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The Ohio to Erie Trail is a colossal project, not just for the state of Ohio but also nationally. Dreamed up more than 25 years ago, this route will eventually connect the Ohio River in Cincinnati to Lake Erie in Cleveland. Of its planned 326 miles, more than 270 miles of trail are complete. Trail lovers the world over can now come to the Buckeye State and enjoy either the entire route (with some on-road connectors) or choose from the myriad of completed trails that make up this corridor.
Starting in Cleveland, the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail stretches more than 80 miles from the city, through beautiful Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the vibrant city of Akron, south to the village of Bolivar. As it approaches its southern end, the Towpath Trail connects to the Sippo Valley Trail in Massillon. From there, the Sippo Valley Trail heads west into Wayne County and ends in Dalton.
Between Dalton and Fredericksburg, about 17 miles of on-road riding is required, but once in Fredericksburg, you can pick up the Holmes County Trail, notable for its adjacent Amish buggy path, which creates a unique shared-corridor experience for everyone. Holmes County boasts one of the largest communities of Amish in North America.
From Holmes County, you will enter Knox County and encounter the Bridge of Dreams, Ohio’s second-longest covered bridge and quite the trail experience. The Mohican Valley Trail includes the bridge and some breathtaking vistas before its end in Danville. Just on the other side of town, you will come upon the crowd favorite Kokosing Gap Trail, which takes you through the Knox County seat of Mount Vernon. Though short (just a mile long), the Downtown Connector Trail, which runs through the heart of Mount Vernon, makes a crucial link to the Heart of Ohio Trail, a newly emerging route that continues to connect many small towns on its way into suburban Columbus.
The Heart of Ohio Trail whisks travelers to the border of Delaware County. From there, it’s about 10 miles of on-road riding to the Galena Brick Trail, a mile-long pathway named after the town’s historical Galena Shale Tile and Brick Company dating back to the 1890s. On the south side of Galena, you can join the Hoover Scenic Trail, a beautiful short paved path with great views of the Hoover Reservoir. The route ends at Plumb Road, where you can connect to the Genoa Trail, just on the other side of the roadway. This 4-mile paved path weaves through many landscapes, including some wonderful residential neighborhoods, ending at the border of Westerville. The town offers an exceptional trail system—the Westerville B&W—and as you pedal through town, you will be entering Franklin County.
The Alum Creek Greenway Trail begins at Westerville’s Main Street; heads south, passing under I-270; and travels through Columbus as it follows a lush riparian corridor dotted with parks. At I-670, a short but important connector, the Downtown Connector Trail, takes travelers into the city center. The Scioto River winds right through downtown, and the Scioto Greenway Trail hugs its banks, crossing the waterway via an amazing bridge to get into the Hilltop neighborhood. Once in this neighborhood, you can connect to the Camp Chase Trail after a short gap. The Camp Chase Trail goes over I-270 and back into the country.
Seamlessly blending together, the Roberts Pass Trail picks up where Camp Chase ends in Madison County. Beautiful farmland and wetlands take you into the county seat of London, where you meet the Prairie Grass Trail on the other side of town (there’s a short gap through town). This paved, 29-mile route crosses classic Ohio farm country with quaint small towns sprinkled all the way to Xenia in Greene County. Xenia Station is the terminus of this trail and the nexus of three other major regional trails, a truly unique place to visit.
Ohio to Erie Trail travelers will take the Little Miami Scenic Trail south from here. This Hall of Fame rail-trail begins the final leg of the journey, extending more than 50 miles from Xenia to just outside Cincinnati. A few short miles of on-street riding and a quick hop on a portion of the Lunken Airport Bike Path take you to the Ohio River Trail in Cincinnati, which allows you to touch the Ohio River and thus end an epic trail adventure.
This trail is a gateway to the Great American Rail-Trail, a nearly 4,000 mile developing trail that will connect the country from Washington, D.C., to Washington state. Gateway trails represent those iconic trails that make possible the Great American Rail-Trail in each of the states it connects. Learn more at www.greatamericanrailtrail.org
With such an extensive trail network, there are numerous points at which to park and access the Ohio to Erie Trail system. Please refer to the individual TrailLink pages for each trail segment or visit ohiotoerietrail.org for more information.
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