Access to Cleveland, Akron, Columbus, Cincinnati and More
The Towpath Trail, also known as the Ohio to Erie Canalway, runs from Cleveland to New Philadelphia. The trail is managed by 5 park systems and surfaces vary from crushed stone to pavement. For more information about the Towpath, visit the Ohio and Erie Canalway website: www.ohioanderiecanalway.com/
The Towpath Trail also links to the Ohio to Erie Trail route via a spur beginning in Massillon. Technically starting in Cleveland and following the Towpath to Massillon, 53 of the 326 mile route are currently on rural or city streets. www.ohiotoerietrail.org/
There are a number of routes to the Towpath from Portage County. From the North
Several trails or paths meet at Alexander Road and the adjacent Sagamore Creek Loop Trail in Walton Hills. Roadside bike lanes approach the Bedford Reservation's trails from north Twinsburg and south Solon. Other trails converge on this location from Bentleyville near Chagrin Falls. A trail leads down to Alexander Road from the reservation and follows the road for a while.
The Summit Hike and Bike Trail also has an access point on Alexander Road, and the Sagamore Creek Loop Trail originates just south of this trailhead.
Important Notes about Access Points to the Towpath:
There is a direct crossing to the Towpath Trail from the Sagamore Creek trailhead on Canal Rd. There is no traffic light so proceed with caution.
If using Alexander Rd, very carefully make a left turn onto Fitzwater Road before the bridge over Canal Road. Go down the ramp. There is a traffic light at Canal Road. Cross the street and turn onto the Towpath.
From "the Middle" There are a number of road connections from the Summit Hike and Bike Trail to the Towpath. The two with (narrow) shoulders originate near the border of Hudson with Peninsula. Route 303 can be accessed from the Summit Hike and Bike trail via a spur trail uphill to the 303 parking lot and trailhead. Barlow (becomes Kendall/Truxell Rd) can also be accessed from both branches of the Summit Hike and Bike Trail. AMATS flags Kendall/Truxell as a more bike-friendly road. 303 is a busy road that will take you to Peninsula, where you will find a bike shop and restaurants. As always, use caution and understand the risks when choosing or riding busy road routes. These are long downhill rides. Consider the inevitable uphill ride when planning.
From the Kent/Ravenna Area With some brief road interruptions near downtown Kent, you can ride on paved trails from the east side of Ravenna and onwards to the Portage Bike and Hike Trailhead at Middlebury Road on the Portage/Summit border. Turn left on Middlebury, cross the railroad bridge, and immediately turn right onto Summit County's Freedom Trail. This trail skirts Tallmadge Circle (many road crossings here) and currently (2023) ends at the south side of Mill St at the University of Akron campus. You can contect to the Towpath near Lock 3 Park using University Ave. An alternative route (taking you within a block of a hotel, a bike shop, a brewery and dining options) takes you through the north outskirts of the city, leaving the Freedom Trail via North Union Street. See the map below to navigate from Union St to a spur trail leading to the Towpath Trail. Turn by Turn Directions to the towpath via Dirty River Cycles and a Hotel: Take Union Street to Perkins Street, turn right, and walk/ride on the sidewalk one block to North College St. Watch out for utility pole support cables! Turn right, go down the hill, then turn left on Bluff Street, right on North Summit Street, and left on Furnace Street. Finally turn right on Ridge Street (directly under the southbound lanes of the All American or "Y" bridge). Enter the parking lot for the Cuyahoga Scenic Railroad station and enter the bike trail at the Northwest corner. This spur connects with the Towpath Trail. See the map below.