Ohio-to-Erie Trail

At a Glance

Location: Cincinnati to Cleveland

Length: ~320 miles / when complete

Class: A, B, C

Latest Update

The Ohio-to-Erie Trail is a cross-state bikeway that extends from the Ohio River in Cincinnati to Lake Erie at Cleveland. The trail is open, even though it is not completed. Road riding is required where trail gaps have yet to be closed along this ~320-mile corridor. [Scroll past 'Specs & Facts' to continue reading.]

Latest Update: 8/37/20 - New 2.25-Mile Ohio-to-Erie Trail Section Coming Soon

SW OH: Delaware County

Sunbury, OH

7/27/20 - Dog Attack Reports on Camp Chase Trail

SW OH: Franklin County

Columbus,, OH

7/13/20 - Upcoming Little Miami Trail Closure

Loveland, OH - A trail closure has been scheduled for the week of July 27 just north of Nisbet Park in Loveland. more

6/16/20 - Long-Tern Towpath Closure Coming July 8

NE OH: Massillon- An ongoing levee project near the Tuscarawas River in Massillon by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will impact travel during for an extended period. The summer 2020 work will cause intermittent closures of the Towpath Trail.

Weekday closures between the Lake Ave. Trailhead in Massillon and Cherry Rd. in Massillon will begin on July 8, 2020. Weekend access to this portion of the Towpath will be erratic. Please obey all construction and safety signs and be cautious of unpredictable trail conditions. This is a long term project that will affect various sections of the Towpath Trail in this area throughout 2020 and 2021.

6/16/20 - Towpath Closure Temporarily Lifted

NE OH: Summit County - 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 cap an oil and gas well adjacent to the canal corridor. The Fairview Avenue parking lot will be closed as well.

Please note: As of June 17, this trail section is temporarily reopened until ODNR returns to complete their project.

5/30/20 - Some Restrooms Opening along OTE


5/29/20 - Ohio-to-Erie Trail Map Updated

SW OH: Galloway

5/20/20 - More Flooding Expected in Central Ohio

SW OH: Columbus

New Trailhead Along Heart of Ohio Trail


NE OH: Knox County

5/5/20 - Towpath Section Closure May 4 - 15

NE OH: Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Updated on 5/5/20: The trail will not be open during the evening this week, as originally announced.

5/4/20 - $25K Trailside "Oasis" Planned for Heart of Ohio Trail

NE OH: Hilliar Twp. - "...Planning has begun for the 'Lytle Road Oasis,' a trailside amenity that will 'enhance access and experiences of Heart of Ohio Trail patrons'..." more

4/29/20 - Battelle Darby Creek Camp Chase Trail Connector is Open

SW OH: Galloway

4/27/20 - Towpath Section Reopens after Tree Removal

NE OH: Valley View in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

4/27/20 - Large Tree Blocking Towpath

NE OH: Valley View in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

4/23/20 - Towpath Section Closure - 5/1/20

NE OH: Barberton - 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 cap an oil and gas well adjacent to the canal corridor. The Fairview Avenue parking lot will be closed as well.

Please note, this start date has been updated from the previous announcement in March to reflect the revised construction schedule.

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

4/17/20 - Ohio-to-Erie Trail Newsletter

OH - Read the Spring 2020 edition.

4/17/20 - Trail Maintenance Alert April 27

SW OH: Maineville - "Beginning April 27: Five culverts on the trail south of Old 3C Highway need maintenance work, which will require the trail to be closed temporarily on weekdays..." more

4/9/20 - New Section of Heartland Trail to Explore

NE OH: Wayne County

Please note that this future trail section is not currently part of the recommended Ohio-to-Erie Trail route. It's part of a future corridor that's being developed from Orrville to Clinton, Ohio.

"...This section of future trail is quite rideable or walkable because it is mostly hard packed dirt & grass with a few short sections of gravel..." more.

4/8/20 - Towpath Closure Today in Cuyahoga Valley National Park


4/7/20 - New Trailside Veterans Memorial on Prairie Grass Trail

SW OH: South Charleston

Summit County Posts Open Restrooms List

NE OH: Summit County - View the list as well as other park alerts.

Holmes County Trail Notice


NE OH: Holmes County

Reminder: Honor the Gap!

NE OH: Knox County

4/5/20 - A Message from Craig Kenkel

NE OH: Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Scroll down this page to see the latest Cuyahoga Valley National Park closures list.

4/2/20 - Ohio & Erie Towpath Flooding Update


3/30/20 - Towpath Flooding Update

NE OH: Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Related: Flooding Photos.

3/29/20 - Towpath Trail Closed in the Cuyahoga Valley

NE OH: Cuyahoga Valley National Park

More Blacklick & Alum Creek Trail Flooding


SW OH: Columbus

3/26/20 - Columbus Trail Flooding Update

SW OH: Columbus - MetroParks Trails, especially Alum Creek Trail, continue to have issues from flooding this past week. Crews will be working on the ACT to remove silt and debris.

3/25/20 - Camp Chase Trail Detour

SW OH: Columbus

3/24/20 - Trailside Observation Tower Closes

NE OH: Mt. Vernon - Beginning today, March 24th, the Rastin Observation Tower in Mt. Vernon along the Heart of Ohio Trail (Ohio-to-Erie Trail) will be closed until further notice. Ariel Foundation Park, however, is still open.

3/23/20 - Alum Creek Trail Flooding Update

SW OH: Columbus

3/21/20 - Towpath Flooding Update for Stark County

NE OH: Stark County - Flooding at Blough Ave. has closed the trail between Craig Pittman Trailhead and Rt. 21 in Navarre, Lake Ave. in Massillon, and north of Lake Lucerne to the Summit County line in Canal Fulton. Parking lots at Crystal Springs, Lock 4, and Lake Lucerne are closed.

3/20/20 - Cuyahoga Valley National Park Closing Some Restrooms

NE OH: Cuyahoga Valley National Park - Towpath Trail

3/19/20 - Towpath Flooding in Stark County

NE OH: Stark County - Flooding over the trail at Blough Ave. has closed the trail between Craig Pittman Trailhead and Rt. 21 in Navarre, Lake Ave. in Massillon, and north of Lake Lucerne to the Summit County line in Canal Fulton.

3/18/20 - Construction Resumes on Towpath in Cleveland

Cleveland, OH - "Construction crews have resumed their work on stage 4 of the Towpath Trail extension project that runs from the northern end of stage 3 (Literary Rd. & University Rd.) through Scranton Flats and Carter Rd. to Canal Basin Park." more

3/17/20 - Little Miami Trail Section Realignment Coming in April

SW OIH: Foster - "...Around mile marker 37, which is four miles north of Loveland, the Little Miami Scenic Trail on the river side has been slipping down the hill toward the river... The project will move this section of the trail eastward, away from the river. Culverts will be reworked to provide improved drainage in an effort keep the trail stable.

"The work will result in temporary closures in limited areas. There will be no closures on weekends." more

3/16/20 - Ohio-to-Erie Trail Facility Closures

SW OH: Columbus

2/27/20 - Towpath Section Reroute Coming in March

NE OH: Akron - Beginning in early March, the Towpath Trail will be rerouted around the KB BioEnergy plant while the City of Akron performs work associated with its ongoing sewer project. The trail is anticipated to be restored by August 1, 2020.

2/21/20 - Towpath Section Still Closed

NE OH: Brecksville

2/7/20 - Large Tree Down on the Kokosing Trail

NE OH: Knox County

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

NE OH: Brecksville in Cuyahoga County

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

NE OH: Akron - 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.

1/16/20 - Trail Progress in Delaware County

SW OH: Delaware County - "Step by step, the Ohio To Erie Trail (OTET) gets closer to completion, and the public got to hear the latest about local links in an open house Tuesday at the Sunbury Town Hall." more

1/15/20 - New Licking County Preserve Will Provide Trail Link

SW OH: Licking County - "Licking County commissioners have approved the purchase of a 40-acre plot of farmland near Centerburg that will link the Ohio to Erie bike trail between Delaware and Knox counties..." more

1/11/20 - Tree Down on Roberts Pass

SW OH: Madison County

Madison County, OH

12/31/19 - Dead Tree Removal along Roberts Pass

SW OH: Madison County

12/30/19 - Grant Awarded to Build More Trail in Sunbury

SW OH: Madison County

11/24/19 - Camp Chase Trail Extension Paved, Not Open Yet

SW OH: Galloway

11/21/19 - Trail Closure Along Alum Creek

SW OH: Columbus

11/5/19 - Work Continues on OTE Midpoint Location

Centerburg, OH

11/1/19 - Photos of New OTE Trail Connection

SW OH: Galena

Some photos of the new Ohio-to-Erie Trail connection from Galena to Sunbury.

10/29/19 - How I Navigated the Ohio-to-Erie Trail

OH - "I had been warned. 'Even with the official map set, most people still tend to get themselves lost'..." more

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

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

10/23/19 - Galena to Sunbury Trail Section Paved

SW OH: Galena - The gap in the trail between Galena and Sunbury has been closed (paved).

10/17/19 - $6M Bridge will Connect OTE with Cleveland Lakefront

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

10/1/19 - Galena to Sunbury Trail Construction Continues

SW OH: Galena

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

NE OH: Summit County - 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

9/23/19 - Camp Chase Trail Extension Nearing Completion

SW OH: Galloway

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

NE OH: CVNP - 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

NE OH: Trail user reports that towpath detours are no fun.

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

NE OH: Akron - 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.

8/30/19 - Weakpoints in Central Ohio Wayfinding Signage

Columbus, OH - There's a lively discussion going on over at the Central Ohio Greenways page regarding a trail user survey. A poll there asks whether you 1) frequently get lost along Central Ohio Greenways, or 2) never get lost ('3 - seldom get lost' would have been a worthwhile option as well).

Unfortunately, ineffective signage has long been the norm for many Ohio bike trails, particularly in urban areas. This old blog post illustrates how urban wayfinding signs can often be less than helpful.

8/24/19 - Closing Gaps along the OTE

SW OH: Galena - "...[Galena Brick Trail] a trail that actually goes somewhere... Within a few years, if everything keeps going, you’ll be able to [bike] from Westerville all the way up to Mount Vernon..." more

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

NE OH: Cleveland - "...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.

8/14/19 - Construction to Close Trail Gap

SW OH: Delaware County - "Construction will begin mid-August to complete the [1-mile] missing link of the Ohio-To-Erie Trail between Galena and Sunbury. Construction is anticipated to be finished by November 1, 2019." more

8/12/19 - Towpath Repairs Coming to CVNP

NE OH: CVNP - 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.

8/12/19 - Bike Campers Called Out on Facebook

SW OH: London - Bike campers taking advantage of a primitive shower at a trailside campsite along the Prairie Grass and Ohio-to-Erie Trails have been scolded on facebook for hanging laundry outside the camping area. more

7/31/19 - Cleveland Route Update

NE OH: Cleveland - "We are hearing that travelers are getting confused in the Cleveland area because there is a lot of construction and changes. Here is the most recent status..." more

7/2719 - Campsite Adds "Rustic Rinse" Shower Amenity for Trail Travellers

SW OH: London - Trail travellers along the Ohio-to-Erie and Prairie Grass Trails now have a new amenity at the trailside camping facility at London, Ohio. The "Rustic Rinse" primitive shower! more

7/24/19 - Cyclists Debate Usefulness of New Camp Chase Trail Section

SW OH: Columbus - "[Camp Chase Trail] looks to be complete along Georgesville Rd." See comments.

7/22/19 - Alum Creek Trail Alert

SW OH: Columbus - "City of Columbus will be doing utility work on the Alum Creek Trail North of Livingston Avenue and South of Morse Rd for the next several months. The trail will remain open, but watch for flaggers and equipment on the trail."

7/21/19 - Help Improve the Ohio-to-Erie Trail Guide

SW OH: Columbus - "If you find places where you think our trail guide set is not clear about a point of navigation, can you let us know the specifics so we can address it?.." more

7/18/19 - Police Investigating Stabbing/Robbery on Camp Chase Trail

SW OH: Columbus - "...The May 21 incident happened on Camp Chase Trail between North Hague Avenue and Holton Park. " more

7/15/19 - Trail Navigation Tips

SW OH: Columbus - "Planning a trip on the Ohio to Erie Trail? Please make sure you have several options for navigation besides using signage. Depending only on signage can lead to moments of indecision.... In the metropolitan areas with multiple trail intersections, people get confused thinking every 'bike route' and trail sign is for the Ohio to Erie Trail..." more

7/5/19 - Summit County Towpath Closure Updates

NE OH: Summit County - "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.."

7/3/19 - Flooding along the Kokosing Trail

NE OH: Mt. Vernon - "This is the current condition at the Lower Gambier Road Parking Lot of the Kokosing Gap Trail." more

6/2919 - Towpath Closures Update

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

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

6/2819 - Towpath Open in Stark County

NE OH: Stark County - 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."

6/2619 - Alum Creek Trail Flooding Update

SW OH: Columbus - From Columbus MetroParks, "The Alum Creek Trail is still flooded in several sections including near Refugee Rd. Please use caution"

6/2519 - Tinkers Creek Towpath Closure Update

NE OH: Cuyahoga National Park - "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."

6/2419 - Woman Hit, Robbed on Towpath Trail

NE OH: Akron - "...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

6/2419 - Towpath Section Closed

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

6/21/19 - Towpath Flooding Update

NE OH: Cuyahoga Valley National Park - "...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

6/20/19 - More Trail Flooding

SW OH - "ALERT: High Water at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park With more rain in the forecast, be prepared for continued closure of trails and areas of the park. Detour - After crossing the bridge over the Darby, head east on Alkire Road up the hill and go right on Darby Creek Drive to join the trail again.

"Camp Chase (OET)/Indian Ridge Trail- under the train tressel is flooded, you are not able to hike/bike from the Canoe Access to Indian Ridge." more

6/19/19 - Cars Seen Driving on Camp Chase Trail

Columbus, OH - "We're receiving reports of motor vehicles on the trail. Please be on the lookout for these reckless drivers (Hall Road Area). Law Enforcement needs a license plate, driver description and car description..." more

6/17/19 - Towpath Flooding Updates in NE OH

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 - Towpath Trail Flooding

NE OH: CVNP - "...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

6/1/19 - Robers Pass Closing June 10-14

SW OH: Madison County, - "Trail Alert: Roberts Pass west of Camp Chase Trail will have a detour during [sealcoating], June 10-14..." more

5/31/19 - Switchback Causing Confusion Along Ohio-to-Erie

SW OH: Columbus - "...West of downtown Columbus many people get confused where the Scioto Trail has a switchback near Grandview Ave... After the 2nd bridge over the Scioto River, watch the pavement markings and check the info kiosk for clarification..." more

5/31/19 -Periodic Towpath Section Closures in CVNP

NE OH: Cuyahoga Valley National Park - 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 - Towpath Closures in Summit County

NE 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."

NE OH: 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

5/28/19 - Camp Chase Trail Alert

SW OH: Columbus"...Alkire Road Bridge Over Big and Little Darby Creeks to be Closed. Approximate closure date: May 28 for 3 days, weather permitting." more

5/26/19 - Camp Chase Trail Paving Completed

SW OH: Columbus - "...The Georgesville Road railroad crossing has been recently paved and that means all major gaps are filled in! There is one more improvement project to the section through Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park when it moves from the park road to dedicated trail later this year..." more

5/20/19 - Genoa Trail Alert

SW OH: Genoa - "Pipe had to be laid under the Genoa Trail due to Delaware County Engineer, Delaware County, Ohio's construction of a detention basin....

"...although, there will be a metal plate put in place. Please avoid the area until it reopens and then slow down and use caution..." more

5/9/19 - Great American Trail Route will use 272-Miles of the OTE

Ohio is one of 12 states that comprise the proposed route of the Great American Rail Trail that was revealed this week. This 3,700-mile trail will extend from Washington state to Washington D.C. It's made up of existing trails that already complete 52% of the route, or 1,900 miles.

The east / west route through Ohio utilizes 6 existing trails and is mostly complete. 8 small gaps between existing bikeways totals only 33.3 miles of trails yet to be connected, while the mileage for 5 larger gaps (shown as white boxes on the image above) has yet to be defined.

This route will be the 2nd cross-state bikeway in Ohio. The Ohio-to-Erie Trail took the honors for being the first with its 320-mile route from Cincinnati through Columbus to Cleveland, Ohio. The OTE will most likely be finished first, as about 89% of the trail is completed at this time.

Perhaps the most interesting factoid about the Great American Rail Trail in Ohio is that 272 miles of the route is the Ohio-to-Erie Trail. So, when riding this section in the future, you may not only encounter riders traveling between Kentucky and Lake Erie at Cleveland, but you may also come across touring riders traveling to / from Indiana and Pennsylvania!

4/20/19 - Closures Possible Along Little Miami Trail

SW OH: Warren County - Trail re-alignment construction may cause intermittent closures on the Little Miami Trail near milemarker 29.5, just south of Morrow, Ohio. The estimated construction time-frame is April 15 - May 3, 2019.

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

NE OH: Cleveland - "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...

4/10/19 - Camp Chase Trail Construction

SW OH: Columbus - "New trail along Georgesville Rd connecting the Camp Chase Trail to Sullivant Ave..." more

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

NE OH: Stark County - 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 - Towpath Flooding Reports

NE OH: Stark County - 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"

3/31/19 - Alum Creek Trail Flooding

SW OH: Columbus - From Columbus MetroParks, "Severe flooding and debris blocking majority of Alum Creek Trail. Will clear by tomorrow afternoon when flooding has subsided. Stay Safe!"

3/22/19 - Towpath Trail Section Reopens

NE OH: CVNP - "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

3/22/19 - Galena Trail Construction Progress

SW OH: Galena - "... planning and design is underway for the Galena Brick Trail Phase 3 project. This is the segment of the Ohio-To-Erie Trail that will connect Galena to Sunbury. Construction is anticipated during the second half of 2019..." more

3/18/19 - Towpath Section Closure in Canal Fulton March 19

NE OH: Canal Fulton in Summit County - 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 - Towpath Section Closure in Akron

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."

2/26/19 - Northbound Trail Guide Available

OH - "The new Northbound Trail Guide is shipping..." more

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

NE OH: Barberton - 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

NE OH: Boston Twp., - 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...

2/12/19 - Columbus Trails Flooding Alert

SW OH: Columbus - From MetroParks, "Please be aware of flooding on the trails. Take care and do not ride through standing water if you do not know the depth. Stay safe."

2/8/19 - Towpath Flooding Reports

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

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

1/24/19 - Towpath Flooding Reported

NE OH: Stark County - "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...

1/20/19 - Weather Alert

SW OH: Columbus - From MetroParks, "Camp Chase Trail: snow drifts are covering trail making it unsafe from Battelle Darby Creek to Wilson rd. Please be careful out there."

1/9/19 - 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...

1/2/19 - Towpath Trail Flooding

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."

Trail Specs & Facts:

Location: This cross-state trail extends from Cincinnati to Xenia, on to Columbus, then Akron, and finally Cleveland at Lake Erie.

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: & Camping: Plan Your Trip Resources along the Ohio-to-Erie 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 was set for 2020, but it's clear that 2 large gaps in the trail totalling roughly 25 miles will remain after that deadline.

Currently, roughly 89% 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 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 into 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, a .7-mile road ride will get you to completed trail at Steelyard Commons. From that point another .3-mile road ride is required to bridge up to the Centennial Lake Link Trail.

At the current end of the Lake Link Trail, 2 short trail gaps prevent riders from reaching the lakeshore. And another small gap to the west prevents riders from connecting to a newly completed segment of the Lakefront Trail and a trail connection to Edgewater Park.

Completion of the Cleveland-area connections is at least a year away (2020), if not longer. As for the other remaining large gaps along the OTE, there is a 8-mile gap in Holmes County, along with a 17-mile gap in Wayne County which are not expected to be closed anytime soon.

So keep in mind if you're considering riding the entire route, that you will have some road riding added to the mix!

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