Bike along the Cuyahoga River via Lock 39 Trailhead

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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.

Pack List

  • Trek Hybrid Bike
  • Giro Helmet
  • Raptor Recharging Bike Light
  • Teton Sports Oasis 1100 Pack
  • Sunglasses
  • Bug Spray
  • Cocoweb Bike Lock
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Activities:

Cycling, Fitness, Hiking, Photography, Running

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

36 Miles

Elev. Gain:

200 Feet

Features:

Adult Beverages
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Groups
Handicap Accessible
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife

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Added by Michael Wigle

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