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Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail

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That is awesome! I know we constantly hear negativity about how other states are so much more progressive than Ohio, but I do have to say, our multi-purpose state-wide trail system is definitely one of the best in the country. We may not have the mountains, but I think it is pretty awesome that you can get to all 3 of our big cities without riding on any roads!

Edited by YO to the CLE
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2 hours ago, YO to the CLE said:

That is awesome! I know we constantly hear negativity about how other states are so much more progressive than Ohio, but I do have to say, our multi-purpose state-wide trail system is definitely one of the best in the country. We may not have the mountains, but I think it is pretty awesome that you can get to all 3 of our big cities without riding on any roads!

I honestly didn't realize it was all offroad, I'm doing the GAP/C&O trail next week, I may have to add this to the list!

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3 hours ago, YO to the CLE said:

That is awesome! I know we constantly hear negativity about how other states are so much more progressive than Ohio, but I do have to say, our multi-purpose state-wide trail system is definitely one of the best in the country. We may not have the mountains, but I think it is pretty awesome that you can get to all 3 of our big cities without riding on any roads!

 

 

I rode from Cincinnati to Columbus twice in 2009.  Progress near Cincinnati has been minimal but it looks like the trail has extended past the random corn field where I remember it ending in 2009, about six miles east of London.  I had to ride on Broad St. for about 17 miles to the state house.  

 

Maybe later this summer I'll take a week off and ride up to Cleveland and back.  640 miles in 8 days is pretty rough on anything other than a road bike and you can't carry much stuff on a road bike.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, YO to the CLE said:

I think it is pretty awesome that you can get to all 3 of our big cities without riding on any roads!

 

I've been in the planning stages of riding the OTET for years now (catching a ride to Cleveland, then biking back to my house in Cincinnati, and camping at parks along the way).  From what I gather, there has been significant progress on the cornfield portions between Columbus and Cleveland, but it still has a number of country roads that you need to bike on.  Cleveland is just now getting their urban trail from Erie to the Towpath finished, so hopefully Cincinnati gets their butts in gear and connects Lunken to downtown.  I could see this being finally completed in 2025.

 

From the FAQ page:

At least 83% of those miles are completed on a collection of off-street but hard surface/paved trails. Some of the OTET is on roads with the lowest traffic we could find in the areas.  In 2017 another 8 miles of OTET on the Holmes County Trail extension from Glenmont to the Bridge of Dreams opened.

 

*Since 2017 (from what I've followed) the Camp Chase trail filled in a gap and phase 3 Towpath extension filled a complicated urban gap.

Edited by 10albersa
Added FAQ and my limited knowledge

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6 hours ago, 10albersa said:

 

I've been in the planning stages of riding the OTET for years now (catching a ride to Cleveland, then biking back to my house in Cincinnati, and camping at parks along the way).  From what I gather, there has been significant progress on the cornfield portions between Columbus and Cleveland, but it still has a number of country roads that you need to bike on.  Cleveland is just now getting their urban trail from Erie to the Towpath finished, so hopefully Cincinnati gets their butts in gear and connects Lunken to downtown.  I could see this being finally completed in 2025.

 

I am not optimistic about the final Downtown Cincinnati approach ever being built.  The roadblocks are amazingly complicated.  The good news is that the ride on Riverside Drive between Lunken and Downtown Cincinnati is pretty easy as-is.  

 

The one significant missing link in the Cincinnati area aside from the downtown situation is a bike-only bridge over the Little Miami River, which is scheduled to be built soon, in 2020 or 2021:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Lunken+Airport+Trail,+Cincinnati,+OH+45226/@39.1102638,-84.4016708,542m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x8841ade3bfe59d69:0x42dbac4ae86ac055!8m2!3d39.1078371!4d-84.4228429

 

Newtown is the point where rails-to-trails must end because the railroad is still fairly active at that point.  That's why the Miami-Erie trail crosses the Little Miami in Newtown and then travels on a purpose-built trail through golf courses and ball fields to the point where it must re-cross the river to reach the existing Lunken Airport perimeter trail.  

 

The Newtown bridge was built around 2005 and it looks like we're facing a full 15+ year wait to get back over the bridge.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, 10albersa said:

 

I've been in the planning stages of riding the OTET for years now (catching a ride to Cleveland, then biking back to my house in Cincinnati, and camping at parks along the way).  From what I gather, there has been significant progress on the cornfield portions between Columbus and Cleveland, but it still has a number of country roads that you need to bike on.  Cleveland is just now getting their urban trail from Erie to the Towpath finished, so hopefully Cincinnati gets their butts in gear and connects Lunken to downtown.  I could see this being finally completed in 2025.

 

From the FAQ page:

At least 83% of those miles are completed on a collection of off-street but hard surface/paved trails. Some of the OTET is on roads with the lowest traffic we could find in the areas.  In 2017 another 8 miles of OTET on the Holmes County Trail extension from Glenmont to the Bridge of Dreams opened.

 

*Since 2017 (from what I've followed) the Camp Chase trail filled in a gap and phase 3 Towpath extension filled a complicated urban gap.

 

The reaction to my photo made me think today at work about what it would take to do a full Cincinnati > Cleveland > Cincinnati up-and-back.  Nobody has done a Vlog featuring this ride, unlike the Katy Trail, the Allegheny Passage, etc.  

 

Unfortunately you'd really have to haul ass because nobody who isn't retired can take off more than a week to do 650 miles.  You'd want a zero day so a Saturday to Sunday ride would mean about 100 miles per day, which is tough to do on anything other than a light road bike.  Unfortunately you'd have some saddle soreness issues if you're averaging 10-11mph on a loaded bike.  You could average more like 14-15mph on a road bike with a small amount of stuff so for that reason alone you might have to opt for the road bike, just to cut down on the hours of sitting in a saddle.  

 

But if you ride a road bike you aren't going to be able to pack full camping supplies plus "luxuries" like an extra pair of shoes.  If you rode a road bike you'd have to switch out the clipless pedals either for flats or for mountain bike clipless so that you would have shoes to walk around in at the campsite.  But just imagine screwing up the shoes in camp so that you can't clip in the next morning.  That's the kind of crap that can waste a full day out there!  

 

 

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When I eventually get out there I'll have my GoPro capturing the entire thing (From CLE to CIN).  I haven't figured out the logistics, but i have an overnight backpacking pack, I'm not sure if anyone actually uses those outside of hiking though, it certainly would be clunky.  There are a number of free trail-side campsites that I was planning on using along the way.  It's going to be either a long weekend by myself, or we take a week off and my wife and child (in a trailer) would go with on a more spaced-out ride. 

 

I'll be going either Spring or Fall in 2020.

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On 5/21/2019 at 9:53 PM, 10albersa said:

When I eventually get out there I'll have my GoPro capturing the entire thing (From CLE to CIN).  I haven't figured out the logistics, but i have an overnight backpacking pack, I'm not sure if anyone actually uses those outside of hiking though, it certainly would be clunky.  There are a number of free trail-side campsites that I was planning on using along the way.  It's going to be either a long weekend by myself, or we take a week off and my wife and child (in a trailer) would go with on a more spaced-out ride. 

 

I'll be going either Spring or Fall in 2020.

 

No I think it'll be tough to use that pack unless you have a very small one and you strap it to a rack.  Unfortunately, purpose-made bicycle bags are pretty expensive but they're probably worth it.  REI has them in stock.  Independent bike stores rarely do. 

 

This past weekend I biked over to the site of the future bridge over the Little Miami River that will bring the trail a lot closer to Cincinnati.  I wasn't sure if it was under construction or not and here you can see that it most definitely is not:

biketrail.jpg.47c745164fcdeb52b6d5241a0a97b15e.jpg

 

 

So just to the left of the road bridge on the far bank - that's where the trail currently ends.  And yes it dead-ends right into some woods.  When the bicycle bridge is built it will cross to the right of the highway bridge and connect to the existing Lunken Airport Trail, which becomes the Ohio River Trail about one mile south of this spot. 

 

 

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On 12/24/2019 at 12:05 PM, skiwest said:


Thanks for posting—good stuff.

 

What he has done for NEO will be very hard to measure one day.  Talk about thinking about and planning for the future.

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And a little more of an update:

 

 

Towpath Trail Expansion, Summit Lake Improvements to Continue in 2020

 

The coalition was awarded $500,000 in 2019 for a key quarter-mile stretch connecting Stark and Tuscarawas counties. That segment, which will be built in 2020, meant working with five individual property owners.

 

Work will continue in 2020 on many smaller trails as well, said Executive Director Dan Rice.

 

“We’re working on about 500 miles of connector trails whether it’s the Freedom Trail, the Rubber City Heritage Trail or the Veterans Trail,” he said. “There are a lot of regional trails going throughout Northeast Ohio and every year progress continues to be made on these trail projects.”

 

The organization also plans to work on a segment of the trail between Dover and Zoar in 2020.


https://www.wksu.org/post/towpath-trail-expansion-summit-lake-improvements-continue-2020

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Work has begun along University in Tremont! About a week ago traffic was closed and the excavators were digging up asphalt. 

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^Awesome news! I am most excited for this portion of the trail. We are soo close to having full access to the National Park by bike without having to ride on roads. Something very few (if any?) other regions in this country can boast. Actually, can anyone answer the question of whether any other national park in the country is connected to a major downtown by an uninterrupted multi-purpose trail? Mods can create a new thread for that if you see fit.

 

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3 hours ago, YO to the CLE said:

^Awesome news! I am most excited for this portion of the trail. We are soo close to having full access to the National Park by bike without having to ride on roads. Something very few (if any?) other regions in this country can boast. Actually, can anyone answer the question of whether any other national park in the country is connected to a major downtown by an uninterrupted multi-purpose trail? Mods can create a new thread for that if you see fit.

 

I’d imagine there is no other such trail, just because there are not typically major cities so close to national parks.  However, this summer I did visit Grand Teton National Park and there was a very nice multi-purpose trail connecting the city of Jackson to the national park.

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3 hours ago, YO to the CLE said:

^Awesome news! I am most excited for this portion of the trail. We are soo close to having full access to the National Park by bike without having to ride on roads. Something very few (if any?) other regions in this country can boast. Actually, can anyone answer the question of whether any other national park in the country is connected to a major downtown by an uninterrupted multi-purpose trail? Mods can create a new thread for that if you see fit.

 

 

26 minutes ago, acd said:

I’d imagine there is no other such trail, just because there are not typically major cities so close to national parks.  However, this summer I did visit Grand Teton National Park and there was a very nice multi-purpose trail connecting the city of Jackson to the national park.

 

I went looking for that info last summer...

 

 

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5 hours ago, YO to the CLE said:

 Actually, can anyone answer the question of whether any other national park in the country is connected to a major downtown by an uninterrupted multi-purpose trail?

 

Such a tiny example that it may be ignorable:  Rosilie National Park, a small Maryland island in on the eastern end of the Wilson Bridge (I-95) spanning the Potomac River is connected to the Washington area trail system that will eventually and with difficulty get you to downtown DC.

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^That's pretty cool to think about. I never actually realized that we are basically the only national park with direct access. Once the trail is fully complete, we need to tout that more as a region.

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"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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I'm not sure if they're going to resurface everything or whatnot, but CSX has been working down at the crossing on Jennings Rd. for the past week and some. Looks like they're installing new cross-arms, but here's to hoping that they hold up to their end of the deal and actually finish the portion of the trail that crosses the tracks! 

 

Just tweeted at Canalway Partners they've been good in the past about questions, hopefully it's finally happening!

Edited by GISguy
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"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Upside of the Coronavirus lockdown - work on Tremont section of the Towpath Trail

 

FB_IMG_1587034822198.jpg

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"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Now that I have started biking I realize how important this work is... so exciting to see and also I now realize how critical Irishtown Bend is for MANY reasons- including trail connections.  Hope they can begin work soon.

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On ‎5‎/‎28‎/‎2019 at 12:30 AM, jmecklenborg said:

This past weekend I biked over to the site of the future bridge over the Little Miami River that will bring the trail a lot closer to Cincinnati.  I wasn't sure if it was under construction or not and here you can see that it most definitely is not:

biketrail.jpg.47c745164fcdeb52b6d5241a0a97b15e.jpg

 

 

So just to the left of the road bridge on the far bank - that's where the trail currently ends.  And yes it dead-ends right into some woods.  When the bicycle bridge is built it will cross to the right of the highway bridge and connect to the existing Lunken Airport Trail, which becomes the Ohio River Trail about one mile south of this spot. 

 

 

 

Update: this bridge is scheduled to be built in 2021.  It will close what is now the only significant trail gap near Cincinnati.  Anyone from the north who attempts to pick up the trail as-is is going to get frustrated, even with the benefit of GPS.  

 

That said, there is no progress in extending a dedicated trail from Lunken Airport west to DT Cincinnati.  Only about 1/2 mile of it has been built west of the airport, however the 5~ mile ride on Riverside Drive to DT Cincinnati is very easy.   

 

 

 

 

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