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The Western Reserve Greenway travels 43 miles through a scenic, mostly rural area, cutting a north–south course from Ashtabula to Warren in northeastern Ohio. The route follows much of the Pennsylvania Railroad’s former branch line, extending to the shores of Lake Erie at Ashtabula. This rail line once transported iron ore to the steel mills of eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. Today, the trail is the longest section of the planned 110-mile Great Ohio Lake-to-River Greenway that will begin on the shores of Lake Erie and travel south to the banks of the Ohio River in East Liverpool.
The Western Reserve Greenway begins only a few miles from Lake Erie, and a planned extension will bring it right to the shoreline. For now, you can start at Herzog Rotary Park (off Woodman Avenue), where you will find the first of 12 interpretive signs detailing the importance of northeast Ohio in the Underground Railroad. The greenway is used year-round, but note that snowmobiling is allowed only in Ashtabula County (the northern half of the trail).
Heading south, cross the historical King Bridge, a steel trestle built in 1897 that now spans Clay Street. Ahead is Austinburg, with a trailhead and plenty of options for food and drink. South of town, reenter the trail’s rural surroundings and enjoy the company of deer, beavers, and a multitude of birds, including wild turkeys and waterfowl.
As you pass through the small town of Rock Creek, you will have a short section of on-road riding. Upon leaving the community, you’ll cross a trestle spanning the eponymous watercourse. The bridge features bump-outs that give a bird’s-eye view of the creek and scenery below. When the path picks up again, you sail beneath sheltering trees and past the tiny village of Orwell, with a trailhead located below a water tower off Oak Street.
A stone arch bridge over Baughman Creek in Trumbull County is a true highlight of the Western Reserve Greenway.
Back on the trail, you will come to the Sunside trailhead at OH 305, where you’ll find a large parking lot and restrooms. The rail-trail continues beyond here to North River Road in Warren, where you can connect to the Garrett Wonders Bike Trail heading south into town.
At the northern end of the trail, there are two places to park in Ashtabula. The first is at H. L. Morrison Station on W. Ave. Take I-90 to Exit 223, and head north on OH 45. In 0.2 mile turn right onto Austinburg Road, and go 5.3 miles. Turn right onto OH 84, and go 0.3 mile. Turn left onto West Ave. The station is 0.5 mile ahead on the right. The other place to park is at the Herzog Rotary Park trailhead, located on the west side of Woodman Ave. To reach it, follow the directions above to OH 84. Turn left onto OH 84, and in 0.1 mile turn right onto Woodman Ave. The trailhead will be on the left in 0.2 mile.
The trailhead in Austinburg can be reached from I-90 by taking Exit 223 for OH 45. Head south on OH 45, and go 1 mile. Turn left onto OH 307 and go 0.1 mile. The trailhead is on the left at the edge of town. A large parking area and trailhead are available at Jefferson-Eagleville Road along the eastern side of the trail. To reach that trailhead, take I-90 to Exit 223, and head south on OH 45. In 5.1 miles, turn left onto Jefferson-Eagleville Road. The lot is on the right in 0.4 mile.
To reach the Sunside trailhead in Warren, take I-80 to Exit 209. Head east on OH 5, and go 7.6 miles. Take the exit for OH 45, and turn left. Go 2.4 miles, and turn right onto OH 305. Go 0.8 mile, and look for the trailhead on your left.
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