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The Thomas W. Hopper Legacy Trail follows a former rail bed from the Blackhawk golf course to the boundary between Galena and Sunbury, where it connects with the Sandel Legacy Trail.
Of historical significance is the nearby Galena Shale and Brick Factory, which dates back to the 1890s and which is why the trail was initially named the Galena Brick Trail. Starting in Galena, the trail travels mostly through woods before coming to an end near Big Walnut Elementary School. Just before passing Miller Park with its small playground, the trail crosses over Little Walnut Creek via a pedestrian bridge.
The trail is just one small piece of the developing Ohio to Erie Trail network, which will span 326 miles across Ohio from Lake Erie in Cleveland to the Ohio River in Cincinnati.
Trail access is at Galena's Miller Park, which offers a parking lot off N. Walnut Street. In Sunbury, trail access is on Fescue Road and near Jackson Street, where parking is also available.
I rode this trail on March 9, 2021 after having parked at the Depot in Sunbury. The Sandel Legacy Trail started just NE of the depot, went behind the building and seamlessly connected to the Thomas W. Hopper Legacy Trail, also or previously called the Galena Brick Trail. Only because of the signs alongside the trail, did I know that I was on a different trail. Signs identify various trees are along the trail. There are also many extensions going into the subdivisions being built. It also went by the Galena Shale and Brick Factory. Once I got to the end of the trail where it met the road in Galena, I turned around, pedaled past the Depot and on some of the streets in Sunbury until I got on the Meredith State Road Trail. Then I turned around and went back to my car. The total distance on the three trails was 6 miles.
I recently rode this trail as part of a southbound trek on the Ohio to Erie Trail (OTET) route. This rail trail located in Galena, OH was 0.8 miles long but a new extension northeastward to the Sandel Legacy Trail has added another 2 miles. In addition, there is a trail loop in Galena's Miller Park, which I feel doesn't add much to the the OTET route, so if you are riding the across Ohio, skip this loop.
The surface of the trail is asphalt and is generally in good shape. The worst wear in the trail surface occurs in the trail loop in Miller Park. The part of the trail which is really part of the OTET Route is in good shape. To connect to the next southbound OTET trail in the cross-state route, the Hoover Scenic Trail, there is about a half mile of road riding. However, this on-road ride is pretty protected. You have sharrow markings on Dustin Road. When you reach W. Columbus St./S. Old 3C Rd. you get bike lanes to travel in, and when you turn left into Wiese Road you are riding an old road which basically only serves as a driveway for one house. Once you pass this house you are on the Hoover Scenic Trail.
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