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The BEST parts of Ohio to Erie Trail

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The BEST parts of Ohio to Erie Trail

Old 08-13-21, 09:24 AM
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Yul
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The BEST parts of Ohio to Erie Trail

I'll spend few days driving from Cincinnati to Cleveland the first week of October and want to stop and bike the best, most interesting, most beautiful parts of OTET. I'm looking for suggestions of up to 40 mile long segments that are a MUST. Since I will be riding unloaded I think 40 miles is doable since I'd need then to ride the same 40 miles back. Input from anyone with OTET experience is very appreciated.
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Old 08-16-21, 12:53 PM
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Honestly, the only section I've ridden was through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Here's the cool thing about it - you can ride the canal path in one direction and for just $5, you can ride the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic train back to your start point. It's a very pretty trail with a lot of visually interesting bits to it.

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Home

CVSR Schedules

CSVR Bike Aboard Program
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Old 08-16-21, 01:04 PM
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Thanks for advise and links. Cuyahoga Valley National Park is definitely in my plans. I'm planning 2 days there: one for biking and another for hiking. The only problem with train is that I will be riding my trike and doubt they will let me in. So I'm planning to bike the trail both ways.
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Old 08-17-21, 06:39 AM
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The CVNP section is reasonably flat so there shouldn't be a lot of challenge in terms of terrain. Expect to see lots of pedestrians.

I also like the stretch of Towpath between downtown Akron and Massillon.
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Old 08-17-21, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by a_d_a_m View Post
The CVNP section is reasonably flat so there shouldn't be a lot of challenge in terms of terrain. Expect to see lots of pedestrians.

I also like the stretch of Towpath between downtown Akron and Massillon.
Thanks, a_d_a_m. Putting this segment on my to do list. It looks like my north-east portion is covered. Now hope to learn about the best parts in the center and south-west.
After riding my trike the full length of the Blue Ridge Parkway and crossing PA from OH to NJ (loaded) I'm not too worry about OTET terrain. Looking forward to a relaxing ride.
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Old 08-20-21, 07:43 PM
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I have ridden the entire tow path several times. I just rode the northern 20 miles of it today. In my honest opinion, I think the prettiest part is the southern last 20 miles along the river. The northern section from Akron to Cleveland is mostly pretty. From south Akron south is also mostly pretty. The within Cleveland and along the lake front the views are great. So are the restaurants.
In summer, give me the Cleveland portion of the trail. In color season give me Navara south The least attractive areas are Akron city proper and Massillon.
Pavement is from Rockside road south of Cleveland all the way to Cleveland and every part of Cleveland. All of the Akron area. From Clinton to Canal Fulton. None of the National Park is paved but some sections are very rough north of Rt 82
Cleveland Metroparks are very pretty green spaces and all paved. From Rt 82 and the parkway, the Western half of the Emerald Necklace is a park along the Rocky River the whole way and is 22 miles to Emerald Necklace Marina where you can turn around. Along the Valley View Parkway the trail is brand new but Killer Climbs of 650 feet. Bedford Reservation on the East side is very nice but also a lot of climbing.
The most beautiful is Cleveland Lakefront from Upper Edgewater Park through Euclid Beach. Second for me is Cleveland Metorparks, Mill Stream Reservation into Rocky River Reservation. Third is the Southern Most 20 miles of the towpath, it has low use, can be narrow and is not paved.
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Old 09-12-21, 09:03 PM
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The Kokosing Gap Trail from Mount Vernon to Gambier is nice but short. Continue on the KGT to another great segment from Brinkhaven to Glenmont. About 40 miles.
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Old 09-13-21, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by MKahrl View Post
The Kokosing Gap Trail from Mount Vernon to Gambier is nice but short. Continue on the KGT to another great segment from Brinkhaven to Glenmont. About 40 miles.
Great! Thanks MKahrl and KPREN. I have the Towpath and adding KGT to my ride list.
In and near Columbus I see few trails and wondering if they worse spending some time to explore? One trail is running from Franklin park to Three creeks park and then to Blacklick Woods Metro Park. And what trail within Columbus city is the best?
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Old 09-13-21, 11:28 AM
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Just a tip, the portion of the towpath that runs through the CVNP is on the narrow side, and a trike/recumbent might end up making things dicey in spots if there are other users you want to overtake.

The trail you're describing is the Alum Creek trail. It has a trailhead in Westerville, with a connection south in Three Creeks to the Blacklick trail. The Blacklick trail will take you to Pickerington Ponds, and it's just a short jaunt on some local roads to get to Downtown Old Pickerington, with a tiny diner near the rail line. The trail uses the northern half of the Alum Creek trail to traverse the NE side of Columbus. I consider the Camp Chase trail from western side of Columbus to London to be fairly scenic, but it's straight and runs you into the prevailing wind direction, traveling west. You'll pass through the Battelle Darby Creek park, and along the old rail line along a tree-lined and wide paved trail.
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Old 09-13-21, 11:42 AM
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Trails within the city? I dunno, what do you want to see? Olentangy River trail can be fun as you head north from the OSU campus, but it's easily the most heavily used trail in the city. The Scioto River trail is cozy and shaded, with some kickers along it, and since it shadows the river, you'll have shade and nice views most of the time, but it sort of starts at a corner of a suburb and ends at a dead end next to SR 104 after winding along the river and through bicentennial park.
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Old 09-13-21, 12:29 PM
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Thanks for the great tips Unca_Sam. Local knowledge is the best. I definitely want to spend a whole day riding these Columbus trails. I'll have to come up with a plan on how to make at least some of them in an efficient way. Even so I have a car and flexible, I'll need to ride each trail or segment I choose in both directions. As of now I'm thinking of combining and riding both Camp Chase and Scioto river trails. And then if time permits, I'll add a segment from other trails you described.

My original plan was to bike OTET the first week of Oct, but I switched gears and instead go to an organized cross NC ride. My new plan for OTET is May-June 2022. So I have more time to prepare.
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Old 09-14-21, 04:34 PM
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Having just completed OTET from river to lake a week or so ago (which reminds me I need to post a tour review + pics), I would just like to say this...both the Camp Chase and Alum Creek Trails are nice, but not very overwhelming in terms of beauty or scenery. If you have business in the Columbus area, yes - they're definitely worth riding (and full disclosure, I've never ridden the Olentangy Trail in Columbus).

But if you have no real reason to be in Columbus proper, I would recommend the OTET stretch north of Westerville comprised of the Heart Of Ohio Trail, Holmes County Trail, and Kokosing Gap Trail. The stretch between Centerburg and Glenmont is fantastic. As far as lodging recommendations, the Mount Vernon Grand Hotel was spectacular.

Map: https://goo.gl/maps/7EGUTYSEpCPR81LFA


This is just my $0.02, your mileage may vary.


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Old 09-14-21, 05:29 PM
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Welcome back, a_d_a_m. Centerburg to Glenmont is already on my to do list and you just cemented it to my OTET map. I can't wait to make the same picture with my trike.

Being fresh from the ride, what are your other favorite segments of OTET?
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Old 09-14-21, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Yul View Post
Being fresh from the ride, what are your other favorite segments of OTET?
Favorite parts:
-road riding out of Cincinnati...though we left early Sunday morning so there was NO traffic whatsoever
-most of the Little Miami Scenic Trail
-Centerburg to Mt. Vernon on the Heart Of Ohio Trail; downhill most of the way and it was heavy rain when I rode - lots of fun!
-being able to pedal all the way from Brinkhaven up to Baddow Pass
-road riding OH-520 between Glenmont and Killbuck (not everyone's cup of tea but I enjoyed it immensely)
-road riding between Apple Creek and Dalton (plenty of hills but the scenery was great)
-seeing the Cleveland skyline for the first time!


Least favorite parts:
-Camp Chase Trail near Battelle Darby Creek Metropark. Signage is somewhat confusing in the lot, and they send you down a gravel hill solely for the purpose of making you climb back up a large paved one.
-the road stretch between Sunbury and the Huffman Rd. trailhead of the Heart Of Ohio Trail. Signage in Sunbury is again somewhat lacking and it just seemed like a ton of WORK
-the demoralizing series of hills on the road immediately north of Fredericksburg (if you like hills, this will be a highlight for you! I am a Clyde and not good at climbing)
-the bumpy paved stretch north of Brecksville in the CVNP
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Old 09-14-21, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by a_d_a_m View Post
Favorite parts:
-road riding out of Cincinnati...though we left early Sunday morning so there was NO traffic whatsoever
-most of the Little Miami Scenic Trail
-Centerburg to Mt. Vernon on the Heart Of Ohio Trail; downhill most of the way and it was heavy rain when I rode - lots of fun!
-being able to pedal all the way from Brinkhaven up to Baddow Pass
-road riding OH-520 between Glenmont and Killbuck (not everyone's cup of tea but I enjoyed it immensely)
-road riding between Apple Creek and Dalton (plenty of hills but the scenery was great)
-seeing the Cleveland skyline for the first time!


Least favorite parts:
-Camp Chase Trail near Battelle Darby Creek Metropark. Signage is somewhat confusing in the lot, and they send you down a gravel hill solely for the purpose of making you climb back up a large paved one.
-the road stretch between Sunbury and the Huffman Rd. trailhead of the Heart Of Ohio Trail. Signage in Sunbury is again somewhat lacking and it just seemed like a ton of WORK
-the demoralizing series of hills on the road immediately north of Fredericksburg (if you like hills, this will be a highlight for you! I am a Clyde and not good at climbing)
-the bumpy paved stretch north of Brecksville in the CVNP
I noticed some tourers coming through the hilltop connector last Wednesday morning and afternoon, maybe I saw you!

Regarding Camp Chase at Battelle Darby Creek: there's no avoiding that climb into Columbus. Local geography makes the climb unavoidable; you're climbing out of one valley to get to the next. You're welcome to climb Alkire Rd right out of the parking lot as the most direct route, but that sends you through a roundabout and then over the RR tracks at a bad angle. I've seen riders wiped out on those tracks before.
Then there's the new trail (which you probably took) and the old route through the parking lot and up the park road.

Signage is bad at a couple of spots on the Camp Chase (what way did you take at Sullivant at the lying "trail ends" sign 😏?) At least there are bike route signs in Valleyview to point you towards the Hilltop Connector (which is another fun climb!)
No matter what you do, you'll face an 80-100 ft climb over about a mile to get out of the Battelle Darby creeks' valley.
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Old 09-14-21, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
I noticed some tourers coming through the hilltop connector last Wednesday morning and afternoon, maybe I saw you!
We were getting into Columbus on the evening of Monday, August 30th, and out on Tuesday morning, August 31st, bright and early.

Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
You're welcome to climb Alkire Rd right out of the parking lot as the most direct route, but that sends you through a roundabout and then over the RR tracks at a bad angle. I've seen riders wiped out on those tracks before.
Then there's the new trail (which you probably took) and the old route through the parking lot and up the park road.
I think I will take my chances on the road next time. I feel like I have pretty good awareness of hazards and have no problem dismounting at a RxR to avoid a potential wipeout.

The route I took instead went off of the roundabout in the park, down a gravel hill, under a bridge next to the creek, then turned into a long, paved climb. I was definitely winded at the top.

Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
Signage is bad at a couple of spots on the Camp Chase (what way did you take at Sullivant at the lying "trail ends" sign 😏?)
We took a right at Sullivant,heading eastbound to Georgesville Road. Of course, we crossed through in the middle of what I assume was Columbus rush hour and the other riders with me were in a somewhat bad mood by that point, but I don't imagine that intersection is much fun at any hour of the day.





I plan to post a tour review (with the few pics I took) in the Touring subforum one of these days, but I simply have not had time to do so. I will try to remember to link back in this thread once that's done.
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Old 09-15-21, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by a_d_a_m View Post
I think I will take my chances on the road next time. I feel like I have pretty good awareness of hazards and have no problem dismounting at a RxR to avoid a potential wipeout.
No matter what, there's no avoiding the climb. Alkire Rd puts the whole thing together, where the OTET stretches it out over a longer distance.
The route I took instead went off of the roundabout in the park, down a gravel hill, under a bridge next to the creek, then turned into a long, paved climb. I was definitely winded at the top.
This is the way.

We took a right at Sullivant,heading eastbound to Georgesville Road. Of course, we crossed through in the middle of what I assume was Columbus rush hour and the other riders with me were in a somewhat bad mood by that point, but I don't imagine that intersection is much fun at any hour of the day.
I usually go left there. The next intersection takes you on a quiet street where you get another 3 way light to cross Georgesville Rd, then turn south for the trail again. The "trail" that seems to continue right is really a sidewalk, and riding along the eastern side of Georgesville on the sidewalk is asking to have an oblivious driver hit you in one of the driveways. If I go that way, I ride in traffic; I'll heartily agree that the Sullivant/Georgesville intersections are unpleasant, even on light days.
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Old 09-15-21, 12:07 PM
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For those who wish to see some of my trip, I posted a journal in Touring: Ohio To Erie Trail - my August-September trip
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Old 03-20-22, 10:11 PM
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7 day Ohio to Erie Trail Group Bike Ride

[

Bridge of dreams is a highlight, as was nearby Amish county. I plan to do again this summer with my meetup groups, tampa bay cycling, and fun bike trips,
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Old 03-29-22, 02:19 PM
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Just as an FYI, there is a long-term closure of OTET in the Little Miami section near Kings Mills. Grandin Road, specifically. This starts June 2022 and lasts 7 months.

https://www.miamivalleytrails.org/li...e-grandin-road



There is no official detour, but here's the best I can figure out: https://goo.gl/maps/syZUoFvjbafdiU516 / https://goo.gl/maps/YbPYfj1MnH2jVPM79
I am not local to the area so I can't speak to how safe these routes are.
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