Towpath Trail

Ohio-to-Erie Trail

The Ohio-to-Erie Trail is a cross-state bikeway that's currently under construction in Ohio. When completed, one will be able to ride from the Ohio River in Cincinnati to Lake Erie at Cleveland, almost exclusively on off-road trails. [Scroll past 'Specs & Facts' to continue reading.]

Latest Update: 1/9/19 by OB - Trail Building Progress

SW OH: Delaware County - Several segments of the OTE will be linking up in Delaware County in the coming years. Here's a map from the Preservation Parks website that shows current progress. more...

Towpath Trail Flooding - 1/2/19 by OB

NE OH: Stark County - 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."

Gov't Shutdown & the Towpath Trail - 12/23/18 by OB

NE OH: Cuyahoga Valley National Park - 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

Towpath Section Closes Until Spring - 12/15/18 by OB

NE OH: Peninsula - From, "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

Land Purchased for Trail Corridor - 12/3/18 by OB

SW OH: Delaware County - "Preservation Parks of Delaware County has added 3.7 miles to what eventually will be about 15 miles of the Ohio to Erie Trail running through the southeast corner of the county." more...

Towpath Flooding Likely Widespread - 11/2/18 by OB

NE OH: Akron - 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."

NE OH: Massillon - 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."

Flooding on Columbus Area Trails - 11/1/18 by OB

SW OH: Columbus - "Flooding on the Alum Creek Trail [the Alum Creek Trail is part of the OTE trail system], Blacklick Trail, and Olentangy Trail. Please use caution." more...

Repaving Work on Mohican Valley Trail - 10/22/18 by OB

NE OH: Brinkhaven, OH - The Mohican Valley Trail paving from the Bridge of Dreams to the Holmes County line has been completed. However, the trail is not open yet, as there is more work to be done. more...

Possible Flooding along Alum Creek Trail - 10/19/18 by OB

SW OH: Columbus, OH - "Be careful of possible flooding upon Alum Creek Greenway Trail's low laying sections. The Alum Creek Reservoir dam is releasing water... more

Little Miami Trail Sections Reopen - 10/6/18 by OB

SW OH: "...All major construction at the Ft. Ancient and Spring Valley locations [along the Little Miami Scenic Trail] has been completed. Minor restoration work such as seeding and mulching still needs done. Planting of trees and live stakes will take place late fall but will not require closures." more...

Towpath Section Closing for Marathon - 10/3/18 by OB

NE OH: 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...

Little Miami Trail Section Closure Rescheduled for Oct. 1-5 - 9/20/18 by OB

SW OH - Wayne Twp. - "The week of [Oct. 1-5] the trail will be CLOSED between New Burlington Rd. and Roxanna New Burlington Rd [a 4.3-mile section] for paving..." more...

Towpath Closing in Massillon - 9/19/18 by OB

NE OH: Massillon - From, "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."

Towpath Flooding in Stark County - 9/11/18 by OB

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

Little Miami Trail Section Closed Sept. 17-21 - 9/7/18 by OB

SW OH: Warren County, OH - "The trail between SR 350 and Strout Rd. [a 2.3-mile section] in Warren County will be completely closed September 17-21, weather permitting. There will be no safe passage through the construction area for this period of time. Crews will be milling the old asphalt and paving the newly rerouted trail."

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

NE OH: 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."

Flooding on Columbus-Area Trails - 9/2/18 by OB

SW OH: Columbus, OH - From Columbus MetroParks, "Please use caution. Flooding and storm debris along sections of trails. Crews conducting clean up."

Camp Chase Trail Update - 8/26/18 by OB

SW OH: Columbus, OH - "The sidepath along Sullivant Ave and Georgesville Road is done for now. The last 300 foot section unfinished is just south of the trail and RR, plans are for it to be built in 2019." more...

Towpath Section Reopens in CVNP - 8/22/18 by OB

NE OH: 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.

Temporary Closures in Barberton - 7/18/18 by OB

NE OH: 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 [towpath] trail closures will be in effect during this time."

Camp Chase Trail Construction - 7/12/18 by OB

SW OH: SW Columbus - Friends of the Camp Chase Trail - "The majority of the construction of the Camp Chase Trail Connector project along Sullivant Ave and Georgesville Rd is done. There is a short section missing to the north of (eastbound) Sullivant Ave across the railroad tracks to connect to the Camp Chase Trailhead on Georgesville Rd. That last segment is coming soon with construction later this year."

"Industrial Mile is still the designated Ohio to Erie Trail route between the 2 trail segments, until completion of the shared-use path across the Railroad crossing."

Towpath Section Closing July 9 - 7/4/18 by OB

NE OH: Summit County - "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."

July Construction Closures Coming - 6/12/18 by OB

SW OH: Warren & Greene Counties - "Construction projects [on Little Miami Trail] between Strout Rd and SR 350 [2.3-mile section south from Rt. 350 near Fort Ancient in Warren County], and between New Burlington Rd and Roxanna New Burlington Rd [4.3-mile section between Corwin & Spring Valley] will begin mid-July.

"Once work begins and through September 10, contractors may close the trail for work on weekdays, but must re-open the trail on weekends--unobstructed and safe for users from 5:00 pm Fridays until 7:00 am Mondays.

"From September 11-October 31, the contractor will have full control of the sites and can close the trail for up to two weekends in each area. The contractor will do their best to minimize closures. For the safety of trail users and construction workers, please abide by all closure notices and barricades."

Towpath Flooding Update - 4/20/18 by OB

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

More Towpath Flooding Reports - 4/16/18 by OB

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

Towpath Flooding - 4/16/18 by OB

NE OH: Stark County, OH - From, "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..."

Flooding Reports - 4/4/18 by OB

NE OH: Stark County, OH - From, "From, "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."

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

SW OH: Columbus - MetroParks also reports flooding on the Alum Creek Trail.

Towpath Flooding in Stark County - 3/30/18 by OB

NE OH: Stark County, OH - From, "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."

Little Miami Trail Section Closure 3/26 - 3/30 - 3/8/18 by OB

SW OH: South Lebanon, OH - "The [Little Miami] trail will be closed at the State Route 48 overpass near South Lebanon beginning March 26 as ODOT works to fix the washout issues. This work is scheduled to last 5 days."

Towpath Flooding Reports - 3/2/18 by OB

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

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

Rock Slide on Little Miami Trail - 2/26/18 by OB

SW OH: Miami Twp., OH - From Friends of the Little Miami Trail, "...we are aware of the rock slide under 275 [3 mi south of Loveland] between Bridge St and Beech Rd in Clermont County. ODOT has agreed to help us get that cleared off.

"Please be patient as crews are stretched thin with all the high water in our region. Continue to use caution on the trail, looking out for high water, debris, and mud."

Flooding Worsens on Columbus Trails - 2/25/18 by OB

SW OH: This alert is from Columbus MetroParks today.

OH: Flooding can be found across the state, so Ohio-to-Erie Trail travelers should also expect flooding along the Towpath Trail, as well as other low-lying trail sections.

Stark County Flooding - 2/16/18 by OB

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

Towpath Flooding - 1/24/18 by OB

Stark County, NE OH - From, "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...

Snow Drifts on Camp Chase Trail - 1/13/18 by OB

SW OH: From Columbus MetroParks - There are 4-5ft. snow drifts on some sections of the Camp Chase Trail. Please use caution in these areas.

NE OH: CVNP Deer Culling Closures Jan. 8 - March 16 - 1/10/18 by OB

CVNP - ...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...

SW OH: Construction Underway to Close Trail Gap - 12/13/17 by OB

Trail construction has begun in late 2017 to close the .4-mile gap in the Camp Chase Trail at Sullivant Avenue and Georgesville Rd. in SW Columbus, Ohio.

Learn more this about project.

SW OH: LMST Reopens along Tree Removal Sections - 12/9/17 by OB

From Friends of the Little Miami, "... ODNR crews and FLMSP volunteers worked this week to remove over 1200 dead and dangerous ash trees from along the trail. Clean up work will continue so please use caution around crews and equipment.

"Thank you for your patience as we work to make the trail safer for our users."

SW OH: Xenia Twp. Section Closure thru March 2018 - 12/8/17 by OB

From, "The Little Miami Scenic Trail from Brush Row Road to Clifton Road (between Xenia and Yellow Springs) will be closed effective immediately for a water main installation project being done by Greene County Sanitary Engineering. This closure is expected to last until March 31, 2018.

"There will be barricades in place during the closure with no detour route posted. Please advise all trail users to not ride beyond the barricades in place. If you have questions regarding this project, please call Greene County Parks & Trails at 937-562-6440.

[This work closes a 1-mile section of trail.]

See this page for detour suggestions.

NE OH: Towpath Sections Closing Dec. 11 - 12/5/17 by OB

Peninsula, OH - From, "Towpath sections closed between Boston Store Visitor Center & Interstate 271 Bridge. There will be access both north and south from Lock 29 Trailhead to the closure locations. There will not be access to Boston Store Visitor Center from Lock 29 Trailhead"

SW OH: Tree Removal Continues on LMST - 11/30/17 by OB

SW OH - From Friends of the Little Miami, "The Little Miami Scenic Trail will be CLOSED for dead tree removal in the following segments: From Hedges Rd. in Greene County to the Corwin trailhead and from East Broadway St. in Loveland to Terrace Park (just north of Avoca Park).

"The trail is OPEN between Corwin and Loveland, but many logs and branches lie in the berms, so please use caution.

"For your safety and the safety of workers, please observe all closures and do not go around barricades."

SW OH: Grant Awarded for Trail Construction - 11/23/17 by OB

Sunbury, OH - From the OTE facebook page, "ODNR has granted $150,000 toward a $257,300 project to pave 3,300 feet of what is now gravel trail, and add two asphalt sections totaling 1,600 feet, near Sunbury that is part of the Ohio-to-Erie Trail that connects Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati."

SW OH: Trail Section Closure - 11/16/17 by OB

Loveland, OH - From Friends of the Little Miami, "The Little Miami Scenic Trail is closed between Fosters and Adams Road (north of Loveland) for dead tree removal. Closure will continue through Nov. 21 or until further notice.

"For the safety of trail users and workers, please observe all closure notices and barriers. Thank you!"

SW OH: Trail Section Closure - 11/10/17 by OB

SW OH - From Friends of the Little Miami Trail, "November 9-17: The Little Miami Scenic Trail will be closed between South Lebanon and Fosters for dead tree removal.

"For the safety of trail users and workers, please observe all closure notices and barriers."

SW OH: High Water on Columbus Trails - 11/6/17 by OB

From Columbus MetroParks, "The following sections of the Alum Creek Trail are flooded: Trail under Agler Rd, by Innis Park, south of Easton play fields, near golf course, under Morse Rd, between Airport Drive and Ohio Dominican Campus."

SW OH: Little Miami Trail Section Closing - 11/3/17 by OB

There will be rolling closures along a 13.3 mile section of the Little Miami Scenic Trail between Caesar Creek Gorge State Nature Preserve and South Lebanon Ohio from November 1, 2017 through November 22, 2017 for trail maintenance.

"For the safety of trail users and workers, please observe all closure notices and barriers."

NE OH: Trail Section Closing - 10/16/17 by OB

From their facebook page, "The Holmes County Trail will be closed for scheduled maintenance and bridge repairs October 18th & October 19th.

"The closure will be south of Holmesville starting at TR 346 and continuing south for approximately 1.1 miles to the spur to SR 83. The Trail to Millersburg will be accessible from the spur. Additional closure dates may be needed..."

SW OH: Boardwalk Getting No-Slip Surface - 10/14/17 by OB

From, "A nasty spill involving seven bicyclists this past July has prompted the city to clean a long wooden boardwalk on the Alum Creek Trail and place non-skid material on it.

"That should resolve a problem that had been plaguing riders for a while: A slippery route through dense woods near Easton, treacherous for unsuspecting bicyclists."

SW OH: Alum Creek Trail Closing at Innis Park - 10/4/17 by OB

From, "Alum Creek Trail will be closed daily at the Innis Park Boardwalk between the hours of 8am and 5pm beginning October 10th. Expected duration of [closing is] 4 days.

Trail will be barricaded. Please do not enter the work area.

NE OH: Towpath Marathon Section Closure - 9/30/17 by OB

From, "The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail in Cuyahoga Valley National Park will be closed to the general public starting at dusk beginning Saturday, October 7 until 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 8."

NE OH: Towpath Section Closure - 9/28/17 by OB

From, "The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail will be closed from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Friday, October 6 and 7:00 a.m. Tuesday October 10 through 6:00 p.m. Friday, October 13 from Lock 39 Trailhead to 150 feet south of Stone Road in Valley View."

SW OH: Roberts Pass Detour - 9/17/17 by OB

From Friends of Madison County Parks & Trails, "The Roberts Pass segment of the Ohio to Erie Trail will be closed between Maple Street in London to Spring Valley Road for gas pipeline repair, from Monday, September 18 through Friday, September 22..." more

SW OH: Closing the Gap in London - 9/16/17 by OB

Groundbreaking took place earlier this month for trail construction that will close about .3-miles of this gap.

The construction will extend the trail on the eastside of London -- the Roberts Pass Trail -- west to S. Walnut Street in London, OH. When construction has been completed, a .9-mile gap will remain in the trail here.

NE OH: Cleveland Towpath Progress - 8/31/17 by OB

SW OH: New Camp Chase Trail Section Coming - 8/1/17 by OB

Columbus, OH - A gap in the Camp Chase Trail will be closed soon.

Construction is scheduled to begin later this month to build a 10' wide shared-use path along Sullivant Avenue and Georgesville Road. Learn more...

NE OH: 7 Mile Trail Section under Construction - 7/12/17 by OB

Holmes County Trail: Paving has begun along the 7.3-mile trail section that extends from the Rt. 62 tunnel near Brinkhaven, to Glenmont, OH.

Upon completion of this section, there will be only one remaining segment to construct along the Holmes County Trail: the Glenmont to Killbuck trail section.

NE OH: Trees Down on Sippo Valley Trail - 7/4/17 by Sharon Cole

The sections from Ben Fulton and West Lebanon Roads were hit with downed trees and debris some time yesterday. I don't know how far the damage extends -- one tree before WL Road was too large to lift my bicycle over."

NE OH: Lake Link Trail Section Opens - 6/8/17 by OB

A .4-mile section of the Lake Link Trail has opened. When completed, this trail will link the Towpath Trail with Lake Erie, providing the final leg to the lake along the OTE route.

This new section extends from Scranton Flats over to Columbus Road.

SW OH: Columbus - Cars Using Section of Camp Chase Trail - 5/18/17 by OB

From, "...[Tess Cunningham] was riding with Rob Luikart on the Camp Chase Trail in Columbus when a car illegally came driving down the path. Rob decided to record it on his phone. Tess said you would think this was an unusual sight, but it's not.

"'It’s been three different cars, three different occasions, still on this section of the trail though,' said Tess."

SW OH: 8-mile Little Miami Trail section gets New Asphalt - 5/13/17 by OB

From Friends Friends of the Little Miami State Park, "...An 8-mile section of trail from Camp Denison to Loveland was recently repaved, thanks to a $750,000 grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The work included drainage improvement and widening of the trail through downtown Loveland.

NE OH: Cleveland - Stage 3 Towpath Trail Groundbreaking - 4/22/17 by OB

From, "...Set for completion in late 2018, the section will extend 1.9 miles north from Steelyard Commons to Literary Road in Tremont."

Trail Specs & Facts:

Location: This cross-state trail will extend from Cincinnati to Xenia, on to Columbus, then Akron, and finally Cleveland near Lake Erie, when completed.

Class: A, B, C

Length: ~320 miles / asphalt & towpath when complete (~85% complete)

Condition: Varies

Facilities: At many of the trailheads & parks along the trail.

Parking: Xenia Station in SW OH. Lock 29 in NE OH. (See trail maps for more options.)

Lodging: Overnight accommodations along the Ohio-to-Erie Trail route.

Camping: List of camping spots along the trail route

Worth Noting: Finished trail sections, though mostly asphalt, do include other surface types such as compacted crushed stone towpath & asphalt with chip-n-seal top coat.

Map: SW Ohio-to-Erie or Sm Screen Version

SW Elevation: South to North

Map: NE Ohio-to-Erie or Sm Screen Version

NE Elevation: South to North

The Ohio-to-Erie Trail, or OTE as it is commonly called, begins on the Ohio River in Cincinnati. The ~320-mile trail route extends northeast through Xenia Station, then Columbus, Akron and on to Cleveland where it ends near Lake Erie.

It's important to understand that this lengthy route uses different bikeways (with different names!) to make up its route. So, if you decide to ignore that fact and simply follow the Ohio-to-Erie Route 1 signs instead, don't be surprised if you occasionally ride off course.

Kokosing Gap Trail
The Kokosing Gap Trail section of the OTE in Knox County, Ohio

Being aware of these different sections can also help you with finding lodging, water stops and closures due to construction. (Though we do try to list all the long term closures we can find in the 'Latest Updates' section on this page.)

Completion of the OTE is set for 2020. At this time, roughly 85% of the trail has been completed.

A Little History

Ed Honton was the founding father of the Ohio-to-Erie Trail concept in 1991. By taking advantage of existing trails, like the Little Miami Trail, the focus was put on bridging gaps between existing trails.

The strategy proved successful. By 2005 roughly 70% of the trail was completed. But that still left ~95 miles to be built in many different parts of the state. Some of those segments would have to cross industrial zones, where trail building is expensive and trail routes are often hard to come by.

Fortunately, in some places rail corridors were still available along the route. But in others, portions of a corridor could no longer be converted, or they simply didn't exit, such as along the Alum Creek Trail.

In those early days of the project, optimism ran high and the initial projection for completion of the trail was 2003. After that year came and went it became obvious that those early projections were used as a motivational tool. After all, in 1991, who would have been excited about completion in 2020? Trail advocates all across the state needed to get onboard in a big way in order for a project of this scale to be built. And some wise folks, like Ed Honton, knew how to dangle a juicy carrot.

The Route

Let's take a look at the route from south to north. The official endpoint along the Ohio River is the Purple People Bridge that crosses over into Kentucky.

For a trail that uses some of Ohio's best bikeways, this is a most appropriate endpoint. Not a dead end, mind you, but rather a connection to another state!

Cincinnati Riverfront

On the Ohio-side of the Purple People Bridge, you're onboard the Ohio River Trail. Heading east toward Lunken Field, the OTE utilizes an on-road bike lane for about 2.5 miles between trail segments. Finished trail then connects with a segment of the Lunken Field Trail at Wilmer Avenue.

A connector trail at Lunken Trail, named 'Armleder & Lunken Connector' (on Google maps), continues along the Little Miami River and passes underneath Rt. 125 (Beechmont Ave.). This connector, before it turns away from the river, is on the bank opposite of where the Little Miami Trail currently ends. Once this final connection is made, it will eliminate more road riding that's required here.

Bound for Xenia Station

Once aboard the Little Miami, the fun begins. The next stretch of the OTE is all trail, an uninterrupted 58.5 miles to Xenia Station. [The bikeway is mostly continuous, with little road riding for the next ~115 miles into Columbus.] This stretch brings back memories of my 2004 OTE adventure. Though I had to deal with thunderstorms that day, there were no navigation worries when all you have to do is follow the main trail.

Little Miami
Little Miami Trail in SW Ohio

From Xenia Station, turn east and take the Prairie Grass Trail in order to stay on OTE Rt. 1.

It's a pretty straight shot past the next 3 towns along the route, Cedarville, South Charleston and London, OH, with short road sections to traverse in each. You'll tick off another 30.6 miles along the way.

Due east out of London, the bikeway remains the same, although you'll be riding on Roberts Pass and then on the Camp Chase Trail as you make your way past Lilly Chapel en route to Darby Creek Metro Park.

Exiting the Darby Creek valley, the trail turns northeast once again as it passes through Galloway heading for Columbus, OH.

Columbus, OH

Two more short road rides along this stretch, the last of which connects with the 'Hilltop Connector' (on Google maps). This short trail segment crosses the Scioto River and deposits you on the Scioto Trail near I-670. Once onboard the Scioto Trail, you've completed 22.4 miles since leaving London.

A mostly eastward ride, but you will briefly circle back to cross a bridge. Then it's over to Confluence Park on the north bank of the Scioto River, where you'll pass by the Olentangy Trail junction. Continue east alongside the Scioto over to North Park Pavilion at Neil Avenue & W. Long Street.

Turning north on Neil, you're now on the Downtown Connector. The next 1.5 miles is a combination of wide sidewalks, bike lanes, sharrows and/or unmarked road riding.

The Ohio-to-Erie Trail website recommends taking Neil and turning east on Nationwide Blvd to Mt. Vernon Ave. to Cleveland Ave. north to rejoin the trail (wide sidewalk) at Jack Gibbs Blvd.

This next 2.8-mile trail section takes you east to the Alum Creek Trail where you turn north. But before you return to laid-back chill-along-the-trail mode, you should know that the Downtown Connector has a history of reports of broken glass along its route over the years. So consider yourself warned.

Westerville, OH

Once on the Alum Creek Trail, it's an 11-mile northbound journey to W. Schrock Road. To take the most direct route through the suburb, turn east and jump on the Schrock Road bike lane over to Charring Cross Drive where the OTE picks up again, heading north. A little further along this route, you'll pass the Bike Hub at Hanby Park just south of E. Park Street.

Westerville Bike Paths

If you have some extra time on your OTE journey, Westerville has a well-developed trail network of its own to explore. That includes a trail over to the southern part of Hoover Reservoir.

Another 8.3 miles north on the OTE takes you along the Genoa Twp. Trail and the Hoover Scenic Trail , which skirts the northern tip of the reservoir before ending at Wiese Road near the Old 3C Highway.

Continuous trail runs out here. And the next three OTE segments are short, disconnected sections that are still under development. For that reason, the official OTE route takes to the road here to bypass all three for now. The 12.4 mile road ride continues on the Old 3C into Sunbury. Then a short jaunt to the east over to Hartford Road to head east to Downing Road. North on Downing, which becomes Huffman Road before the route meets up with finished trail again southwest of Centerburg.

Centerburg, OH

This is a significant point along the route, simply because a nice chunk of finished trail awaits you on the next leg of the journey. The tarmac stretches another 42.6 miles into Holmes County via the Heart of Ohio Trail, Kokosing Gap, Mohican Valley, and Holmes County Trails.

Bridge of Dreams
Bridge of Dreams near Brinkhaven, OH

For those riding the OTE out of Columbus, the Mohican Valley Trail marks the first trail where you can encounter horse-and-buggy travelers. And when horses share the trail, that means you may see a thin chip-n-seal topcoat at any time.

As of Nov 2017, the topcoat has been ground down here by hooves and buggy wheels to reveal smooth asphalt. However, it may be reapplied at any time to help protect the asphalt surface.

The Mohican Trail is also home to the iconic Bridge of Dreams, one of the highlights along the route. This 370' covered bridge is reported to be the 2nd longest in Ohio and the 3rd longest in the nation!

Holmes County

Just before entering the tunnel under Rt. 62, you enter Holmes County aboard the Holmes County Trail. As of November 2017, new paved trail now extends 7.4 miles to Clifton Street in Glenmont, Ohio.

Rt. 62 Tunnel
Tunnel under Rt. 62 into Holmes County, OH

From Glenmont east to Killbuck the corridor is closed. This section is the final missing link in completing the 29-mile Holmes County Trail portion of the Ohio-to-Erie Trail. The land has been acquired for trail use, but clearing and construction has yet to begin. So, the only alternative here is a road ride, most likely on Rt. 520, an 8.1-mile ride on the most direct route into Killbuck.

Killbuck, OH

Another swath of asphalt bikeway begins on the northside of Killbuck. After a few miles, the trail turns north and becomes double-wide, revealing the original configuration intended for the Holmes County Trail, a separate trail for horse-and-buggy use. From Killbuck, the pavement extends 15.8 miles over to Fredericksburg in Wayne County.

Hill Country

From Fredericksburg, it's a northeasterly 17.3 mile road ride that features the most challenging terrain along the entire OTE route. Check out this section elevation profile.

It's back to flatter terrain when you reach the Sippo Valley Trail and ride east, though the trail does have a short climb. It's worth noting that about 5 miles of the Sippo Trail has a stone surface. Take note, those with skinny tires, as the stone may not be as small or as compacted as the towpath that lies ahead.

Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail

Important Note: For those unfamiliar with riding towpath, this is an unpaved, compacted crushed stone surface. It will support skinny tires (watch out for loose areas). But towpaths are low-lying areas prone to flooding. If you plan your ride during or just after major rain events, you may face closed sections and/or a sloppy trail surface.

After your 10-mile ride on the Sippo Trail, the towpath will lead you to the finish line near Lake Erie in Cleveland, OH.

The Sippo and towpath combine for 72-mostly contiguous miles to Harvard Avenue in Cleveland. The only off-trail riding you may encounter is due to a construction closing, like the sewer construction project in Akron, OH. Fortunately, that detour is only a 1-mile road ride, but it will be in effect until 2019.

This last big chunk of OTE has some surface changes that vary between towpath, asphalt, boardwalk and even a bit of asphalt with chip-n-seal. The due east path along the Sippo changes to northbound when you reach Massillon and turn north on the towpath. The northward track continues through Canal Fulton, Clinton, Barberton and Akron.

After a little urban and industrial landscape, the towpath disappears into the heart of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park for about 20 miles or so, the route finally bending ever so slightly to the northwest, which will be its general heading the rest of the way.

About the only thing that may dampen your ride in the CVNP (besides rain), is if you happen to ride through during the towpath's busiest time -- a perfect weather weekend. Trail users can come out in droves here, so if you're timing is bad, expect your attention to be focused firmly on the trail ahead, rather than taking in the surrounding landscape.

Towpath Bridge in Independence, OH

At Rockside Road in Independence, OH, the trail enters the Cleveland Metroparks jurisdiction and the trail surface turns from towpath to asphalt for the rest of the journey. Two over-street bridges here (one pictured above) allow riders to avoid a couple of busier intersections.

The OTE soon comes to Harvard Road, about 5 miles from its eventual terminus. Though the trail ends here, there are two separate, completed trail segments further north. The closest to Harvard is Steelyard Commons, a 1-mile section that is being extended in 2017 another 1.9-miles to the north. It will be just short of the Scranton Flats segment, which is .6-mile long and the furthest completed northern section.

About 1/2-mile north of Scranton Flats will be the future Canal Basin Park, the Ohio & Erie Towpath's northern terminus. Though the towpath will end there, a connector to Lake Erie is already in the works for the OTE. The Centennial Lake Link Trail will make that final connection.

Recent construction of the Lake Link Trail (2017), a .4-mile finished segment, extends from the southern end of Scranton Flats over to Columbus Road. When completed, this will be the connector for riders looking to dip their wheels in the lake to officially end their cross-state ride.

But completion for the Cleveland-area towpath & OTE is a couple of years away, 2020. So for now, brave riders itching to complete their rides will have to take to Cleveland streets to do so.

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