Kokosing Gap Trail

Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail

The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail or simply the "towpath," as it is more commonly known, is one of Ohio's longest and most scenic bikeways. When finished, it will extend about 100-miles from Lake Erie at Cleveland, to New Philadelphia.

Along with the Little Miami Scenic Trail, the towpath is one of the most popular bikeways in Ohio. Both long-distance trails are part of the larger Ohio-to-Erie Trail, a cross-state bikeway. [Scroll past 'Latest Update' to continue reading.]

Bikeway Bridge
Towpath Bridge in Independence, OH

Latest Update: 2/12/20 - Levy Project to Impact Towpath Next Year

Perry Twp., OH - "The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants to reinforce one of its levees and could close a trail section..."

...Separately, Fonte told the board that his staff is updating the park district’s maps so they only show existing trails and trails under construction, not proposed trails that go through private property..." more

2/12/20 - Barberton Trail Section Closure Feb. 17

Barberton, OH - The Towpath Trail will be closed from Fairview Avenue south to Robinson Avenue, a distance of 1.2 miles, for approximately 90 days while Ohio Department of Natural Resources works to plug an oil/gas well adjacent to the canal corridor.

Towpath Closure Feb 17
Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Closure in Summit County in NE Ohio

2/10/20 - Towpath Times E-News

NE OH - Read the latest edition.

2/6/20 - Towpath Section Closure Feb. 6-21

Brecksville, OH

1/18/20 - Towpath Section Closing in Summit County

Akron, OH - Beginning January 22 and continuing through January 24, a ~2.2-mile section of the Towpath Trail will be closed for tree removal from Botzum Trailhead to Weathervane Lane. This segment lies between Akron and Peninsula, Ohio.

This work is part of the Akron Waterways Renewed project to replace the outfall bridge at the City of Akron water treatment plant.

1/14/20 - Towpath Times E-News

NE OH - Read the latest edition.

12/28/19 - Filling the Gaps in the Towpath

Kent, OH - "...The coalition was awarded $500,000 in 2019 for a key quarter-mile stretch connecting Stark and Tuscarawas counties. That segment, which will be built in 2020... The organization also plans to work on a segment of the trail between Dover and Zoar..." more

Canalway Partners Names New Director

Cleveland, OH - "The nonprofit Canalway Partners, which spearheaded the $57 million project to bring the 101-mile Towpath Trail into Cleveland, is changing directors and refining its focus as the trail nears completion in the city in 2021." more

11/23/19 - Towpath Section Closing for Hunting Season

Stark County, OH - "Between Craig Pittman Trailhead and the Stark County line will be closed due to hunting on property near the trail. Youth deer gun: Nov. 23-24, 2019 Deer gun: Dec. 2-8, 2019; Dec. 21-22, 2019 Deer muzzleloader: Jan. 4-7, 2020."

11/18/19 - Towpath Stage 4 Progress

Cleveland, OH

11/5/19 -Trail Loop Opens Near Bolivar

Lawrence Twp., OH - "...The new Wilkshire Trail opened last week south of Bolivar at the Lawrence Township River Park..." more

10/28/19 - Towpath Section Closure Nov. 4-7

Massillon, OH - Sewer work along the trail will close the area between Walnut Ave. and Warmington Rd in Stark County.

10/17/19 - $6M for Bridge to Connect Lakefront to Towpath

Cleveland, OH - "In a milestone move, Cleveland Metroparks commissioners voted today to approve a $6 million project to build a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge connecting Ohio City to Wendy Park at Whiskey Island within two years." more

10/13/19 - Towpath Closing at Manchester Rd Bridge Oct. 14-18

Akron, OH - "...Beginning October 14 and continuing through October 18, the Towpath Trail will be closed under the Manchester Rd. bridge as part of this project." more

10/11/19 - Bad Behavior Comments Abound in Towpath Trail Courtesy Post


10/2/19 - CVNP E-Bike & Towpath Rules Continue to Evolve

CVNP, OH - Despite a speed limit of 15 miles per hour on the towpath within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, a recent comment period revealed that concerns about speed on the trail remain high.. more

10/1/19 - Towpath Trail Resurfacing Oct. 14

Summit County, OH - Resurfacing of the towpath between the Clinton and Wolf Creek trailheads will commence Oct. 14 and last about 5 weeks. The trail will be open during this project. Visitors are advised to use caution.

Also, the Center Road parking lot will be closed Oct. 11.

See the work zone shown on the map below.

Towpath Trail

9/25/19 - New Philly Trail Plan & Towpath Update

New Philadelphia, OH - "...Recently, the county was awarded an ODOT grant for construction of the Towpath Trail from Zoarville to state Route 416. A grant has also been received a grant to develop the trail outside of Bolivar along state Route 212. In addition, Zeisberger Trail and Parks has received funding to develop bicycle lanes to connect New Philadelphia with the village of Tuscarawas..." more

9/18/19 - CVNP Seeks E-Bike Comments

CVNP, OH - "Cuyahoga Valley National Park is seeking public comments on its change in the regulation of e-bikes in national parks." more

9/9/19 - Towpath Connector Opens Sept. 14

Independence, OH - A new towpath connector opened in Independence today, September 14.

9/9/19 - Trail Section Closure Sept. 9-12

CVNP, OH - The towpath will be closed between Botzum and Ira Road today thru Thursday, Sept. 12. The section is being resurfaced.

9/8/19 - Towpath Detours are Scary

Trail user reports that detours are no fun.

9/3/19 - National Parks Service Opens Trails to E-Bikes

Cleveland, OH - "...Cuyahoga Valley spokesperson Pamela Barnes said her park was picked for the showcase because its Towpath Trail draws many bicyclists. Also, the Cuyahoga Valley has already put the new policy into effect, ahead of some other parks, though hers and others are still working out some details." more

9/3/19 - Towpath Section Closing Sept. 27

Akron, OH - The trail will be closed for the Akron Marathon, which will take place in the area of the Wilbeth Road Trailhead and will utilize the Towpath Trail heading north through Summit Lake and into downtown Akron.

The Wilbeth parking lot will be closed beginning at 8 p.m. on September 27 and will re-open after the race on September 28.

8/28/19 - 2016 Towpath Guide

NE OH - Though this guide is not the most current, it is very informative in terms of the trail connections yet to be made in the Cleveland area, as well as other towpath details of which you may not be aware. more

8/16/19 - Bike Lanes will Help Connect Trail Sections

Cleveland, OH - "...Head down to the Flats and check out the bike lanes on Columbus/Center in the Flats. They are part of a future connection of the Cleveland Foundation Centennial Trail Lake Link and Scranton Flats - Towpath Trail." See photos.

8/12/19 - Towpath Repairs Coming to CVNP

CVNP, OH - Repairs to the towpath trail will be ongoing over the next few weeks from Boston Store to Red Lock in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Earlier this year the towpath was inundated with rain and flooding which caused washouts and rutting along the trail.

The CVNP says the trail will remain open and to expect trucks and construction equipment on the towpath. Trail users are being asked to walk their bikes through these work areas and use extreme caution.

8/2/19 - Harvard to Jennings Road Towpath Construction

Cleveland, OH - Some photos of the Cleveland Towpath construction which is currently underway.

7/5/19 - New Trailside Display in Tremont

Cleveland, OH - "...Check out a new unique interpretive space welcoming users of the Towpath Trail at a promontory above Literary Avenue in Tremont..." more

7/5/19 - Summit County Towpath Updates

Summit County, OH - "Thru November 2019: The Towpath Trail is closed for work associated with an Army Corps of Engineers invasive species project on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. between Manchester Rd. and Fairview Ave... The Towpath in this section will be open on weekends and weekdays after 5 p.m.

Thru November 2019: "The Towpath Trail will be closed between Manchester Rd. and State Route 224 for work associated with an Army Corps of Engineers invasive species project and a Cargill utility line replacement during the following timeframes:

  • 7/9 to 7/12 - Full closure
  • 7/15 to 7/26 - Full closure
  • 7/26 to 11/30 - Weekday closure in effect from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The closures above are subject to change due to weather.

June thru July 31: There will be periodic trail closures between June 17 and July 31 while First Energy replaces a power pole approximately 2,000 feet south of the Botzum Trailhead... The trail will be open on weekends, holidays.."

6/29/19 - Trail Reopens at Tinkers Creek

CVNP, OH - "The Towpath Trail is now open at Tinkers Creek following a closure due to a breach under the trail." more

Also, towpath flooding alerts have been removed for Summit County Metro Parks Trail Alerts page.

6/28/19 - Stark County Towpath Open

Stark County, OH - From starkparks.com, "...Water has receded and all trees have been cleared from the trail after severe flooding. The trail is open, but use caution as crews continue to work on unpredictable surface areas."

6/25/19 - Tinkers Creek Towpath Closure Update

CVNP, OH - From nps.gov, "Due to a breach under the Towpath Trail at Tinkers Creek (approximately 0.6 miles south of Canal Exploration Center and 1.25 miles north of Frazee House), the trail is closed at the footbridge over Tinkers Creek. Collapse hazard. No detour."

6/24/19 - Woman Hit, Robbed on Towpath Trail

Akron, OH - "...Around 10 p.m., a 32-year-old woman from Cuyahoga Falls reported she had been robbed on the towpath trail under West Market Street, police said." more

6/24/19 - Towpath Closed at Tinkers Creek

CVNP, OH - "Please note: There is a breach in the Towpath Trail near Tinkers Creek. The Towpath is closed at this point..." more

6/24/19 - Final Stage of Cleveland Towpath Construction to Begin

Cleveland, OH - "...The $8.95 million project, being completed by Independence Excavating, picks up where Stage 3 leaves off at Literary Avenue in Tremont..." more

6/21/19 - CVNP Flooding Updates

CVNP:, OH - "...Last night’s flooding means the Towpath will be impassable South of Tinkers creek, South of Station road and at Lock 29 access until the water recedes..." more

6/17/19 - Flooding Updates

Stark County, OH - "Towpath Trail: The following areas are under water: Lake Lucerne, north of Canal Fulton, Lock 4 Trailhead, Butterbridge Rd. area, Crystal Springs Trailhead, Lake Ave. in Massillon, north of Warmington Rd. and under Rt. 30 in Massillon, south of Wooster St. and near Craig Pittman Trailhead in Navarre..."

CVNP, OH - "All sections of the Towpath Trail are open within the national park. Watch out for road closures..." more

Summit County Parks reports these towpath closure locations.

  • From the Big Bend Trailhead to Weathervane Lane
  • From Snyder Avenue and south to the Stark County line

6/16/19 - Flooding Along the Towpath

CVNP, OH - "...The mighty Cuyahoga is cresting at around 14 1/2 feet at the gauge in Independence. This means that you can expect water across the Towpath at Tinker's Creek, Chippewa Creek, and other locations. Lock 29 access is also under water..." more

Summit County Parks reports these towpath closure locations.

  • From the Big Bend Trailhead to Weathervane Lane
  • From Snyder Avenue and south to the Stark County line

5/31/19 - Periodic Closures in Akron

Akron, OH - From summitmetroparks.org, "There will be periodic trail closures between June 17 and July 31 while First Energy replaces a power pole approximately 2,000 feet south of the Botzum Trailhead. The Botzum Trailhead will be open and is not affected by the closures. The trail will be open on weekends, holidays and for any Special Use Permits already issued by Summit Metro Parks."

5/29/19 - June Trail Closures

OH - "6/3/2019: The Towpath Trail is closed for work associated with an Army Corps of Engineers invasive species project on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. between Manchester Rd. and Fairview Ave... The Towpath in this section will be open on weekends and weekdays after 4 p.m."

Early June 2019: The Towpath Trail will be closed weekdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. between Manchester Rd. and State Route 224 for work associated with an Army Corps of Engineers invasive species project. Please respect the closure signage, as this is an active construction site. The closure is expected to continue through November 2019..." more

5/3/19 - Boston Mill Boarding Station Closed

CVNP, OH - "IMPORTANT: There will be no service to or from Boston Mill Station for the 2019 season due to the construction of the CVNP visitor center. This only affects Bike/hike Aboard passengers. Bikers can get on/off at Brecksville Station (North of Boston Mill) or at Peninsula (South of Boston Mill)..." more

4/30/19 - Funds Sought for Southern Towpath Section

New Philadelphia, OH - "Commissioners have authorized an application for federal Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) funds for construction of an additional 4 miles of the Ohio & Erie Towpath Traill from state Route 800 to state Route 416." more

4/19/19 - Final Stage of Cleveland Towpath Construction to Start

Cleveland, OH - "Construction on the fourth and final stage of the Towpath Trail in Cleveland is expected to begin in June and wrap up by the end of 2020." more...

4/17/19 - Towpath Now Connects with Merwin's Wharf>

Cleveland, OH - "The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail is gaining more ground. Saturday's Opening Day for Trails 2019 event allowed hundreds of cyclists the opportunity to enjoy the Towpath Trail's newly completed Stage 3 and preview the future Stage 4. The route also included the Cleveland Foundation Centennial Lake Link Trail from the Scranton Flats to the Columbus Road Bridge." more...

4/12/19 - $20K Grant for Towpath Construction

New Philadelphia, OH - "City officials have taken the first steps toward bringing the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail to New Philadelphia, which is slated to be the southern terminus of the 101-mile-long hiking and biking trail." more...

4/10/19 - Towpath Trail Surface Repairs

Stark County, OH - From starkparks.com, "... Trail crews are working to smooth out the trail surface (beginning north and working south) throughout April. We encourage use of the Olde Muskingum Trail [in Canal Fulton] parallel to the Towpath Trail from Cherry St. to 40 Corners..."

4/8/19 - Lights Along the Towpath Trail

Akron, OH - "Urban lights on the Ohio to Erie Trail in Akron. The City of Akron has been adding light shows to the Towpath Trail in Downtown Akron..." more

4/6/19 - Towpath Posts Speed Limit / Allows E-Bikes

Stark County, OH - From starkparks.com, "Class 1 e-bikes are permitted to ride on multi-purpose trails (crushed limestone or asphalt) as part of a pilot program throughout 2019. The speed limit for all users 15 mph with signs posted along the trail."

4/2/19 - Flooding Reports

Stark County, OH - From starkparks.com, "Flooding along the trail is present in the low lying areas including north of Lake Lucerne near Canal Fulton, under Lake Ave. in Massillon, and Wooster St. in Navarre. Crystal Springs, Lock 4, and St. Helena Heritage Park parking areas are also closed at this time"

3/22/19 - Bridge Work Complete, Section Reopens

CVNP, OH - "The Towpath Trail between Deep Lock Quarry Metro Park and Hunt House is now open!

"The trail section had been closed for installation of a steel pedestrian bridge..." more

3/18/19 - Section Closure March 19

Canal Fulton in Summit County, OH - OH - From starkparks.com, "The trail will be closed between Butterbridge Ave. and Lock 4 Trailhead [a 1.3-mile segment] on March 19, 2019 for tree work along the trail."

3/17/19 - Section Closure in Akron March 19

Summit County, OH - From summitmetroparks.org, "The Towpath Trail will be closed between Manchester Rd. and State Route 224 for utility work associated with an Army Corps of Engineers invasive species project.

"The closure begins Tuesday, March 19 and continues through early June 2019."

2/22/19 - Another Towpath Section Closure Feb. 25

Barberton, OH - From summitmetroparks.org, "The Towpath Trail from Manchester Road to Snyder Avenue will be closed weekdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. for up to three weeks while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers begins work to prepare for the installation of Asian carp barriers."

2/16/19 - Towpath Section Closure

Boston Twp., OH - From the CVNP, "The Towpath Trail between .5 mile north of Boston Mills Road and 1 mile south of Highland Rd is closed. The closure is expected to last 21 days for a culvert replacement. There are no detours." more...

2/8/19 - Flooding in Stark & Summit Counties

Stark County, OH - From starkparks.com, "Water from the Tuscarawas River is flooding the trail near Lake Lucerne Trailhead, Lake Ave. Trailhead, and Craig Pittman Trailhead."

Summit County, OH - From summitmetroparks.org, "The Towpath Trail's Clinton Trailhead parking lot and the trail south to the county line is closed due to flooding."

1/29/19 - Trailhead Parking Closed

Stark County, OH - From Starkparks.com, "Lake Lucerne, Lock 4 (lower parking lot), and Crystal Springs are closed due to thick ice in the parking areas after recent flooding."

1/24/19 - Flooding in Stark County

Stark County, OH - "Numerous areas are under water after recent rains and snow and ice melting. Water is still rising in parking areas and in low areas." more...

1/2/19 - Flooding & Hunting Closures

Stark County, OH - From Stark Parks, "Flooding over the trail has closed several spots. Expect varying trail conditions at Lake Ave. in Massillon, north of Lake Lucerne near the Summit County line, and Wooster St. near Navarre.

"The Towpath Trail between Riverland Ave. and the Tuscarawas County Line (Rt. 212) will be closed due to hunting on nearby private property from Jan. 5 to 8, 2019."

12/23/18 - Gov't Shutdown in the CVNP

CVNP, OH - There's no word yet on exactly how the government shutdown may affect the 20-miles or so of towpath trail and Ohio-to-Erie Trail through Ohio's national park in the Cuyahoga Valley.

Based on shutdowns during the previous administration, here's what you can expect: The trail should be open, but some (or all) of the facilities may be closed, as staff may not be available to maintain them.

Here's the official word from the National Parks website, "...Some national parks may remain accessible to visitors; however, access may change without notice. Some parks are closed completely. Some visitor services may be available when provided by concessioners or other entities. For most parks, there will be no National Park Service-provided visitor services, such as restrooms, trash collection, facilities, or road maintenance..." more

12/18/18 - Cleveland Towpath Construction

Cleveland, OH - View photos of the ongoing trail construction, along with a map that depicts construction progress, along with projected completion timelines.

12/15/18 - Towpath Section Closes Until Spring

Peninsula, OH - From NPS.gov, "The Towpath is closed between Deep Lock Quarry and Hunt Farm [in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park] for bridge replacement through early spring. There are no detours available."

North >>>>

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

12/13/18 - Towpath Bridge Installed

Cleveland OH - Thursday morning crews installed a 211 foot, 211,000 pound galvanized steel truss bridge spanning the Cuyahoga River that passes under Harvard Rd.

"The bridge, built by Big R Bridge in Greeley, CO, is the first tangible evidence of the progress of the stage 1 Towpath Trail extension project that will connect the current northernmost terminus of the Harvard Rd. Towpath Trailhead to the existing Steelyard Commons trail (stage 2)..." more...

11/16/18 - Section Closure for Hunting Season

Bethlehem Twp., OH - From Stark County Parks, "The [3.5-mile] Towpath Trail [section] between Riverland Ave. and the Tuscarawas County Line (Rt. 212) will be closed due to hunting on nearby private property on the following dates: Nov. 17 and 18, Nov. 22 to Dec. 2., Dec. 15 and 16, and Jan. 5 to 8, 2019."

11/8/18 - Towpath Bridge Deck Pour

Cleveland, OH - "Another step towards the completion of stage 3 of the Towpath Trail extension project was recently made as the concrete deck of the truss bridge spanning W. 7th St. was poured! Asphalt and concrete work around the Towpath Mounds is also being completed before cold weather arrives." more...

11/7/18 - $380K Grant to Close Towpath Gap

Bolivar, OH - "...The section of trail will connect the McDonnell Trailhead on the border of Stark and Tuscarawas counties with existing trail heading toward Bolivar. The total cost of the project is expected to be $507,500." more...

11/2/18 - Towpath Flooding Likely Widespread

Akron, OH - From Summit Parks, "Due to flooding, the Towpath Trail is closed from the Stark County line to just south of the Clinton trail head, and a half-mile from the Center Road parking lot."

Stark County Parks advisory: "Consistent rainfall will likely close the trail in low areas due to rising water in the Tuscarawas River by 11/2/2018. Water over the trail has closed the underpass at Lake Ave. in Massillon."

10/26/18 - Construction to Close Trailhead Nov. 5

Akron, OH - From Summit Parks, "The Memorial Parkway Trailhead will be closed beginning November 5 through approximately December 31, 20019 due to a City of Akron CSO construction project. The restrooms will be open. A small portion of the Towpath Trail near the trailhead will be detoured around the construction area. Trail users may park at the Dog Park parking lot."

10/23/18 - Section Closed Oct. 23

CVNP, OH - "...The trail closure between Frazee House and Station Road Trailhead is necessary for public safety while workers repair a bridge that crosses the Sagamore waste weir." more...

10/22/18 - Towpath Stage 3 Construction Progress

Cleveland, OH - "On Friday we stopped by stage three of the Towpath Trail extension and were pleased to see asphalt paving has been laid on most of the trail. The 1.9 mi segment starts north of Steelyard Commons and traces the eastern border of Tremont, ending at the intersection of Literary and University Rds." more...

10/3/18 - Section Closing for Marathon

Brecksville, OH - "The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail in Cuyahoga Valley National Park will be closed to the public starting at dusk on Saturday, Oct. 6 through 2 p.m. on Oct. 7 for the annual Towpath Marathon." more...

9/22/18 - Connecting Kenmore Blvd to the Towpath

Akron, OH - "...[Kenmore Neighborhood] alliance received $20,000 grants from the Knight Foundation and the Akron Civic Commons project to link Kenmore Boulevard to the Towpath Trail and to improve safety for bikers of the trail." more...

9/19/18 - Massillon Section Closing

Massillon, OH - From starkparks.com, "The Towpath Trail will be closed between Cherry St. and Lincoln Way on Saturday, Sept. 22 from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. for sewer work."

9/11/18 - Flooding in Stark County

Stark County, OH - "Several inches of rain over the weekend have flooded many sections of the trail. The trail is closed until further notice."

9/7/18 - Temporary Towpath Closures Coming Sept. 10

Summit County, OH - From Summit Metro Parks, "Beginning Monday, 9/10 and continuing for approximately one week, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources will be cutting weeds in the canal along the Towpath Trail. This work will include some temporary trail closures on the section of the trail just south of the Manchester Road Trailhead."

9/1/18 - Trail Clearing Near Dover

Dover, OH - "Last Saturday, August 25, Tuscarawas County volunteers cleared land in Zoarville for future trail development. The trail runs south of the current Towpath Trail terminus in Zoar and along the Tuscarawas River toward Dover..." more

8/22/18 - Temporary Bridge Now Open

Peninsula, OH - Construction work along the towpath in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, just south of Deep Lock Quarry, has resulted in a temporary bridge installation on the trail. This will allow trail users access to this section while plans continue for a more permanent structure.

Please walk your bike across the bridge and allow for one-way traffic.

8/18/18 - New Towpath Bridge in Tremont

Cleveland, OH - "The 101-mile Towpath Trail notched another milestone Friday with the installation of a 130-foot-long, 14-foot-wide bike and pedestrian bridge over West 7th Street, north of Quigley Road in the Tremont neighborhood." more...

7/18/18 - Temporary Closures in Barberton

Barberton, OH - From Summit Metro Parks, "The Ohio Department of Natural Resources will be completing tree work between Manchester Road and Snyder Avenue in Barberton. The work is expected to continue until approximately 7/20/18, and temporary trail closures will be in effect during this time."

7/4/18 - Towpath Section Closure July 9

Akron, OH - From Summit Metro Parks, "The City of Akron will be repairing a retaining wall along the Towpath Trail near Beech Street. Construction will begin on July 9, and the trail will be closed for 10 to 12 weeks between Beech and North streets. The City of Akron will post detour signs."

5/31/18 - Metroparks Rolls Out Towpath Mini-Bus

Cleveland, OH - "...Cleveland Metroparks is introducing an electric [mini-bus] that will roll around and give Towpath Trail tours." more...

5/31/18 - Hemlock Creek Trail to Connect to Towpath

Independence, OH - "...The Hemlock Creek Trail is the latest addition to a growing network of trails that users can travel from Tuscarawas County all the way up to Cleveland’s lakefront..." more

4/20/18 - Dover Seeks Trails Grant

Dover, OH - From timesreporter.com, "...Eventually, the trail along the riverfront will connect into the Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail, which is slated to connect Cleveland and New Philadelphia.

"Currently, the trail ends at state Route 800 at Zoarville. Plans are in the works to develop the next section, using a rail bed along the Tuscarawas River from Zoarville to the White Bridge on state Route 416 north of Dover...."

4/20/18 - Flooding Update

Stark County, OH - From starkparks.com, "The Towpath Trail is closed due to high water and flooding at Lake Ave. in Massillon..."

4/16/18 - Stark County Flooding

NE OH: Stark County, OH - From starkparks.com, "The Towpath Trail is closed due to high water and flooding at the following trailheads: Lake Lucerne to the county line, Lock 4, and Crystal Springs. Water is expected to rise and also close Lake Ave. in Massillon and Wooster St. in Navarre..."

4/16/18 - CVNP Flooding Closes Trail

Summit County, OH - From cleveland.com, "The Towpath Trail through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is closed Monday because of flooding." more...

Stark County, OH - From starkparks.com, "The Towpath Trail is closed due to high water and flooding at the following trailheads: Lake Lucerne to the county line, Lock 4, and Crystal Springs. Water is expected to rise and also close Lake Ave. in Massillon and Wooster St. in Navarre..."

4/4/18 - Towpath Flooding in Stark & Summit Counties

Stark County, OH - From starkparks.com, "From starkparks.com, "Water is over the trail in many areas, including Lake Ave., Wooster St., and north of Canal Fulton. Rising water is expected in more areas of the northern Stark County section. We urge everyone to use caution when heading out on the trail."

Clinton, OH - From summitmetroparks.org, "The Towpath Trail is closed north and south of the Clinton Trailhead due to flooding."

3/30/18 - Towpath Flooding in Stark County

Stark County, OH - From starkparks.com, "Water is over the trail at Lake Ave. in Massillon and is expected to flood over other lower areas in Stark County over the weekend."

3/2/18 - Towpath Flooding Reports

Clinton, OH - From summitmetroparks.org, "Towpath Trail is closed north and south of the Clinton Trailhead due to flooding."

Canal Fulton, OH - From starkparks.com, "High water has closed the Towpath Trail at Lock 4 Trailhead. Other low areas might also be under water soon..."

3/2/18 - Connector Trail Closing During Construction Hours

Northfield, OH - The Old Carriage Trail Connector in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park will be undergoing construction that is set to begin soon. This connector, along with a portion of Holzhauer Rd, connects the Towpath Trail with the Akron Hike-Bike Trail in Sagamore Hills. (See map below.)

Sagamore Hills, OH

The Old Carriage Connector Trail will be closed during construction hours, 7 am -- 6 pm, Monday through Friday. It will be open after hours and on weekends. Learn more...

2/16/18 - Stark County Flooding

Stark County, OH - From starkparks.com, "Flooding has closed the Towpath Trail in Stark County until further notice."

1/24/18 - Towpath Flooding

Stark County, OH - From starkparks.com, "The northern section of the Towpath Trail from Lake Ave. to the Summit County line is closed due to high water and flooding.

"The southern portion through Navarre is expected to flood and may also close soon...

1/21/18 - CVNP NPS Shutdown Notice

CVNP, OH - From nps.gov/cuva, "Because of the federal government shutdown... Trails and roads will remain open. Restrooms and visitor facilities will be closed. For more information, see www.doi.gov/shutdown."

1/10/18 - CVNP Deer Culling Closures Jan. 8 - March 16

CVNP, OH - ...NPS has secured permits by the Ohio Division of Wildlife to use sharpshooting on park property to reduce deer populations... ...Most culling activities will be away from established trails...

"...Activities will take place between dusk and midnight, on weekdays (Monday through Thursday). At times, specific areas will be temporarily closed to ensure public safety. NPS staff will patrol the park during removal actions to ensure compliance with park closures and public safety measures, and accompany USDA-WS teams in the field." more...

Within the Cleveland Metroparks jurisdiction, the towpath surface is asphalt. This is also true along some segments in Akron. Otherwise riding along the towpath means riding on a compacted, finely crushed stone surface.

For those who prefer an asphalt surface, this may be a concern. Fear not. The surface is typically firmly packed and can easily be navigated on a road bike.

However, you should be aware that some towpath sections regularly flood and suffer from washouts. And when initial repairs are made, the surface is often not in pristine condition and may not be well suited for skinny tires in these repaired areas. So, to avoid any rough surface worries, just opt for a fatter tire ride and it will be smooth sailing, regardless of the trail conditions at the time of your visit.

If you don't like cleaning your bike, you should know that the towpath can be fairly dusty, particularly during extended dry periods in summer. The dust isn't a problem while riding, but a good bike cleaning will be needed afterward. If this sounds like a hassle, try riding the day after some rain.

Cuyahoga County

The Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail will start at the Cuyahoga River near Lake Erie in Cleveland, OH. The Northern terminus will be at the future Canal Basin Park near Detroit Avenue.

Though the northernmost section of towpath will stop short of Lake Erie, there is a connector trail in the works to take trail users to the lakeshore. It's called the Lake Link Trail and you'll find a completed segment that connects to the Scranton Flats section of the towpath.

From the Scranton Flats segment south, there is a .3-mile gap in the trail where road riding is required. Thanks to new trail construction in 2017 - 2018, new towpath now stretches down to the southend of Steelyard Commons.

From here continuing south, an .8-mile gap exists over to the Harvard Road Trailhead where the towpath continues southward to the CVNP.

The northern portion of the trail follows the old canal route through the Cuyahoga Valley and the heart of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. A section also parallels the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad which caters to cyclists with its 'Bike Aboard' program.

The CVNP is also where the towpath joins up with 2 other major regional trails, the Akron Bike & Hike Trail and the Emerald Necklace Trail. In fact, the Emerald Necklace and towpath share a short stretch of towpath near the Brecksville Reservation, while the Bike-Hike runs parallel to about 9-miles of towpath in this same area.

Independence, OH

Our ride north to Harvard Road was surprisingly quiet. Though we were now in Cleveland, it certainly didn't feel that way. The Cuyahoga Valley had created its own peaceful environment along the towpath as it carried us closer to the lake.

It felt like we had sneaked past much of the big city on our way north. It'll be interesting to see how the remaining miles play out over to Steelyard Commons and through the industrial area that still stands between the towpath and its final destination.

The Canalway Center is just off the trail in Cuyahoga Heights. The connecting spur that takes you there continues on along nearby city streets and over to the Washington Reservation, about 2 miles to the north.

Previously the tranquility of the trail would begin to fade as you rode south into Valley View. Lynda Warner reported on major improvements there: "As of [fall 2006], two very unique bridges were opened, which remove the stress of having to cross two major intersections."

Valley View Bridge
View from Towpath Bridge in Valley View, OH    Photo by Lynda Warner

In Valley View you'll pass under the super structure of I-480 that towers overhead as you make your way to the Thornburg Station, a commercial complex that offers a trailside eatery. This also marks the spot where the asphalt surface changes to classic towpath crushed stone as you leave the jurisdiction of the Cleveland Metroparks and continue southbound past Rockside Road.

Mile marker posts tick off the miles as you head further away from Lake Erie, mile "0". This provides a good way to gauge your distance from the north coast from any point on the towpath.

Now you enter the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, where some facilites are open year-round. Perks for trail users include: riding on the scenic railway and limited camping spots reserved for through hikers and cyclists. Reservations are required. The camping season runs from Memorial Day through Oct. 31.

Trail Specs & Facts:

Location: Cuyahoga County

Class: A1++

Length: 10.2 miles / asphalt (not including road routes); ~11.4 mile when complete

Condition: Good

Facilities: Some off the trail facilities here: Canalway Center, Bacci Park

Parking: See trail map for options.

Worth Noting: We don't recommend road riding between trail sections in Cleveland. For those who have urban road riding skills, ride at your own risk.

Map: Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail (all counties) or Sm Screen Version

Cuyahoga Co. Elevation Map: From Cleveland riding south

Completion Progress: Here's a map showing the final segments to be completed in Cleveland.

More Trails in this Region: NE OH Trails List

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Summit County

[Alert! - Trail section closure in Akron into 2019. The towpath is closed from Mustill Store north to Memorial Pkwy, a distance of ~1 mile. See a map of this trail section detour (closure). Use Hickory Street as your parallel detour route along this segment.]

Video of the Towpath Detour

The Summit County section includes most of the trail in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. From there it continues south through Akron, Barberton and just south of Clinton, OH.

The Cuyahoga Valley Train offers service to cyclists along a stretch of the trail from North Akron to Independence. Hopping aboard gives visitors another way to enjoy the valley and knock some miles off your ride when you're doubling back to your car.

There are good trailheads all along the towpath. Peninsula makes an excellent starting point. It's between Cleveland and Akron and has parking right along the trail with restroom facilities. There's also a depot for the scenic railway, restaurants and a bike shop.

The route south from Peninsula was constructed with many gentle curves to lend more interest and character to the trail. And it does make a more pleasurable ride. The only drawback is that sight lines can be limited, making passing a tricky proposition on heavy-traffic days.

Barberton, OH
Barberton, OH Towpath

There are some wooden boardwalk trail sections along the towpath, and the Akron-area has its share. The sections here are approximately 14' wide and feature wide, sweeping turns. When riding south you pickup speed on a slight downhill and can hear the deck boards "sing" when a rider comes past. Be careful on wet or frosty days. The surface is bound to be slippery.

Where the towpath enters North Akron the surface turns to asphalt with a stone chip top coat. It returns to crushed stone once you leave this developed area. There are several places to eat here, so take advantage of nearby restaurants if you're hungry.

At North Street resides the historic Mustill Store. Formerly a general store during the glory days of the canal, it now serves as a museum and visitors center. There's also a trail parking lot and facilities at this trailhead.

The trail continues south through Cascade Locks Park and up a 5% grade (a .6-mile climb), over the old Akron Innerbelt (Rt. 59), and south to Canal Park.

Once over the bridge, the trail transitions to wide concrete sidewalk and continues alongside streets over to Canal Park. This .3-mile stretch is just 2-3 blocks and does not involve any road riding.

The short segment within Canal Park, home of the Akron Aeros, features a red rubberized surface, perhaps the most unusual one you'll find along the entire towpath.

Joe Chase describes the Canal Park segment: "This [section] extends from the Akron Civic Theater south through a public festival park, around the west side of the Canal Park Stadium and down to the parking area behind Canal Place (the old BFG factory).

"Part of this section of the canal was once covered by a parking deck; the city has done a great job removing decrepit buildings and landscaping the canal in this area. From this path north to the Staircase Locks [near Martin Luther King Drive], the canal has been buried forever beneath office buildings and the Akron Innerbelt, but the water still flows. Did you know the lobby of the Civic Theater is actually a bridge across the canal?"

At Summit Lake the trail passes the rec center and moves along the shoreline before taking to open water via the boardwalk-like floating trail section that crosses the south end of the lake and enters the canal.

The towpath follows the canal for several miles as you gradually leave urban sights and sounds for more tranquil towpath through Barberton.

A statue has been erected at Manchester Road of a indian carrying his canoe. It's a monument to the original Portage Indian Trail which followed a section of the Cuyahoga Valley. This monument can be found at each terminus of the Portage Trail, the Cuyahoga and Tuscarawas.

Further south you'll encounter some short punchy climbs. Along with the 5% grade in Akron, this likely represents the most overt climbing you'll do along the otherwise flat towpath trail. Here you will climb regardless of your direction of travel, while the Akron climb is only for those riding south.

Clinton, OH
Towpath & Lock in Clinton, OH

Further south the trail enters Clinton Towpath Metropark where remnants of the canal are on view. Remaining locks, partial locks and other historic reminders are scattered along the towpath route. As are trailheads, facilities and places to eat.

As you leave Clinton a pond borders one side of the trail, while the canal lies opposite. The next stop is Canal Fulton.

Trail Specs & Facts:

Location: Summit County

Class: A1++ & B1++

Length: 40.5 miles / crushed stone & asphalt

Condition: Good

Facilities: At most of the trailheads and scenic train stations along the way.

Parking: Peninsula, OH. (See trail map for more options.)

Worth Noting: This county has the longest towpath section, and the most variety of environments through which it passes.

Map: Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail (all counties) or Sm Screen Version

Summit Co. Elevation: From CVNP riding south

Completion Progress: The Summit County segment is finished.

More Trails in this Region: NE OH Trails List

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Stark County

Though Summit County was the first to complete its portion of the towpath, Stark County was not far behind.

The Towpath begins south of Clinton and passes through Canal Fulton, Massillon and Navarre south to the Tuscarawas County line, just short of Bolivar.

Canal Fulton is another great towpath starting point. There's plenty of trail parking, places to eat and a canal boat ride, the St. Helena III.

The trail ride south of Canal Fulton is also scenic and features the classic crushed stone trail surface.

Towpath Tunnel in Stark County, OH

The Lake Avenue Trailhead in Massillon has parking, a bike shop, a canoe livery and restroom facilities.

Further into Massillon the towpath meets up with the Sippo Valley Trail. Take the first ramp up to street level (Lincoln Way W.) to make the Sippo connection. To continue south on the towpath, take the 2nd ramp up to Tremont Ave. SW. Cross over the river and turn south on 5th St. to continue south.

You'll want to check a map to plan ahead for this junction, as there are a couple of options, both of which involve a little road riding (less than a mile) to the next trail section at Walnut Road.

Stark County
Towpath near Navarre, OH

Once back on the trail at Walnut Road, the towpath runs uninterrupted to just short of Bolivar at the county line. As the trail nears Rt. 212 west of Bolivar, it turns east, away from the river to follow the road. This segment ends further east where it deposits you on Rt. 212 at the McDonnell Trailhead. You have now entered Tuscarawas County.

The ride to and beyond Navarre is quite rural as the river corridor and canal provides its own linear ecosystem which is quite lush in summer.

Trail Specs & Facts:

Location: Stark County

Class: B1+

Length: 26 miles / crushed stone (includes ~.4 mile road route)

Condition: Good

Facilities: At some of the trailheads along the route.

Parking: Lake Avenue in Massillon, OH. (See trail map for more options.)

Worth Noting: The Sippo Valley Trail connects with the towpath in Massillon.

Map: Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail (all counties) or Sm Screen Version

Stark Co. Elevation: Mostly flat.

Completion Progress: The towpath is finished in Stark County.

More Trails in this Region: NE OH Trails List

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Tuscarawas County

The Tuscarawas County towpath will extend from the Stark County line through Bolivar, then pass by Zoar, Zoarville and Dover on to its final destination, New Philadelphia, OH.

At this time 7.7 miles of towpath are finished within the county, with ~9 more miles to go. The final missing 9-mile leg is from the current endpoint in Zoarville, to New Philly.

From the McDonnell Trailhead along Rt. 212 near the Stark County line, there's a gap in the trail. A .3-mile road ride is necessary to reach the next trail segment which takes riders into Bolivar. Ride here at your own risk as this road is a rural highway.

Trail resumes on a newer segment that was opened on Oct. 15, 2016. It reportedly leads you through Bolivar and over to Fort Laurens. But when we drove into Fort Laurens to start riding south from the park, we did not see any bike or trail route signs leading north out of the park.

However, according to the map in this brochure, this route does exist! Or at least a portion of it, behind the park grounds along the river. We'll have to make a trip back to explore this section.

The towpath crosses I-77 in Bolivar and runs 3 miles south to Canal Lands Park in Zoar. Open towpath continues on to Zoarville, where it currently ends at Rt. 800, just southwest of Rt. 212 in Zoarville. From there, land for the last section of towpath to New Philly is still being developed.

I-77 Bridge
Bridge over I-77 near Bolivar, OH

The I-77 trail bridge is a major piece of infrastructure that looks as though it would support single lane auto traffic. It's that robust. The extra width was designed to carry ped and bike traffic alongside horses and riders. The bridge crown features a partition that separates horses and allows them to cross more safely.

Heading south the towpath is narrower, at about 4-6' wide. But it remains smooth, mostly flat and is slightly undulating. It's a departure from the more finely manicured sections to the north, but still an enjoyable ride. In fact, the mini undulations will mean more fun for many riders.

I noticed a few walkers would stop when I approached them from the opposite direction by bike. They would move to the edge of the trail to give me room. I would slow considerably and make sure I was on the far edge of the trail, to give them room to keep walking. But there are only so many trail users you can fit into a 4-6' wide path. It makes one wonder what happens when you add horses with riders to the mix...

As you approach Old St. Rt. 82, you'll spot a wooden staircase leading up to a deserted bridge over the trail. This is a former roadway that is now closed to auto traffic. The bridge was restored in 2004 and now serves as a pedestrian and bicycle access point and overlook.

Rt. 82 Bridge
Unique Trail Access at former Roadway Bridge

Shortly after this structure, you'll pass under the Dover-Zoar Road Bridge. A spur soon appears on your right that leads to the Canal Lands Park Trailhead.

In 2013, towpath was completed south to Rt. 800, just outside of Zoarville. It was a major accomplishment by volunteers who constructed boardwalk sections to traverse two 150' wetland stretches en route. According to the Ohio & Erie Canalway website, "The work was done mostly by hand, on weekends, and with tools brought from home or loaned by local businesses."

Riding further south by trail is not an option as the next section, the Zoar Valley Trail, is not currently open.

In the future, this Zoar Valley Trail section will likely be shared with the towpath, just as they now share towpath between Zoar and Fort Laurens in Bolivar.

A pleasant surprise in Tuscarawas County, was the appearance of the stone towpath mile-markers seen further north. This section has markers 81-86, if memory serves. For those unfamiliar with these markers, they indicate the distance to Lake Erie, which is mile "0."

Completion of the entire trail looks to be at least a year away. Current projections are that perhaps 2020 will be the year. And with only 9 miles remaining in the south and ~2 miles at the north end in Cleveland, it's certainly possible.

When that happens, the trail will likely be somewhere between 100-110 miles in total length. But until then, there should be new sections to explore from time to time.

Trail Specs & Facts:

Location: Tuscarawas County

Class: B2+, C2+

Length: 7.7 miles / crushed stone & earthen (includes short road route) / ~16.7 miles when complete

Condition: Good

Facilities: Restrooms and water are more scarce in this section. Take advantage of facilities in Bolivar, Zoar and at Fort Laurens.

Parking: Fort Laurens in Bolivar. (See trail map for more options.)

Worth Noting: Facilities and water stops are not typically available on the trail here.

Map: Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail (all counties) or Sm Screen Version

Tuscarawa Co. Elevation: Mostly flat.

Completion Progress: The final 9 miles of towpath have yet to be obtained for trail development. Also, a short .3-mile section of trail is needed to eliminate the road route west of Bolivar.

More Trails in this Region: NE OH Trails List

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