Stavich Bicycle Trail

Ohio, Pennsylvania

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Stavich Bicycle Trail Facts

States: Ohio, Pennsylvania
Counties: Lawrence, Mahoning
Length: 10 miles
Trail end points: W. Washington St./PA 3010 near Leasure Valley Dr. (New Castle, PA) and OH 289/Broad St. and Coit Road (Struthers, OH)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6121513
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Stavich Bicycle Trail Description

Fifty years after the last trolley cars ran on the Penn-Ohio Electric System between Youngstown, Ohio, and New Castle, Pennsylvania, in 1932, travelers on foot, bikes, and skates began using the corridor as the Stavich Bicycle Trail. Opened in 1983 with the help of donations from the local Stavich family and other individuals, the paved trail was an early example for rail-trails and is still somewhat uncommon, as it connects two states.

The trail doesn’t go the entire distance of its streetcar predecessor. It runs from the Youngstown suburb of Struthers to the outskirts of New Castle. Running through the Mahoning River Valley, the route follows a more rolling terrain than you’d expect. The trolley line’s builders were not so concerned as their counterparts in the railroad industry about dragging their cars over elevation changes.

The major donation for the trail came from a trust from the Stavich family, which made a fortune in processing aluminum in the Youngstown area. The trail named for them passes mainly through unshaded country alongside the active short-line railroad and pastureland. The 7 miles of asphalt in Pennsylvania are newer and smoother than the corresponding 3 miles in Ohio. Mileage markers count down to 0 at the Ohio line.

Starting at the trailhead parking on West Washington Street on the west side of New Castle, the trail actually heads east about 0.2 mile to the endpoint. Heading west on the trail, the route takes a downhill slope the first 2 miles to a trailside pond, where you may see some ducks paddling about. From here, you’ll follow alongside the railroad toward Youngstown.

You’ll cross under US 224 at 2.4 miles, and then cross Coffee Run on a bridge at 3.3 miles. The Ohio state line arrives in 6.8 miles past the parking lot.

In 0.6 mile, the trail portion ends at Liberty Street, which you’ll take through Lowellville for 0.4 mile until the paved trail begins again.

The town is known as Little Italy because many Italians started settling here in the late 1800s, and today more than a third of its population claims Italian ancestry. An Italian society hosts a festival in July featuring Italian food, boccie ball tournaments, and a local band. Lowellville also has a long history in the steel industry, first with Ohio Iron & Steel Co. and then with Sharon Steel Corp., until it closed in the early 1960s. Antique cars are on display every Monday evening through the summer across the tracks on Water Street.

Returning to the trail, you’ll pass the high school football stadium and baseball fields as you leave town. The trail ends on Youngstown Lowellville Road at 0.7 mile past the athletic fields.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach parking near the eastern endpoint in New Castle, Pennsylvania, from I-376 E, take Exit 13A. Turn right onto US 224 W, and go 0.8 mile. Turn left onto W. Washington St., go 1.4 miles, and look for parking on the right. The endpoint is 0.2 mile east along the trail.

To reach parking near the eastern endpoint in New Castle, Pennsylvania, from I-376 W, take Exit 17. Turn left onto PA 108 W/Mt. Jackson Road, and go 0.5 mile. Turn right onto Cleland Mill Road/T378, go 1.4 miles, and keep left to continue onto Coverts Road/T378. Go 0.8 mile. Turn right onto Brewster St., and go 0.2 mile. Continue onto Covert Road; go 0.5 mile. Take a slight right onto W. Washington St., and go 0.1 mile. Look for parking on the right. The endpoint is 0.2 mile east along the trail.

To reach parking near the western endpoint in Struthers, Ohio, from I-680 N, take Exit 8. Turn right onto Shirley Road; go 0.2 mile. Turn right onto Poland Ave., go 1.5 miles, and continue onto State St. Go 0.9 mile, and turn left onto S. Bridge St. Go 0.4 mile, and turn right onto Broad St. Go 1.1 miles. Look for parking on the right by a sign that says "Stavich Bike Trail Welcomes You!" From I-680 S, take Exit 8. Continue onto Cooper St. 0.3 mile, and turn left onto E. Indianola Ave. Go 0.3 mile, turn right onto Poland Ave., and follow the directions above.

Stavich Bicycle Trail Reviews

I've ridden this trail several times. This was the first time I've been able to go to end to end without some kind of obstruction or construction. It's a relaxing trail, but if you go on a road bike - ride with caution on the Ohio portion. It will absolutely blow out a tire if you're not paying attention.

I was in the Beaver County area for about a week. I new of some local areas to ride (I had my bike with me in case I had a chance to get out and ride) I rode a couple areas which were nice but not too long.
I found the TrailLink app and discovered so many trails! The Stavich trail was about 20 miles away but looked really fun.
I started on the Pa side and really enjoyed it.
Loved that there was a working railroad right beside the trail! Several trains went by as I was riding. Lots of little wood bridges to ride over. Nice creeks, wildlife and tree cover.
Heading in to the Ohio side did get a little bumpy but reading the reviews ahead of time really helped me prepare for it. Knowing ahead made it a non issue.
The only thing that I would have liked to seen was more portable toilets.
I don’t believe I saw any to be honest.
Anyway, marked that in down as “completed”!

I agree with the differences that have been pointed out between the Pennsylvania and the Ohio side of the trail, but it is nice a great ride. Rumor has it that the town of Lowellville will have control of that section of the trail which may bring about needs improvements. Be sure to stop at Ross’ Market in Lowellville. It is a neat little working general store that makes you feel like you are walking back in time.


This is a great trail for a day ride. There is a swamp area where you will see some wildlife, ride next to a working train line and go through towns on the trail. However with that said, the OH side needs a LOT of work (cracks and deformations in the asphalt). Some areas are just not comfortable to ride on at all and will feel like it's shaking your bike apart! Although doable, the OH side is quite rough in some spots and not that enjoyable.

This was a fairly straight trail from Struthers, Ohio through Lowellville, Ohio and then on to close to New Castle, Pennsylvania. The trail follows pathway of an old electric rail line that traveled between the cities previously mentioned. I don't know if the original line was any longer than the route we traveled and I don't think that there is much chance of this trail being extended in either direction as it parallels a fairly active rail line.

This trail isn't exactly flat, but the length of climbs and the gradualness of the trails grade don't make this trail particularly difficult. I mention it simply because you find yourself comparing the elevation of the bikeway to that of the parallel active rail lines. Sometimes you find yourself looking down on the tracks, sometimes you actually find yourself several feet below them.

I rode this as an out and back on what was probably the first really hot day of the summer. Bring plenty of water, as the only source of water would be in Lowellville, Ohio at a grocery or convenience store. I did not see a source of water along the 10 miles of trail.

nice trail for the most part. Pennsylvania side well maintained; however Ohio side VERY rough, at least at first. very bumpy and actually difficult to ride through. once through that part rest of trail very nice.

I really enjoyed this trail. I live nearby and I did not travel far to ride it. I'd say if you live more than an hour away, it may not be worth the trip, but for people in the area it is a very nice local trail. Mostly flat, some gradual elevation changes of about 100 feet- nothing sudden. Mostly along a railroad track. Passes through western PA countryside, mostly along woods, pass some houses here and there and some nice Amish folks. A small portion does share with a road to vehicle traffic. The PA side is very nice and pretty well maintained. The Ohio portion is very bumpy. Mountain bikes or hybrids will be ok, road bikes may be a little tough on the Ohio side. About 20 miles from end to end round trip.

Myself and a friend decided to try this trail. We started on the Ohio end of trail. We went on 8/22/16. As others have said the first three miles is pretty rough. Not much shade on this trail but we were lucky. Cloudy day. We went the whole trail and only one bench. Some say it is a scenic trail. I guess if you like weeds and small trees on both sides then you might think it was scenic. We didn't. It says it is a 12 mile trip one way. Do yourself a favor. At about the 10 mile mark turn around. The last 2 miles are highway. The bottom line is if I lived in Struthers, Ohio I would ride it once in a while. But to drive over an hour once is enough.

Nice quiet ride. Other reviews are spot on. Especially the 2 mile hill going west. The positive is you get a brief glimpse of the Shenango river at the peak.

We liked this trail, but it is in the sun most of the way, so don't pick a really hot day. We had to drive one hour from our house, but I think it was worth it, one time. The asphalt on the 7 miles of Pennsylvania trail is very pleasant. Then the 3 miles of Ohio trail is broken asphalt, with lots of bumps. Ohio, step up and do your part! The 3 miles in Ohio needs repaved to match the nice, smooth riding on the Pennsylvania side. The asphalt makes it an easy peddle. Most of the way, the foliage is close to the trail, but there are a few open spaces - swamp, fields, backyards of houses. It was quite pleasant, but there were very few views of the river. While there were not alot of flowers, there was plenty of fauna. We saw chipmunks, marmots, groundhogs, bunnies and lots of birds - cardinals, yellow finches, hummingbirds, and many more that I can not identify. They fly right across the trail in front of you because you are so close to their trees. We were there on July 4 weekend, and we did not see too many other people. Why not? This trail could use at least one port-a-potty, maybe on the state line? We brought our lunches with us and ate them in Lowellville. A very pleasant, little town in Ohio.

This a very scenic trail with lots of up & down contours. It is NOT your typical flat converted rail bed trail. At the New Castle end of the trail it is possible to ride two more miles and got to a big developed plaza with a Wal-Mart, and several restaurants.

The biggest problem with this trail is the Ohio side of the trail is VERY bumpy! The PA side of the trail is freshly paved and well maintained. The Ohio side on the other hand REALLY needs paving work. I would like to ride my road race bike along this trail but I don't think I will do that because of how rough the Ohio part of the trail is.

The repairs to the broken culvert are almost done. The sections before and after the broken culvert are open but one very small section of the trail remains closed. There is light at the end of the tunnel, repairs are nearly completed!

Just rode this trail the evening of July 2 during a visit to the New Castle area for the weekend. As a birder, enjoyed all the birds seen along the trail, particularly at the lake towards the PA trail head end. Had to swerve to miss numerous rabbits in Ohio, so other wildlife to be seen as well.

As noted in the previous reviews, there is a short section on the PA end that is closed, between Covert Rd and Fording Road so may need to start up the trail more; don't know the area, so can't suggest aside from using the trail map. We started at the PA trail head and went to where the trail becomes E. Liberty Street in Lowellville; misinterpreted the signage, so rode the closed PA section.

Overall, the trail in PA is very smooth and ride-able, but it is notably worse as soon as you cross into Ohio from PA with buckled pavement making ridges across the trail. The rail roughness and lateness of the day had us return to the PA trail head without going the full length. Have just done the Pine Creek and GAP trails, so a noted in the earlier reviews, there are some short graded stretches not seen on other trails, but it is fun to be able to really coast along for long stretches.

A nice ride for a quiet evening, but not the distance of longer trails for those looking to do mileage without stopping to smell the roses. No great vistas to experience like the above trails, but if in the area, good for an short ride.

I rode the entire trail on July 1, right after some heavy rains. I chose to ignore the trail closed sign, and indeed it was easy to circumvent the short section where the pavement is undercut by recent flooding. There were several other sections with a lot of mud on the pavement - I chose to walk the bike around them. At one of those places a park service employee was already trying to scrape the mud away and let the water drain off.

The trail's grades are steeper than you would expect from a conventional railroad, but perfectly manageable. As others have noted, the pavement surface in the 3-mile Ohio section is notably worse than the 7-mile PA section. And whereas the PA trail head has very satisfactory trail-side parking, in OH the trail ends abruptly at a local road with nothing more than a sign.

I've had this trail in mind for years on my annual westward travels; but having finally done it, it won't be high on my list to do again. It simply didn't turn me on.

Due to flooding, a small section of the trail is closed. Most of it is open and ready for enjoyment! June 30, 2015.

Took advantage of a decent December day. Biked from New Castle to Lowellville and back. 17 miles round trip. Not much traffic on the trail. If you park in New Castle, it's downhill to Lowellville. Then uphill back to the car!

30 August 2014: As a roadie in Western PA this is a great trail. It is not a typical rail trail with minimal grades. There are a few spots where you can actually feel the trail rising up. This is Western PA so that should be expected. I enjoyed powering up and down the trail so much that after going round trip end to end I rested a little and did it again.

The 6 miles in PA are new asphalt. The 4 miles in OH are older asphalt that is rough at times but still better than the crushed limestone trails.

There is very little cover so be aware you will be in full sun.

The entire path is very sunny with few shady areas. The only bench/rest area was at the eastern area. The path is paved, but has a loose gravel patches all over. It is also very bumpy compared to normal paths I ride. The only excitement out of the ride was frequent trains passing by. The last thing to note is that it is hilly.

Hilly for a rails to trails. Great 16 mile round trip workout. Asphalt needs some repairs near the Struthers end. Was not crowded even on a Sunday morning. Paths are wide. Some areas would be dangerous for young children, steep hills on the edge of the path.

Beautiful views of Mahoning River Valley and wetlands. Frogs,turtles and birds abound on this well maintained trail. Clean restrooms. Perfect two hour ride with plenty of sunshine.

My son and I did a pedal & paddle trip on the Stavich Trail and Mahoning River between Lowellville and Brewster Rd. We dropped our kayaks off at the corner of Lowellville Rd. and 1st St. Nice little pull-off on the side of the road and a nicely mowed grass trail leading down to the river. We drove down to Brewster Rd. (W of New Castle, PA), and found a nice parking area right next to the river and under the bridge. We hopped on the bikes and rode about .5 mi NE on Brewster and Covert Rd. to get to the trail. The 1/10 of a mile climb up Covert was pretty steep – about 60’ elevation gain. Rode NE on the Stavich for about 7.5 mi to Lowellville. Like others have said, not your typical flat rail-trail. Had some ups & downs (see my elevation profile). The PA section was newly paved and nice and smooth, but DON’T RIDE OFF THE EDGE!!! The new pavement is a few inches higher than the grass and you could be in trouble when you turn back onto the trail. The OH section was embarrassing for this guy from OH. Lots of bumps and not a very fun ride.

The paddle on the Mahoning was ok. Launch is a little tricky since the shoreline is a straight ledge with tree roots. No great scenery and not much current, but a couple of exciting spots. Just slightly downstream from Lowellville are the remains of an old dam that is almost completely clogged with logjams. The only opening is on the left side and you have to do a 90 degree turn toward the left bank to get through the chute and then a hard right to avoid the shore. The next exciting spot was a rock ledge/rapid just past the SR224 bridge. We enjoyed running it so much we turned around and dragged the boats back upstream and ran it a 2nd time. The takeout at Brewster Road is easy but very dusty. All in all, not a spectacular float, but very convenient with the trail right next to the river and easy access points with parking.

A big thanks to the Trumbull Canoe Trails Club for keeping the dam open and mowing the access areas.

A final word of caution. Back in the heyday of steel mills in the Mahoning Valley, the Mahoning River was one of the most polluted streams in the country. It’s much cleaner today, but you might want to think twice before stirring up any of the muck on the bottom…..MM

Good ride... i bet it's beautiful in the fall. lots of trees but no overhanging branches so bring sunscreen. the pa side is in perfect condition. ohio, like other reviewers said, isn't great. Also, the new castle end isn't really easily accessible to any commerce. Extremely steep hills and no bike lanes on roads.

I live very close to the New Castle end of the Stavich Trail and bike to it as well as on it. The PA side is in excellent condition, the rough bridges are very nicely refinished. The Ohio section is rather bumpy, a little concerned about bending rims on it. I very much enjoy riding the trail in any season! My uncle enjoys walking his dog on the trail year round, I saw him there this past winter with a foot of snow on the trail LOL. The wooded trail with the occasional home along the way is just beautiful! A variety of animals and even a swamp full of turtles are a joy to see. Watch for those train engineers, though, they'll scare the pants off of you with their whistle !

This was a very pleasant trail--the wide open areas might make it very hot in the Summer.
Lots of red-winged backbirds and the beaver pond was interesting to look at.-didn't see any beaver or dams though.
We stopped at a small restaurant in Lowellville, Ohio--"Carchedi's"--for lunch --good homemade food--a place that's been open for 46 years can't be bad! We rode around some of the town and then back to New Castle. Wish the starting point was better marked and there were signs to the trail from the main road.

2 Pittsburghers

I just rode the entire length of the trail today from New Castle to Struthers and I can verify it's open after reconstruction and the PA side (which was really bad) is nearly completely repaved. Just one sinkhole and one jarring crack still remain on the Ohio side near Lowellville, but this trail is much improved from previous reviews and definitely worth a visit or re-visit! (Both of those flaws are in the flatland area too, so they are much easier to avoid than some of the old biggies that are now redone.) The bridges are even re-done, so no more hanging on for dear life when you hit the joints between the trail and the bridge. Smooth as a... well you get the idea.

I wonder if they're completely done though, as there's about a four inch drop off along most of the pavement that would definitely catch your attention if you tried to ride off in the grass for a breather. Also, because of the topology, there are still some dropoffs very close to the trail that I'd feel better about if there was a guard rail. But, the trail is so smooth now, I'm not worried about losing control of my bike like I used to be.

Stavich is back in my regular rotation now. Thank you!

My wife and live fairly close to this trial , so it is a nice local trail for short evening rides. We rode it one evening this month and were fortunate to see a train and a variety of wildlife, including white tail deer.
It has a few bumpy spots but they are marked clearly.The fall color was nice as well.

October 23, 2008
Dan Mihalcak

My wife and live fairly close to this trial , so it is a nice local trail for short evening rides. We rode it one evening this month and were fortunate to see a train and a variety of wildlife, including white tail deer.
It has a few bumpy spots but they are marked clearly.The fall color was nice as well.

The previous reviews here are three years old or older so some cautionary updates are due. By no means do I want to discourage riding on this trail, it is a very rewarding ride. Just please heed my cautions below.

The trail is paved and is about 11 miles long. It goes much further west than the interactive map shows. It actually starts/ends right inside Struthers Oh just west of the Lowville line. There is a short portion of it that you need to ride on East Liberty Street through the village of Lowville. The trail then runs east to Washington Street just outside Newcastle Pa. it parallels a busy rail line and the Mahoning river. There are many scenic views of the lower Mahoning River and Mahoning Valley.

It is said that the trail is part of the old trolley line from Youngstown Oh. to Newcastle Pa. Due to it’s rather steep hills (steep for a set of tracks to run on) and the fact that there is a power line just a couple feet from the edge of the trail along it’s entire length, I think it is more likely the paved over service road for the power line that runs along the same basic path of the current rail line and the old trolley line.

This is a beautiful trail that is suffering from a lack of funds. There are a number of washouts, collapsed edges, and wheel damaging bumps and ruts. Some of these spots are extremely dangerous. Some are big enough to instantly swallow a bike and rider with shear drops from 4 to 10 feet only to land on nearly vertical rock covered drops of up to 30 feet. Local trail fans have done there best to warn cyclist of the dangers. Most bad spots have been marked with spray painted warnings well in advance of the obstacles; some of the worst have not. I will post pictures of some of this soon. There are stop signs only at one road crossing so pay attention to the spray painted “WATCH FOR CARS” warnings. Several homes use portions of the trail right-of-way for access to public roads. This is another thing to be cautious of.

Enjoy the ride and views, just be careful.

This is a nice little ride that parallels a major railroad. During our ride we must have seen 6 or 7 trains pass that were interesting in their own right. Also great bird sighting trail. Good little ride.

This trail is good. If it's a windy day it's tough because the trail travels in a west to east route. The trail also has hills while most trails of this type only have slight grades. The surface has just been resealed and is in decent condition.

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