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Riding from Ohio to NY, need adivce

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Riding from Ohio to NY, need adivce

Old 06-09-16, 02:19 PM
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Brawny86
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Riding from Ohio to NY, need adivce

I have been attempting, unsuccessfully, to map out a bike friendly mix of trails and roads to get me from Ohio to New York. I reside near the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail, which I regularly use. This takes riders all the way to Cleveland. From there it would be great to continue following Lake Erie all the way to Erie PA, then continuing near the lake, running parallel to I-90 on into NY. If anyone from Ohio, PA, or NY out there has some helpful advice on travel routes, or even a completely different route that would still accomplish the goal, please fill me in! Thanks all
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Old 06-17-16, 01:16 PM
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I'm a NE Ohio rider as well, but thankfully I'm in Trumbull County, not the city.

The Towpath makes a good north-south connection, but heading east when you're near the lake is not going to be easy for a cyclist. I know I have a low tolerance for traffic, but riding on the road through Euclid, Willowick, and Willoughby sounds like anything but fun. If you want to head towards Erie, and depending on your location near the Towpath, I might consider cutting northeast on the trails through Bedford Reservation till almost Bentleyville.

From there it's just a short distance to Chagrin Falls. I think I'd aim for Chardon from there, maybe using Music Road and then Auburn Road. Follow the trail at Chardon north to Painesville, and you're back by the lake.

Heading east from Painesville there isn't really a 'lakeside' road till around Madison, where they're mostly low traffic residential roads till you get to Geneva on the Lake. There the lakeside road becomes state route 531. But you can cut inland just a short distance and find lower traffic roads to get to Ashtabula.

Past Ashtabula route 531 still hugs the lake, but the traffic flow drops off a bit till you get to Conneaut. You'd have to jog inland there, but once you cross into PA you get some gravel on Old Lake Road, then back onto pavement on W. Lake Road, which you can follow right into Erie. Continuing on towards New York, E. Lake Road doesn't look too bad.

Just some suggestions. I have some experience with some of these roads and trails, others are just 'virtually scouted'.

Good luck

Steve Z
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Old 06-20-16, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Brawny86 View Post
I have been attempting, unsuccessfully, to map out a bike friendly mix of trails and roads to get me from Ohio to New York. I reside near the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail, which I regularly use. This takes riders all the way to Cleveland. From there it would be great to continue following Lake Erie all the way to Erie PA, then continuing near the lake, running parallel to I-90 on into NY. If anyone from Ohio, PA, or NY out there has some helpful advice on travel routes, or even a completely different route that would still accomplish the goal, please fill me in! Thanks all
Where, exactly, in NY? We're a big state, after all. :-) I live here and might be able to offer some suggestions.
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Old 06-20-16, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by swampboy62 View Post
I'm a NE Ohio rider as well, but thankfully I'm in Trumbull County, not the city.

The Towpath makes a good north-south connection, but heading east when you're near the lake is not going to be easy for a cyclist. I know I have a low tolerance for traffic, but riding on the road through Euclid, Willowick, and Willoughby sounds like anything but fun. If you want to head towards Erie, and depending on your location near the Towpath, I might consider cutting northeast on the trails through Bedford Reservation till almost Bentleyville.

From there it's just a short distance to Chagrin Falls. I think I'd aim for Chardon from there, maybe using Music Road and then Auburn Road. Follow the trail at Chardon north to Painesville, and you're back by the lake.

Heading east from Painesville there isn't really a 'lakeside' road till around Madison, where they're mostly low traffic residential roads till you get to Geneva on the Lake. There the lakeside road becomes state route 531. But you can cut inland just a short distance and find lower traffic roads to get to Ashtabula.

Past Ashtabula route 531 still hugs the lake, but the traffic flow drops off a bit till you get to Conneaut. You'd have to jog inland there, but once you cross into PA you get some gravel on Old Lake Road, then back onto pavement on W. Lake Road, which you can follow right into Erie. Continuing on towards New York, E. Lake Road doesn't look too bad.

Just some suggestions. I have some experience with some of these roads and trails, others are just 'virtually scouted'.

Good luck

Steve Z
I like the new Strava Route Builder for areas that I don't know well. It tries to route on popular biking roads, using a year of strava recorded bike rides. But it sometimes picks gravel roads if those are popular, and some "popular" roads are simply the easiest way to get out of town for local riders.

You need a free Strava login to use it.

Here's the sample route: Massillon OH to Dunkirk NY. It's only an example. I didn't spend much time on it.

Cities have much more activity, so it tends to route closer to cities. In populated areas, I try to avoid roads that are faint blue, showing much less biking than roads nearby. That usually means they are annoying to ride.

I did a quick example route, clicking the bolded towns in swampboy62's routing.

I turn on the Heat Map option when making a route, so I can easily see alternative roads.


A screenshot of the Route Builder Edit screen. The most popular bike roads are dark red, then light red, then blue. You see more roads colored in as you zoom in.
The white dots on the route are waypoints that I clicked. The route or the dots can be dragged to move the route.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
Strava Route Builder edit.jpg (99.7 KB, 83 views)

Last edited by rm -rf; 06-20-16 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 06-20-16, 09:59 AM
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New York maintains a network of bike routes, some simply designated roads, some separated trails or paved paths. State Bike Route 5 runs parallel to the Erie Canal, possibly with some sections on the old tow path (haven't checked). Anyway, the link will take you to a resource where you can find other possible routes, plus a route south from Albany area to NYC.

For my part, having toured NY extensively on regular roads, there are a few nice options.

I'd avoid staying up along the Lake Ontario because that takes you through too many cities. If staying parallel to the Erie Canal, consider turning south at Syracuse. This takes you through a nice quiet alley to Oneonta, then you can angle northeast toward Albany and continue to NYC along the Hudson, or climb out to the south and angle toward the Kingston area and on to NYC.

One of my favorite routes is to drop south to the Allegheny Plateau along the NY/PA border, following that to Kingston, then following the Delaware to the NY/PS/NJ corner and on to NYC across northern NJ. Or from Kingston you can come across the southern Catskills toward Bear Mtn, where you can turn southeast to NYC via the George Washington Bridge, or cross at Bear Mtn and come south through Westchester County, which has plenty of nice rideable roads, and a very nice separated bike road all the way to NYC.

It all depends on what you're looking for, and how hill tolerant you are. If you block out most of it, feel free to PM me for more details for a 100 mile or so radius from NYC.
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Old 06-20-16, 10:04 AM
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This is a ton of great information that I will be looking into over the next few days. Thanks!
Originally Posted by swampboy62 View Post
I'm a NE Ohio rider as well, but thankfully I'm in Trumbull County, not the city.

The Towpath makes a good north-south connection, but heading east when you're near the lake is not going to be easy for a cyclist. I know I have a low tolerance for traffic, but riding on the road through Euclid, Willowick, and Willoughby sounds like anything but fun. If you want to head towards Erie, and depending on your location near the Towpath, I might consider cutting northeast on the trails through Bedford Reservation till almost Bentleyville.

From there it's just a short distance to Chagrin Falls. I think I'd aim for Chardon from there, maybe using Music Road and then Auburn Road. Follow the trail at Chardon north to Painesville, and you're back by the lake.

Heading east from Painesville there isn't really a 'lakeside' road till around Madison, where they're mostly low traffic residential roads till you get to Geneva on the Lake. There the lakeside road becomes state route 531. But you can cut inland just a short distance and find lower traffic roads to get to Ashtabula.

Past Ashtabula route 531 still hugs the lake, but the traffic flow drops off a bit till you get to Conneaut. You'd have to jog inland there, but once you cross into PA you get some gravel on Old Lake Road, then back onto pavement on W. Lake Road, which you can follow right into Erie. Continuing on towards New York, E. Lake Road doesn't look too bad.

Just some suggestions. I have some experience with some of these roads and trails, others are just 'virtually scouted'.

Good luck

Steve Z
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Old 06-20-16, 10:06 AM
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Indeed you are LOL! I would like to follow somewhat closely to I90 in the South Western part of the state, and then head East towards Springville. I have some friends out that way that would be great to visit. Thanks!
Originally Posted by mulveyr View Post
Where, exactly, in NY? We're a big state, after all. :-) I live here and might be able to offer some suggestions.
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Old 06-20-16, 10:09 AM
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This is incredible, and I had not heard of it before. Many thanks!
Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
I like the new Strava Route Builder for areas that I don't know well. It tries to route on popular biking roads, using a year of strava recorded bike rides. But it sometimes picks gravel roads if those are popular, and some "popular" roads are simply the easiest way to get out of town for local riders.

You need a free Strava login to use it.

Here's the sample route: Massillon OH to Dunkirk NY. It's only an example. I didn't spend much time on it.

Cities have much more activity, so it tends to route closer to cities. In populated areas, I try to avoid roads that are faint blue, showing much less biking than roads nearby. That usually means they are annoying to ride.

I did a quick example route, clicking the bolded towns in swampboy62's routing.

I turn on the Heat Map option when making a route, so I can easily see alternative roads.


A screenshot of the Route Builder Edit screen. The most popular bike roads are dark red, then light red, then blue. You see more roads colored in as you zoom in.
The white dots on the route are waypoints that I clicked. The route or the dots can be dragged to move the route.
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Old 06-21-16, 08:08 AM
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Check out Bike Route Z on this map:

ArcGIS Web Application

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Old 08-19-16, 01:09 PM
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Did you end up making the ride?

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