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.]
Location: Mahoning County, OH
Length: 10.6 miles / asphalt
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.
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.