron the path is open even though there is a signed detour but it is one lane so ride slow.

There is a new section of path to get off SR212 coming into Bolivar. You have to ride about 0.3 miles on SR212 from McConnel trailhead to reach the new path at the ballfields.

From Ft. Laurens down to SR800 the path is well graded with a fine crushed stone surface. It is narrow in many places - ranging from 3-5' wide. I would recommend riding the old bridge over the Tuscarawas River to Zoar Village (about 0.6 miles each way. Its a historic distric that was a communal village in the 1800's with many original structures.

At SR800 it is possible to pick up the Zoar Valley Trail to continue to Dover/New Philadelphia. There are bike lanes on either sides with crossing flashers which were recently installed. The Zoar Valley Trail is about 0.3 miles east of the OETP. However the trail is a loose river gravel surface better suited to hiking or mountain biking. We decided to ride a few hundred yards on this trail and turn around at the Zoarsville Station Bridge and return to our car at Ft. Laurens instead of struggling on to the Dover Dam.

A couple of other interesting things - There are lots of places to eat and more importantly get ice cream along the trail. The fruit sundae at Szalays Farm Market on Bolanz Road is my favorite. Plus several bike shops. The visitor centers and gift shops of the Cuyahoga Valley NP give you a chance to stretch your legs. I always lock my bike when its out of sight so I make it a habit to always take my lock.

This trail also passes Wastewater Treatment plants in Cleveland, Akron, Barberton, and Massillon so thats just one more bonus.

Wildlife is plentiful depending on the season. Bald Eagles, deer, turtles (sliders and snappers), woodchucks, otters, mink, beaver Canada Geese (with their fuzzlings this time of spring), ducks, great blue herons (who have a rookery off Bath Road). A few years ago semi-professional Bigfoot Hunters were setting wildlife cameras for Grassman - Ohios variation so you may get lucky with a Bigfoot spotting.

Check into the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic RR which offers a Bike Aboard service to let you and your bike ride one way for a few dollars.

Massillon to Cleveland

I rode this section and completed the Northern most section of the Ohio to Erie Trail.

In Cleveland, the trail is mostly on busy city streets, coexisting with vehicles. Twice I tried to post the turn-by-turn pictures, but for some reason the Northern end pictures in Cleveland haven’t been accepted.

The trail was mostly scenic, until it entered Cleveland. Drew Carey might think Cleveland is the best thing since sliced bread, but the view from this trail had a lot of scrap yards, rock quarries, sewage plants, and vacant buildings with their windows broke out. In other words, a lot of urban decay. I don’t ever plan to go back.

The Ohio to Erie Trail was supposed to go to Lake Erie, the “Erie” in the name. But this trail does not actually end at Lake Erie; it ends about half a mile South on the North end of the Carter Road vertical lift bridge. I’m not going to risk riding on the busy streets of downtown Cleveland and end up like Andrew Gast-dead inside someone’s windshield. There are too many other safe trails that are not on public roadways.

Perfect for the average rider

Members of our group ride quite a bit, but nothing too long except for Buckeye Breakaway (75 miles each way). We typically start in Independence and end in Peninsula, but decided to head South from our typical end point. What a great ride. Little change of pace, but less crowded and offered a few different elevations and road types. Got into the Valley area and stopped for lunch, got back on the path and kept heading toward the Akron trail head. Heading back appeared to be more downhill so it helped the less experienced riders. 25 miles in all and the trail was immaculate. Do yourself a favor and experience one of the best casual bike trails out there.

OECTT is all a trail can be.

I've only done the path south of Akron where the bikeway is closed from dusk till dawn according to signage at every crossing. The pond just south of Akron is really scenic. The south end of Barberton offers a shopping center just off the trail.

The canal locks are magnificent and offer information panels that are unfortunately becoming unreadable. A canal boat, and awesome creamery are a couple POIs to look for in Canal Fulton.

Further south along the river you'll find Massillion and Naveere. I guessed on those spellings just now. It's a great ride and you can find another creamery in Naveere. They're pricey but it's premium ice cream. Plenty of nice scenery on this segment.

Trail Experience

We spent the 4th weekend doing the Ohio & Erie Towpath, Western Reserve Greenway and the Alleghany River Trail/Sandy Creek Trail. I have posted comments on the other two trails.
This is a great trail well maintained plenty of amenities and some nice scenery. The only problem is we were there on a holiday weekend and at our start point Peninsula it was very crowded. Which is great!. The only exception was the few knuckleheads who thought they should play their Tour de France fantasy. With all the families and children on the trail that day extra caution should of been taken. The NPS even had periodic Safety Stations setup which was great. But the few idiots should of been courteous but were not. If you do this trail start at an location in a more remote area and do it Tues-Fri.--or colder days. This is truly a great biking trail. Thanks to the NPS for maintaining it.

C&O Lander to Hancock

75.9 mile ride headed mostly west. Great day ride. I did stop in to see Fort Frederick on the way. You can get off the C&O there and get on the Western Maryland Rail Trail, but I had set a goal of using the towpath as it goes right by the house.

Great trail!

My family and I rode the trail from one end of the train route to the other. What a great 30-mile ride, knowing that we would be able to relax on an air-conditioned train with other cyclists who wouldn't notice how sweaty we were! We'll be back.

My go to trail

I am lucky enough to live by this trail. Different sections have a different feel to it. So, depending on what I feel like, depends on where I start and whether I head north or south.

South from Canal Fulton the trail is a bit rougher overall once you get bout 2 miles south of Canal Fulton itself. Scenery is quite nice, and you have ice cream stands at both Canal Fulton and at Massillon.

Going north from Canal Fulton is fairly quiet for roughly 5-7 miles then you get a bit of a hill, then a flat for 2 miles, then one big hill and the rest is just dealing with elevation changes made for the path until you reach Akron.

Going through Downtown Akron is the only really challenging section (for a rails-to-trails path) on this entire trail, which I advise skipping unless you enjoy the challenge.

Once north of downtown Akron, the Towpath is quite scenic all the way north to the end (which on my last ride is like 10 miles shy of Cleveland proper).

The trail is a mix of limestone, to dirt, to sections of pavement, to a bit of gravel here and there (most gravel is to the south, most dirt is towards the north). Sadly, this is not a great MUP for early Spring until it dries out due to softness and mud, but once dry, random rain is not an issue.

Personally, I find that I get bored riding over and over on paved MUPs all the time. But I can do 100 mile weeks on the Towpath and enjoy them all season. Why you ask? Because the Towpath is different every ride. Different creatures, the Towpath itself changes over time, I feel you get a wider variety of people on it. The width changes making it more challenging to pass and be passed. What can I say, it's my thing.

Anyhow, if you ever see a big guy with a triker's grin, on a blue ICE Adventure HD with a blue BROL flag, say HI! And yes, it IS a rolling lawnchair :)

Beautiful ride!

I was delighted with the diverse scenery and the wonderful ride. Some slight hills to add to the challenge.

this is a "must-ride" trail

My wife and I have ridden most of the major trails in Pa, Md, Va, NY, and W Va. Last weekend we drove out to Ohio to give this one a try. It was well worth the 6 hr. drive from Eastern Pa to get to this one. Not your typical rail-trail, or canal tow path, where you can ride for miles in a straight line (could probably do some of these blindfolded), but this one has several sections that wind through wooded areas, with some slight grades here and there.
The first day we rode round trip from Akron to Cleveland. Second from Akron to a little south of Massillon, and back.
The surface varies from asphalt in a few areas, to hard-packed crushed stone for much of the trail. The entire trail was in excellent condition. We did the ride on cyclocross bikes, but the surface is nice enough that it could be done on road bikes if you wanted to. 5-stars

Great Trails for walking or biking.


Clinton to Summit Lake

We rode from Clinton to Summit Lake and enjoyed the ride very much. Even though it is pretty industrial close to Akron, it was interesting to see all the different uses of the land along the trail. The boardwalk on Summit Lake is a really fun riding experience.

A detour in the Akron Section

We really enjoy the Canalway Towpath Trail. We live in Akron and ride it frequently. A week ago we decided to ride from Cascade Locks Trailhead north to Boston Store. We encountered a trail closed sign as soon as we crossed the street. The woman at Mustill Store told us to ride to Hickory, follow Hickory to the end, and then get on at Memorial Parkway. The directions were easy enough, but Hickory has a LARGE hill - fun going down, but a pain to ride up. There was also a small detour in Merriman Valley, but good signs for it. The ride through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is beautiful - not to be missed. Although the surface is mostly crushed limestone, it is very hard because of the constant use, so easy to ride.

Rode two stretches of trail

We started our biking in Peninsula at the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway(CVSR) station. There is plenty of free parking. The station is located off of the main street behind the Winking Lizard and Century Cycle.
Due to rains the CVSR only runs one stop south of the Peninsula stop. Normally, it runs to Akron. Check the railways website for current information and train schedules.
We rode north to the northern most train station at Rockside (13 miles). The trail is mostly wooded and very pretty. The path is mostly crushed stone. We saw two deer on our ride. There are several bathrooms along the way. The train only costs $3.00 for bike and you. They also sell beer, snacks and other drinks. The beer made the trip back too short.
The next day we rode from Barberton to Canal Fulton. Barberton just built a bridge in downtown that lets you get off the bike path to go into town. You have to ride across the viaduct to get into town. There is free public parking on the other side of the bridge. Much of the time the bike path traverses between the Ohio & Erie Canal and the Tuscawaras River so plan your exits. A short distance off the trail on Second Street NW is R D Bikes if you need help.
This part of the trail is really beautiful. Mostly it is crushed stone, but there is one section newly paved. There is one big hill near Clinton, but otherwise it is an easy ride. We stopped at Cherry Street Ice Cream in Canal Fulton for the return trip. It is conveniently located next to the bike path.

Great trail

Put the bikes on the train & got off @ Brecksville station. We rode south to Hunt farm & back beginning where our car was parked. A very nice,scenic ride of 26 miles. ride...

a fabulous resource

History, geography, wild life and "bike life" this trail has it all. It is the don't miss ride of Northeast Ohio.

completion to Zoar

I recently was told that the way to access the path was to go to the Park in Zoar(a very small town) and access it there. I found the park easily enough, but was unable to see any access to the path to Bolivar from the Zoar park. If anyone does know, could they please notify here. Thanks! I really rely on this guide and reviews for info.

Enjoy biking and hiking!

Fabulous Treasure

I have ridden the entire length (in segments) and each section has unique qualities. From Akron to Harvard Ave, it is mostly scenic, with some urban qualities around i480. But it is surprisingly scenic from 480 to Harvard. I would avoid Merriman Rd to alexander rd on weekends. Too many pedestrians, children and dogs.

Getting through Downtown Akron has a pretty good hill to get over the Expressway and has a stretch that is on sidewalks, but it is safe as far as traffic is concerned. Akron and south to Summit Lake is a good trail, but urban... Factories and warehouses make up the "scenery". And a very cool bridge across the southern end of Summit Lake.

From Barberton to Massillon is beautiful. My favorite stretch. Theres a really nice bike shop north of Massillon for snacks, sandwiches and ICE CREAM. And Bike repairs if needed. Theres also nice shops in Canal Fulton and Clinton.

Getting through Massillon is a little dicey - city streets and a bridge with a narrow sidewalk on a busy street. But its a short, quick stretch to get back on the trail. Theres a nice 8 mile trail that intersects the Towpath just south of Downtown Massilon that goes west to Dalton. A nice side trip. Good path, but not as scenic.

South of Massillon is once again very wooded and very scenic. Another favorite stretch.

The last stretch south of Navarre needs a lot of work. Very bumpy, large rocky gravel. A lot of work o ride it on my skinny road tires. I hope they put down some crushed limestone to smooth it out.

Work is being done to complete the link to Bolivar and then to Zoar. I plan to ride it this spring, even if i need to use some local highways. Theres a way across 77 by Bolivar according to the map. Guess ill have to find it.

I have a hybid road bike, and am not a racer type. Except for the Bolivar stretch, its a great surface for my skinny tires and my 63 year old legs.

BTW... Take a camera!

The Adventure Begins...

This is the trail that really began my love for long distance bicycling. The entire trail is beautiful...I feel I like going through Clinton, the Cuyahoga Natl Forest, the beaver swamp, and Bolivar to Craig Pitman Park best. I forgot the Lock 29 area (see what I mean...)I recommend every dedicated cyclist try this one in sections. There is something to see in each section. You can't go wrong. The rangers are very helpful and friendly, and ride the train in autumn! I have seen deer including twin fawns twice, herons, beavers, a multitude of songbirds, and fox.
The only downside to this trail is that the ride from Navarre to Bolivar is rough and needs work in comparison to the remainder of the path, but I have no problem getting along with a hybrid.

Two sections rode

In 2013 I rode two sections of the trail from Canal Fulton to Akron. First day got as far as Barberton. Second day into downtown Akron. There the signs are good; be aware it is actually in town. And, a very steep hill going north which challenges one going south.
I've also been on the trail from the train station to the end, and from the park near I-77. I did not like that section--grass and dirt became the terrain.


My biking buddy and I have ridden on the trail from the Steelyard Commons to Bolivar,not all at once but have taken some lenghty rides in the area of 60 -80 miles. What an incredible experience. The only part of the trail that was of any concern was the trip through the streets of Massillon. We now frequent varies portions of the on a weekly basis. What a jewel we have in our own backyard!

Nice trail

I am new at these trails, but found this one very pleasurable. I only walked from 40 corners about 2 miles. Most of that part is shaded, under trees and cool. The path is packed hard and easy to walk. A couple of bikers passed me and they seemed to be happy. I would recommend this path!!

Alternative Sources if Info

This is a great trail but it is supported by a number of different organizations in a somewhat confusing way and there are alternative sources of information to plan your trip.
1. The traillink web site that you are on with a map and reviews.
2. The Ohio & Erie Canalway organization with web site link from traillink site and maps and info However this is an overall PR organization that does not manage actual facilities.
3. The National Park Service Cuyahoga Valley National Park. This is the main organization with the best trail map but you must connect via the central National Park Service site after you click on the link from traillink.
4. Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation (Park)with the Leonard Krieger Visitor Center manages the north end of the trail above the NPS managed section.
5. The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (CVSR) which provides low cost shuttle for one way bike trips. For latest train schedules to plan your trip www.CVSR.com
6. Up river or further south other muncipalities are responsible for the trail. The Canalway site has links.
I highly recommend you plan ahead and get the NPS map to organize your trip. The highway system in greater Cleveland is quite complicated. Youker

Great trail, but pick times

I am giving this trail a 5 star rating and while I do enjoy the Towpath and have ridden it from Harvard Road to Akron many times; I would like to point out issues with it. Don’t get me wrong, the path is well kept and the scenery is beautiful. The problem is the crowds on the weekends. Now I’m not saying the path is overcrowded, but the people on the path do not seem to understand basic “road” rules or even basic courtesy for sharing the path, passing, or when trying to pass; especially when close to Rockside Rd, Rt 82, and Peninsula entry points (most crowded areas). In addition, I see a lot of people on the path riding, walking, and running with headphones on – this is just dangerous for everyone.

With that said, I still enjoy this trail and adjust my visits to more “friendly” times of the day or days during the week. Dinner time or later on the weekends works nicely. Make sure you have a headlight and a taillight, as it gets dark on the trail! During the week, earlier in the day or after work, is nice too. It really is a great trail. Again, the scenery is beautiful and full of history, great wildlife, and the crushed limestone path is nice though can be very dusty during dry seasons and a bit sloppy right after a good rain. I do see a lot of cyclists on road bikes; however, I prefer not to ride mine on this trial and opt to bring my hybrid with its 700x45 tires. If you go during the day on a nice Saturday or Sunday, just be cautious and alert as there are many places other users can pop out of (benches, side trails, etc…) and really watch as you come around bends as you could come across groups spread across the entire trail.

An Absolute Treasure

I use this trail several times per week. It runs parallel to the old Ohio and Erie Canal and the Cuyahoga River meanders nearby. Most of the towpath is crushed limestone, a softer surface which is nice for walkers and joggers. It has the potential to be a little sloppy the day after it rains.
The best part about the Towpath, though, is the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has a program called "Bike Aboard". You can hop aboard the train at one of a half dozen train stops, and for $3, they will load up your bike onto a train car and you ride inside a comfortable coach to your desired stop. When you get off the train, the bike handlers will pull your bike off for you, and then you can ride back to your car via the towpath trail.

Massillon to Canal Fulton

Generally, this trail is in good shape. It's relatively flat, packed nicely, not crowded. Its scenic and shaded for the most part. It could be a bit wider to accomodate side by side riding. It could use a bit more frequent maintenance on brush growing along the borders. Off the trail itself, which is a raised surface, is the canal on one side, and the Tuscarawas River on the other. You need to pay attention!

Bolivar to Massilon 9/9/2012

Not quite as scenic as the sections north of Massilon. Also, the trail surface is rougher, especially south of Navarre. South of Navarre, narrow tires are not a good idea. We road 35mm and 1.5 inch tires and were OK, though the ride was a bit rough. There is one bad spot, where gravel and mud has washed down on to the trail. There are warning signs, so, take them seriously, and, if you don't have really fat tires, be prepared to dismount for a few yards. The section in Massilon is not great, but is passable, if you know in advance roughly what the route is. Study the map, and then keep your eye on the signs and painted road markings. The trail crosses the river twice, on ordinary sidewalks that are part of road bridges. I don't think the section in Massilon is good for younger children, and the sidewalks over the bridges might be tough for trailers and trikes. On the plus side, the trail heads are well constructed and have at least a portapottie at each. Stark County Parks appear to be committed to maintaining and improving the trail. It would really be a big improvement for Massilon to work on an improved routing through town.

What a trail and what a great day we had on it. My wife and I started our adventure in Cleveland at the Rockside Station of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad and took the train to the Akron Northside Station. Ready for this, we spend a total of $4.00 on the train ride. The price included the transport of our 2 bikes and our passage on the train. Unbelievable!!! Our plan was to bike directly to the Peninsula Depot for lunch but we ran into Szalay’s Farm Market just before we got to the depot. We got some strawberries and a couple delicious plumbs and then onto the Peninsula Depot for lunch. We had a great lunch at the Winking Lizard. We both had the Chicken Rubin Sandwich and would highly recommend it. Our next stop was at the Canal Visitor Center where we talked to a really nice and knowledgeable Ranger about the towpath. After a walkthrough of the center we finished the last 1.7 miles back to the Rockside Station. And the best part of the day is that it is mostly downhill from Akron to Cleveland.

Nesmith Lake to Stark County line

At the end of October, we rode from the Nesmith Lake trailhead, on the south side of Akron, to the Stark County line and back. This trail is very nice, with varied scenery. The Nesmith Lake trailhead is easy to find and has a spacious and well paved parking lot. The trail surface is partly crushed stone and partly asphalt paving. It is in very good to excellent condition. There are a couple of mild hills near Barberton, nothing to be worried about. Public restrooms are available at several of the trailheads, though not at Nesmith Lake. There is a gap in the trail between Snyder Avenue and Eastern road. (Some maps show it farther, from Snyder to Vanderhoof Road, but we easily found the trail at Eastern.) The on road section between Snyder and Eastern is not great, but not terrible either. Adults and older children shouldn't have any problem. We saw signs of trail construction south of Snyder Ave. The Summit County Parks web site says construction to close this gap is under way. and could be complete as soon as the end of 2011. I rate the trail at 4 stars, but when the gap is completed, it will easily earn 5. Highly recommended.

Train out, bike back 5 stars

I forgot to do the star rating when I submitted my review. I give it 5 bright gold stars! This is a great trail.

Train out, bike back

In October 2011, we caught the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad's first Saturday morning departure at Rockside Road Station. Bikes are welcome, and handled smoothly, and the fare for bikers is not just reasonable, but almost ridiculously low! We rode the train all the way to Akron. From the train station in Akron to the trail is just a very few blocks of on road riding. Traffic in Akron, early Saturday morning, is pretty sparse. About 5 miles north of Akron, the trail runs through a section of suburban strip mall, where we found a small cafe and had quite well made omelets for lunch. The ride from Akron back to Rockside Station is 27 miles. It is a very nice ride. The trail surface is mostly packed crushed stone. A few sections are asphalt paved. It is in very good condition. We only encountered a couple of brief, mildly muddy sections. Generally it is a smooth ride and you can ignore the surface condition. We ride 700x35 and 26x1.5 tires and had no surface related difficulties. The trail runs through varied scenery. A boardwalk runs over several hundred yards of scenic wetland. Szalay's farm market was in full swing, and makes an entertaining break. At the north end, a short on road ride connects the trailhead to the CVSRR Rockside Road Station. Print maps of both ends of the trail, because the on road routes are not marked, and do have a couple of turns, though they are also neither long nor difficult. If you find that you can't do the whole 27 miles, just make sure you have the CVSRR schedule. If you stand, with your bike, on a station platform and wave your hands over your head as the engine approaches, the train will stop and you can finish your trip the lazy way for just a few bucks more. This is a great ride and I highly recommend it. Invite your friends. Make it a Boy or Girl Scout or Church group outing. You can't go wrong with this one.

Ohio & Erie Canal--Cuyahoga Valley NRA

The Ohio & Erie Canal--Cuyahoga Valley NRA or Towpath as we refer to it is one of my favorite places to ride bicycle in Northeast Ohio. It provides a moderate ride with a lot of exposure to wildlife, different biomes and freedom from fighting automobile traffic. I provides a combination of history, environment, social, and cultural settings.

The trail is hard packed and in bad weather not a pleasant place to ride. Unless you like mud of course and ride a mountain bicycle. I ride a road bicycle and find it very easy to ride the Towpath unless it is muddy.

We usually start our ride in Peninsula and ride to either Bath Road, about a 15 mile round trip ride, or to Akron, about a 30 mile round trip ride. These routes take us along the historic Erie Canal where the remnants of locks are marked and described. The routes also follow along the route of an operating historical railroad and the Cuyahoga River.

At Bath Road a short detour to the east of the Towpath are hundreds of heron nests can be viewed from the road. At some times of the year these nests have a great deal of activity with the huge herons flying in and out while they are building nests, courting, feeding their young and trying to keep cool during the summer heat. This is a must see if you have not been there.

Along the route there are also farmers markets, covered bridge (short detour off the trail), farmland (corn) and friendly people. Sometimes it gets very busy but if you like being in a popular place with lots of outdoor enthusiasts even this time is fun. I usually take to the road instead of the Towpath when it gets congested.

We like to start in Peninsula because it has a bicycle shop, two sports pubs, art shops, and a train station to board the historical railroad. This railroad also offers an option to you if you want to ride part of the train and return to your starting point on the train. However, there are many starting points where you may park your car.

I rate it a 5 star. Check it out.

train your bike

what fun...rode one way & trained back....started at visitor center just south of the rockside station and biked down to botzum (about 18 miles) and trained back....no problems with this or the fact that we had a tandem, the train crew handled it all perfectly (and for $2 each, what a deal!!!)....the trail was well-maintained with some work on-going to repair a few sections.....the visitor center parking lot had plenty of parking and the trail was right in front....stopped in peninsula for some shopping/looking around....just be aware of the train schedule as they only run 2 or 3 times a day and not everyday (check the website): http://www.cvsr.com/

Navigating the Towpath Trail in the Akron Area

I ride sections of this trail around the Akron area frequently. The Towpath is managed by several jurisdictions: the National Park Service, Summit Parks and the City of Akron. Most of the web-based maps are out of date. Here’s the trail status as I know it as of April 6, 2010.

1. South of Akron, the Towpath starts at Snyder Avenue in southern Barberton. The section just to the south, between Center Road and Snyder Avenue has not been built.

2. You can cycle north from Snyder into the southern edge of Downtown Akron via a dedicated trail with minimal road crossings. Summit Parks shows the section between Manchester Road and Summit Lake as being incomplete. It is indeed complete as of last summer and is in excellent condition. There is a nice new trailhead with restrooms at Wilbeth Road.

3. The dedicated trail ends at Bartges Street heading north. Follow the signs 1 block east on Bartges Street and make a left into the former BF Goodrich factory parking lot, now known as Canal Place. You cycle through the passageway adjacent to the tall factory smokestacks. The trail picks up again behind the Spaghetti Warehouse. It’s probably only 1,000 feet of parking lot to navigate.

4. The trail is asphalt paved as it passes north past Canal Park and Lock 2. The dedicated trail ends at State Street behind the stadium. There is a project underway to extend this section to Lock 3 Park across the street.

5. Today, you must ride city streets for about 4 blocks north. Follow Water Street across State Street from the current trail end for a block. It ends at Bowery Street. Continue north on Bowery for 2 blocks to Quaker Street. Turn left onto Quaker Street and follow it to Ash Street behind Cascade Plaza. The trail resumes with a bridge over the Innerbelt.

6. From the Innerbelt bridge, you can cycle the remainder of the trail north through Summit County with few road crossings.

I hope this helps people navigating through Akron. I understand that grant money has been received or construction projects are underway to fill in these last three gaps in the trail.

Extend Your Ride

The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath extends north to Cleveland from Rockside Rd. in Independence and switches from crushed stone at that point to a paved trail where the trail becomes part of the Cleveland Metroparks system. There is some surprising scenery on this 6 mile extension which winds through a reclaimed industrial area along the Cuyahoga River and includes 2 nice bridges over busy city streets, waterways, birds, fishing, etc. The trail ends near mile marker 5 which corresponds to the same milestones set on the Towpath. You can venture west then north beyond the trail head parking lot for lunch or shopping at Steelyard Commons and for the very adventurous, you can ride through Tremont and/or Ohio City and link up with the Cleveland Lakefront Shoreway Bikeway.

Towpath Trail

The Towpath Trail is open from Harvard Rd. in Cleveland to just south of Cedar St. in Akron. probably about 30 miles. In Akron there is a gap from Spaggetti Warehouse parking lot south of Cedar St. to Bartges St. (about 3-4 blocks). (It is possible to ride through parking lots to reach Bartges St.) From Bartges St. south to Summit Lake Park is an older section of trail (sidewalks along the canal) and somewhat rough asphalt. From Summit Lake Park south is a brand new section including a "floating towpath" thru part of Summit Lake. It looks like a "boardwalk" but in fact has no pilings and instead is on floating plastic barrels. You would not know it is floating because it is just as solid as if it were driven into the ground. The new section ends at Wilbeth Ave. From Wilbeth Ave south to Waterloo the trail is under construction and should be open by the fall of 2009. The bridge is completed, the base surface is down it should not be too long. From Waterloo south thru Barberton to Snyder Ave. at the south edge of Barberton the trail is open. The trailhead at Snyder Rd. is called Wolf Creek Trailhead. There is a 2 mile gap from there to the junction of Van Burean Rd. and Eastern Rd. Clearing has been started and I was told the it should be open by sometime in the of summer 2010. From the Eastern Rd. connection to Lincolnway in Massillon, the trail is open. At Lincolnway there is a gap that can be accessed by crossing the sidewalk on the Lincolnway road bridge and following the connector trail north on 6th St. to get under the bridge, then the connector runs south to Tremont Ave and under that bridge, west 1/2 block to 5th St. south to Green St. east to 4th St, south to Oak Knoll Park, and then south and east on a paved trail thru the Park to Walnut Rd. East on Walnut Rd. across the river, brings you to the Towpath Trail. From there it is open all the way south to Rt 212 just west of Bolivar. Take Rt. 212 east to Bolivar and then follow the street south to Fort Laurens. Turn east into Fort Laurens and go to the end of the driveway where you will find a path that is 1/10 of a mile long to a $2,000,000 bridge over I-77. from there to Zoar village, the trail is again crushed stone. South of the exit point to Zoar village, the trail is unimproved a dirt and a mountain bike or house trail south to Rt. 800. At the point where the trail meets the railroad, up on a high embankment, you must find your way to the river and cross under the railroad bridge. There is usually not a clear trail at this point. Also the section south of Zoar village has several missing stream bridges that may need to be "forded". The majority of the surface from Cleveland to Zoar is crushed stone, with a few places concrete or asphalt. The majority is very scenic and beautiful. I road Akon to Barberton on June 30, 2009.

Great scenery

I have biked this path several times although I've not gotten as far as the end. That's my goal this year! I love the scenery and as for a lot of people on the path, if you go in the mornings, it's not as crowded. The scenery is fantastic and right around the Brecksville area there is a bald eagle's nest with an eaglet and mom and dad. You can sometimes see them soaring above you on the path. Awsome site! Enjoy!

Ask about the train

This trail now runs 31 miles from downtown Akron to Grant Road in Cleveland. It is a gravel surfaced canal towpath. There are many large over pass bridges (see photos). Bikes can be rented at RR crossing on highway 303, 2 miles East of I 271.

Bike and Ride the Train

"The Cuyahoga Valley Railroad has a Bike-Aboard program, for $2 you can ride the train with your bike. It's a fun way to see more of the beautiful trail. The scenery along the canal and river is beautiful and I always spot blue heron, deer, turtles, and other wildlife. If you're lucky you may even catch a glimpse of the nesting bald eagle. "


I started in Valley View and biked the whole length of this trail to Akron (28 miles one way). It is hard packed stone and part ashphalt. It was a beautiful ride with many places to stop and rest and it also passes through some small towns where you can buy snacks and drinks. The ride was cut short in Akron where construction is ongoing to connect another 10 or so miles on to the Southern end of my trip.

Fun trail

I think this trail is a great place to have some fun.



"So crowded with bikers, joggers and hikers you feel like you never left the city."

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