Towpath Trail

Mill Creek MetroParks Bikeway

The MetroParks Bikeway, in Mahoning County, is a completed segment of the larger Great Ohio Lake-to-River Greenway. [Scroll past 'Specs & Facts' to continue reading.]

Latest Update: 7/13/18 by OB - Long-Term Trail Section Closure

Austintown Twp., OH - From, "...Mill Creek MetroParks announced Thursday that the bike trail will be closed near Kirk Road beginning Tuesday, July 17th [for 1 year]."

"According to park officials, the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission will be replacing the turnpike bridges over the Bikeway.

"...The second phase of the project is anticipated to begin in November 2018 and includes construction of a detour for the bikeway. At that time, through access for pedestrians/bicyclists will be restored by means of the detour." more...

Trail to be Extended to YSU - 11/3/17 by OB

Though the source (see below) did not specify, the Mill Creek Trail referenced here, appears to be the paved trail that runs parallel to Mill Creek, with a northern endpoint not far from the YSU campus. Not the trail featured on this page that runs north of Canfield, OH.

However, both trails, the Metroparks Bikeway (featured on this page) and the Mill Creek Bikeway are in close proximity to each other and under the same jurisdiction of the Mill Creek Metroparks. A bit confusing, I know.

From, "...Youngstown’s bike trail will be extended to reach YSU’s campus and Front Street, where the new amphitheater is being built." more...

Police Increasing Trail Patrols - 3/9/16 by OB

From, "Mill Creek MetroParks Police say they are increasing patrols after a bicyclist was sprayed with pepper spray Tuesday morning along the bike trail.

"Police say the incident happened at around 9 a.m.Tuesday near Route 224 in Canfield. The victim told police that he was riding a bike on the trail when he was assaulted by a man who was on foot. The victim claims that the attack was unprovoked.

"...The suspect was last seen walking westbound on route 224. He is described as a white male, around 5'7 and wearing a leather jacket."

New Bike Shop Opens Near Trail - 8/2/15 by OB

From, "...Trailside Bicycle Co., 410 W. Main St. (U.S. Route 224), opened May 1, less than 100 yards east of the bicycle trail.

"Located in a former auto-detailing shop, Trailside sells bicycles and accessories and bicycle-themed jewelry, rents and repairs bicycles and supports and hosts organized rides."

Trail Specs & Facts:

Location: Mahoning County, OH

Class: A1++

Length: 10.6 miles / asphalt

Condition: Good

Facilities: Trailside and just off the trail at MetroParks Farm.

Parking: Kirk Road Trailhead in Austintown, OH. (See trail map for more options.)

Worth Noting: This bikeway is part of the Great-Ohio-Lake-to-River Greenway.

Map: MetroParks Bikeway or Sm Screen Version

Elevation: North to south

More Trails in this Region: NE OH Trails List

The bikeway offers gentle grade over the course of its span from Western Reserve Road, just south of Canfield, to County Line Road at the Trumbull County Line.

The MetroParks Bikeway and Little Beaver Trail are roughly 6 miles apart along the same abandoned railroad corridor.

Though both trails share the same corridor and lie in close proximity to each other, they are surprisingly different. This is due in part to the changing topography, along with development near the greenway as it heads northward.

The MetroParks Bikeway doesn't have the same remote feel as the Little Beaver and passes alongside some housing developments which offer connecting paths to the trail. The tree canopy of the greenway opens up and gives way to blue sky above and wide open views of farmland as well.

These two trails are prime examples of differing objectives of local trail builders. While the Little Beaver Trail seeks to preserve its remote natural beauty with minimal construction and intrusion, the MetroParks Bikeway has invested in developing trail facilities to complement the development in the area and add panache to their trail.

We started our ride on the MetroParks Bikeway at the Kirk Road Trailhead, which is a sterling example of trailhead development. The builders utilized two older stone structures that were built in the 1930's that stand next to the trail. The buildings are a part of local history and add style and grace to this newer facility.

The trail moves underneath two highway overpasses: Rt. 76 at the Kirk Road Trailhead and I-80, just south of the trail's northern endpoint. A bikeway bridge carries riders safely over Mahoning Avenue.

The trail continues northward across the Trumbull County line, where its name changes to the Niles Bikeway. Continue riding north, and you'll cover another 4 miles into the city of Niles.

The trail's smooth concrete transitions at road crossings are well designed. There is little on no curb for cyclists to contend with.

A 317-acre MetroParks Farm lies in close proximity to the trail and has a connecting path and parking.

Ben Slage adds, "It's also easy to access downtown Canfield, OH from the bike trail at the US 224 (labeled as State Street on the signs) intersection."

The bikeway is patrolled by the Mill Creek MetroParks and is well-maintained.

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