Not only does the Akron Bike-Hike Trail connect with the Emerald Necklace and a portion of the Portage Trail, but its route also passes near the Ohio & Erie Towpath and Freedom Trails. [Scroll past 'Trail Facts' to continue reading.]
Location: Summit County, OH
Length: 32.3 miles / asphalt (includes 5.7mi road routes)
Facilities: Several locations along the trail.
Parking: A centrally located lot near Hudson, OH. (See trail map for more options.)
Worth Noting: The sections that follow road routes are in the southern loop portion of the trail.
Elevation: North to southeast
More Trails in this Region: NE OH Trails List
The bikeway terrain ranges from relatively flat to gently rolling with turns. Sections run through rural areas as well as residential neighborhoods. Variety is the key word here. Just as you're settling in and getting a feel for the trail it soon changes... then later it changes again.
This portion of the Bike & Hike has a distinctly different personality from the rest of the trail. Some of it follows a utility right-of-way which leads the path directly between the legs of electric towers. At road crossings the trail ramps up slightly to reach street level. Several of these crossings do not provide a good line of sight for cyclists of oncoming traffic, so use caution here.
Heading south on the bikeway from Boston Mills Road the trail is generally flat and smooth. Signs at road crossings provide you with street names and the distance to the next crossroad further down the trail. If you think of the bikeway as a main transportation route and the crossroads as exits, you can see how this provides great information for trail users, particularly if you're inclined to explore the surrounding area.
A short section with rock outcroppings provides interesting scenery on your way south.
Further along the trail takes on a more rolling, turning course and does a good job of avoiding too many sharp turns.
The southern part of the bikeway splits into 2 trails just after you ride over the Rt. 8 overpass. A sign marks the split. Continue straight ahead and you're on your way to Silver Springs Park in Stow. Turn right and you're traveling to Silver Lake and Munroe Falls. Regardless of which route you choose, the entire southern end of the trail is tied together to form one large loop. This is accomplished using bike route signs to direct you along streets between trail sections.
If you ride southeast toward Stow, you'll turn south on Young Rd to connect with the Stow Bikeway to continue on the Bike-Hike. If you miss this turn, or decide to continue riding straight at Young Rd, you'll be riding into Portage County on a portion of the Portage County Trail.
The southern most portion of the Bike-Hike Trail makes its way along the Cuyahoga River. Here you'll find access points to the river as well as restroom and water facilities right along the trail.
A trail sign marks the 1.5 mile Kelsey Bikeway that connects to the trail at Munroe Falls. This spur takes you past Kennedy Park and ends at Galt Park.
You'll rack up mileage quickly on this 32.3 mile trail. Keep in mind that doubling back to your car will bump up your totals. We totaled 48.5 miles which included a jaunt over to ride a short segment of the nearby towpath trail.
If you ride the entire southern loop, 5.7 of those miles will be on connecting road routes as well.