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The Roberts Pass Trail runs from downtown London, Ohio, to rural Fairfield Township. The trail passes through farmland for 6.5 miles, although dense tree cover shades the route at all times.
Although the trail might not offer varied scenery, it is an integral part of the planned Ohio to Erie Trail, a 320-mile route stretching from the shores of Lake Erie in Cleveland to the Ohio River in Cincinnati. Over 240 miles of the trail are currently complete and open for use. Two other components of the larger trail system also link to the Roberts Pass Trail; in the west, the Prairie Grass Trail continues south to Xenia after a short gap in London, while in the east, the Camp Chase Trail takes trail users to Georgesville and beyond.
Parking for the Roberts Pass Trail can be found on Maple Street at the trail's western end in London and in the east where the trail meets Wilson Road SE.
I rode the Roberts Pass Trail as part of my southbound trip on the Ohio to Erie Trail Route in early October. This 6.5 mile trail runs along the same active/semi-active rail line as the Camp Chase Trail before it. The rail lines seems to be much more active during harvest time than during other parts of the year. I guess all that corn and soybeans have to be transported somewhere from the numerous grain elevators you see as you ride along this trail. This trail is arrow straight, I don't remember making a turn at all after starting on this trail. The trail surface is asphalt and it appeared to have been seal-coated some time before I rode the trail. This is a nice trail but there is not a lot to see along its length other than a swamp/wetlands area near Matco Services on Maple Street.
Note that this trail goes one long block further into London now: It ends at Walnut st instead of Maple. Might not seem like much, but it really helps as riding 665 at the Maple intersection was kind of hazardous!
Flat, level, straight and well paved. But not much to see other than a swamp at the eastern end. If I had a really fast road bike and wanted to fly this would be the place to do it.
This trail is now open to the Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park at Georgesville! The Robert Pass Section is now just over 12 miles long and it is a real gem! Kudos!
Great news, Roberts Pass has now been extended East bound at Wilson road (N 18.104.22.168 W22.214.171.124) for another 1.9 miles. At this time of my posting (11-10-2011) the trail has had the crushed stone laid and will be paved either sometime soon or at least by spring 2012. This extension goes straight through to West Jefferson/Lilly chapel roads (N 126.96.36.199 W188.8.131.52), then crosses the road and continues East Bound all the way, that's right, all the way to the Big Darby Bridge parking area at the intersection of Alkire Road and Gardner Road. Here are the coordinates for the Trail Head parking lot of which you can park at Big Darby, N184.108.40.206 W220.127.116.11. In case you need to ask someone what this area is called by name it is called Battelle-Darby Creek Metro Park area. NOTE: Once you park, get your bike, turn left out of the parking lot, then go straight ahead and cross over the bridge. The bridge will have a new dedicated bike path on the South side of the bridge, stay on that -- once over the bridge the trail will take a sharp left turn on to the trail.
At this point you are approximately 12 miles or so form London, Ohio. Once the trail ends at the edge of town in London, do not be discouraged -- once you reach London, turn left and ride about 600 feet or so to st.rt. 665, then turn right. Stay straight on 665 all the way until you dead end on st. rt. 38 (Washington London Road). Then turn right and ride approximately 2/10 of a mile and you will see the trail continue (Prairie Grass Trail N18.104.22.168 W22.214.171.124) on your left. This is the continuance of the Ohio/Erie trail. You may like this comment, in that in about 500 down this trail, if you need to use the cleanest bathroom in town, you will find it just West of the picnic tables you will soon see (it's located at N126.96.36.199 W188.8.131.52). You're welcome! It's located at a senior center, and boy do those seniors know how to keep a clean potty.
Down the path 10-miles will be a town called south Charles (I believe). Remember when you get into South Charles the trail will seem to fizzle out, it does not really, you just need to remember the rail used to go straight, so just curve your way through the outskirts of this little town and keep in mind that the trail will again pick back up on your left very very soon.
What's nice is, this trail will take you all the way to Xenia Station through and to Cincinnati's river front!
If you need further assistance you may write me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to assist if I can. In your subject line Please Put Ohio Erie trail so it does not go into my trash folder.
I am an avid rider of all of Ohio's rails-to-trails and would consider the Roberts Pass trail to be a very good ride. It is only 6.7 miles but, unlike the Prairie Grass trail to the west, the Roberts Pass trail is well shaded. The paved surface is smooth and I counted only one irregularity along the entire length so road bikes will enjoy it. This trail is essentially an extension of the Prairie Grass Trail that runs from Xenia through Cedarville and South Charleston to London. The Roberts Pass trail then runs from the eastern edge of London east to Lilly Chapel. Parking at the western terminus in London is in the parking lot behind Gee's China Lantern restaurant, located at 39-53.101N and 083-26.192W. I've spoken with the London Police and they approved it but advised not to park near the restaurant where patrons would park. Parking at the eastern terminus is in a paved, dedicated lot on Wilson Road at 39-53.394N and 083-18.333W where there are crude facilities. Riding from east to west starting at this lot riders will cross two well-marked roads, a wetlands, and Deer Creek. The lowest point of this trail is where Deer Creek flows from the north then south into Madison Lake, although you can't see the lake from the trail. Sometimes the trail is just behind property lines, but for most of the trail, there is nothing but farmland for a mile on either side of the trail. Once in London you can double back or follow the green Bicycle Trail signs for 1.4 miles through the southern edge of London to reach the eastern terminus of the Prairie Grass trail located at 39-52.784N and 083-27.410W. About 100 yds west of this point is ample parking behind the Senior Center.
Named in 2005 in honor of trail advocates Wayne Roberts and Gene Pass, the trail is not particularly busy even though it's a nice shady ride. From the eastern parking lot of the Roberts Pass trail it's a 13.4-mile round trip to the western end and back or it's a 36.2-mile round trip west to South Charleston and back.
Later this summer, the Battelle-Darby Metro Park intends to connect their Camp Chase trail one more mile to the Roberts Pass trail making it possible then to park in the Metro Park (where rangers guard your car) and ride west through Lilly Chapel, London, South Charleston, and Cedarville to Xenia and then from Xenia to Cincinnati, Dayton, and Springfield. The Metro Park already has the funding and has built the Camp Chase trail 5.5 miles west. Only one more mile to go to reach the Roberts Pass trail.
I'll upload some pictures for you.
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