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Alternative route from Cinci to Columbus

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Alternative route from Cinci to Columbus

Old 01-12-18, 08:45 AM
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mohamilton
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Looking for an alternative route from Cinci to Columbus

I've biked up to Columbus from Cincinnati via the Ohio to Erie route. Its nice and easy to navigate but pretty boring. Has anyone done this trip on country roads?

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Old 01-12-18, 02:27 PM
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There are some routes in that area I would like to do.


The most interesting one is a backpacking route, that looks a little out of your way.
Buckeye Trail Bicycle Route - BIKEPACKING.com

There is a bike trail on google maps that goes between those two cities.

I tend to look at stuff like that, then the strava heat map to determine the route I like
(and google street view if things look doubtful).
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Old 01-12-18, 04:28 PM
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What's the bike trail like, north of Xenia? It appears to just parallel the highway, with a thin line of trees at the trail. The Little Miami Trail is very scenic from it's southern end near Mariemont, up to the Spring Valley area north of Corwin OH.

Here's a route. I didn't try to avoid hills, but it's still pretty low elevation gain. Convenience stores or restaurants are available in the larger towns -- check with google maps.
I used the Strava Route Builder to pick roads past Blanchester -- it tries to follow the most popular cycling roads from uploaded strava ride recordings.
Cincinnati-Columbus route

Are you doing this as a multi-day tour? I didn't consider an overnight stop.
Out and back, or one-way? It would be easy to make a different return route.

There's alternate routes to avoid the climb at the 10 mile mark, but that's a scenic area in Indian Hill OH. The route takes the trail briefly on it's way to Loveland OH at the 23 mile mark.

From mile 23 Loveland OH to mile 78 at Washington Court House OH, most of those roads are nice for cycling, with little traffic. I just avoid the major highways as much as possible.

I don't know the roads north of Washington Court House, but it's pretty flat, and I'm guessing that most of the country roads will be fine.

~~~~~~~~~~~
Other ideas:
I don't know the Chillicothe area at all, but it's probably an interesting route to go there, then head north on the route of the TOSRV ride along the Scioto River valley.

I see there's a newer bike trail from Washington C.H. to Chillicothe, the Tri County Triangle Trail. I don't know anything about it -- but it appears to be paved? Getting on it around Austin OH might be an alternative to the busy main highways OH-28, US-50, US-35 into Chillicothe.

~~~
Or, take the Little Miami Trail from Cincinnati to around Corwin, then do roads from there.

Last edited by rm -rf; 01-12-18 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 01-12-18, 04:53 PM
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SW Ohio roads

There are some really nice rural road routes around here. It's a mix of farms, woodlots, and creek valleys on quiet country roads.

I highlighted some of the good biking areas in SW Ohio. Some of the areas outside the highlights are also fine, but roads can be more congested, and the routes need some more careful consideration. I'm familiar with most of the highlighted areas.

In the pink highlights, just about any road is good, avoiding the major highways as much as possible. Some steep climbs are possible, especially closer to the Ohio River.

I assume that non-highway roads closer to Columbus are good, too.

The second map is a few years of my Garmin ride recordings, in green. Lots of good routes.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
SW Ohio.JPG (246.0 KB, 51 views)
File Type: jpg
local rides map.JPG (282.4 KB, 49 views)

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Old 01-14-18, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
What's the bike trail like, north of Xenia? It appears to just parallel the highway, with a thin line of trees at the trail. The Little Miami Trail is very scenic from it's southern end near Mariemont, up to the Spring Valley area north of Corwin OH.

Here's a route. I didn't try to avoid hills, but it's still pretty low elevation gain. Convenience stores or restaurants are available in the larger towns -- check with google maps.
I used the Strava Route Builder to pick roads past Blanchester -- it tries to follow the most popular cycling roads from uploaded strava ride recordings.
Cincinnati-Columbus route

Are you doing this as a multi-day tour? I didn't consider an overnight stop.
Out and back, or one-way? It would be easy to make a different return route.

There's alternate routes to avoid the climb at the 10 mile mark, but that's a scenic area in Indian Hill OH. The route takes the trail briefly on it's way to Loveland OH at the 23 mile mark.

From mile 23 Loveland OH to mile 78 at Washington Court House OH, most of those roads are nice for cycling, with little traffic. I just avoid the major highways as much as possible.

I don't know the roads north of Washington Court House, but it's pretty flat, and I'm guessing that most of the country roads will be fine.

~~~~~~~~~~~
Other ideas:
I don't know the Chillicothe area at all, but it's probably an interesting route to go there, then head north on the route of the TOSRV ride along the Scioto River valley.

I see there's a newer bike trail from Washington C.H. to Chillicothe, the Tri County Triangle Trail. I don't know anything about it -- but it appears to be paved? Getting on it around Austin OH might be an alternative to the busy main highways OH-28, US-50, US-35 into Chillicothe.

~~~
Or, take the Little Miami Trail from Cincinnati to around Corwin, then do roads from there.


This is perfect! Thank you! North of Xenia gets pretty very boring - strait route, surrounded by fields. I'll be biking up to columbus a few times this summer so some rides will be 1 day there 1 day back and others may be a few day tour to change it up. I have family up there so i'd like to bike up more instead of driving.
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Old 01-14-18, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
SW Ohio roads

There are some really nice rural road routes around here. It's a mix of farms, woodlots, and creek valleys on quiet country roads.

I highlighted some of the good biking areas in SW Ohio. Some of the areas outside the highlights are also fine, but roads can be more congested, and the routes need some more careful consideration. I'm familiar with most of the highlighted areas.

In the pink highlights, just about any road is good, avoiding the major highways as much as possible. Some steep climbs are possible, especially closer to the Ohio River.

I assume that non-highway roads closer to Columbus are good, too.

The second map is a few years of my Garmin ride recordings, in green. Lots of good routes.
Thank you for the suggestions, looks like a great starting point! I'll check these areas out as well.
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Old 01-14-18, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by mohamilton View Post
This is perfect! Thank you! North of Xenia gets pretty very boring - strait route, surrounded by fields. I'll be biking up to columbus a few times this summer so some rides will be 1 day there 1 day back and others may be a few day tour to change it up. I have family up there so i'd like to bike up more instead of driving.
Heat Map
I use the Strava Heat Map when I want to ride in unfamiliar areas. It colors in roads based on how many riders use the road, from strava ride recordings.
Here's the SW Ohio area. Click Labels to see town and road names. The bike trail glows bright white, lots of riders!
SW Ohio heat map
It's really good for avoiding busy roads, the ones that are much dimmer than nearby roads.

There's less activity way out of the cities, so those areas are dimmer. The colors readjust as you zoom in more.

Route Builder
To make a route using the heat map, I like Strava's Route Builder. Click Settings, then turn on the Heat Map to see your alternative choices. (free strava login required)
The route builder will pick the most popular roads, skipping the more direct, busy roads.
In some areas, it'll route on popular gravel roads or on mountain bike trails. But those are rare in this area.

Boring
Before I started doing cycle club rides, I assumed the roads east of Cincinnati would be boring -- just cornfields to the horizon. But they aren't boring at all. Over many years, riders have picked the best cycling roads, very quiet, often scenic.

The same thing is probably true closer to Columbus!
An example from Xenia, using the Route Builder. I had to click along the way or drag part of the route to different roads. It kept trying to use the very popular bike trails, of course.

I zoomed in and saw road names like "Old Clifton Road", and "Old Columbus Road" -- those are often very good, with traffic switched to the "new" road. Roads following creeks are usually very nice, too.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
xenia sample rt.JPG (129.9 KB, 43 views)

Last edited by rm -rf; 01-14-18 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 01-18-18, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
Heat Map
Boring
Before I started doing cycle club rides, I assumed the roads east of Cincinnati would be boring -- just cornfields to the horizon. But they aren't boring at all. Over many years, riders have picked the best cycling roads, very quiet, often scenic.
I love cycling on country roads and east Cinci is beautiful for cycling! Its more being on a linear bike path thats gets old for me but it can be nice to avoid traffic
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