Added by Michael Wigle
Escape the summer heat and get back to nature with a 36 mile ride along the historic canal corridor. Ride a trail that was built 200 years ago to travel through miles of pristine natural woods and wetlands.
The best way to tack the Towpath Trail along the remains of the Ohio and Erie Canal is by peddling it. Start at the Lock 39 Trailhead going south toward the Botzum Trailhead early in the morning before the crowds to ride upstream is the best way to start. Located a little over a mile East of I-77 or a little over a mile South of I-480 where Rockside Rd. and Canal Rd. meet, is the Lock 39 Trailhead. In the cooler morning air, the gradual ride up hill toward the Botzum Trailhead, 18 miles south.
The trail is wide, maintained, and relatively flat. This ride is about cruising the canal corridor in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Only a mile into the park, you can see canal locks, river pools, oxbows, rapids, wildlife, and a natural river setting. The trail takes the rider through a variety of forests, meadows, wetlands, and riparian ecosystems. There are countless opportunities to see wildlife up close.
At the Boston Trailhead you can leave the Towpath Trail to checkout Brandywine or Blue Hen Falls. At the Peninsula Trailhead, you can rest and get lunch. A few miles south of Peninsula, OH is Deep Lock Quarry where much of the stone for the canal came from. At the Bolanz Road trailhead is Szalay's Farm which is the perfect place to refuel on fresh farm produce.
This ride can be simple, or complex depending on what you're ready for. It is the perfect path to train on before the new mountain biking trail is completed in the park for later in 2016. If you want a weekday break from the sweltering city heat, or need a calming ride through some of the best that Ohio has to offer, this is the ride for you. This is also the only section of trail that is open 24 hours for an incredible moonlit night ride!
Once you hit the Botzum Road Trailhead and checkout the dozens of roosting Little Blue Herons, it's time to gradually ride downhill back to the Lock 39 Trailhead. After 36 miles of peddling, you'll be ready to recover with an ice cold beer. Head up Rockside Road toward I-77 and stop in at the Winking Lizard. With 375 different beers on hand for the World Tour of Beers, you cannot go wrong with trying a few out.
- Trek Hybrid Bike
- Giro Helmet
- Raptor Recharging Bike Light
- Teton Sports Oasis 1100 Pack
- Bug Spray
- Cocoweb Bike Lock
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Cycling, Fitness, Hiking, Photography, Running
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!
More Adventures Nearby
Visit Campbell Hill
Ohio / Campbell Hill Parking Lot
One of the easiest of the 50 State Highpoints in the United States to visit, Campbell Hill sits just outside Bellefountaine (pronounced Bell-fountain), Ohio.
Rock Climb at John Bryan SP
Ohio / John Bryan State Park Climbing Parking
If you are new to climbing, someone who really enjoys toprope climbing or if you live in west central Ohio and are looking to climb somewhere within a reasonable driving distance, John Bryan State Pa.