FreeWheeling Easy in Western Pennsylvania
Information on Trails Near Eire and Eastern Ohio
by Mary Shaw and Roy Weil
We are pleased to present selections from the book FreeWheeling Easy in Western Pennsylvania. In most cases, this includes the first paragraph of the description, the summary information, and the trail organization.
Stavich Bicycle Trail
Presque Isle State Park Bikepath
Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail
Bike and Hike Trail (to Kent and Stow OH)
An excellent 8-foot asphalt surface (measured as 9.75 ft) carries you through farmland and woods along the Mahoning River. The trail corridor originally served as railbed for the Penn-Ohio interurban trolley line rather than a railroad. Trolleys are more forgiving about gradients than railroads, so youll find noticeable (but still slight) slopes. The only scenic drawback is the existing trackage of the Pennsylvania and Lake Erie railroad, especially the switch yard near Struthers. Much of this track is now being salvaged, though two tracks are still in use.
Trail organization: Gary Slaven, Falcon Foundry, 6th and Water Sts, PO Box 301, Lowellville OH 44436-0301, (216) 536-6221
Presque Isle is a 3200 acre peninsula of glacial sand that juts 7 miles into Lake Erie from the city of Erie. A loop road popular with sightseers extends the length of the peninsula. A 5.8-mile paved multipurpose trail roughly parallels this road from the park entrance along the south (inland) side of the peninsula to Perry's Monument. The trail is barely two lanes wide, and it is often crowded.
Trail organization: Presque Isle State Park, PA Department of Environmental Resources, PO Box 8510, Erie, PA 16505, (814) 871-4251
The Cuyahoga River valley has served as a transportation corridor for centuries. At some places along this trail youll see canal and railroad beside you and modern superhighway overhead. This trail follows the towpath of the Ohio and Erie Canal, which was built between 1825 and 1832 to connect Cleveland, on Lake Erie, with the Ohio River 308 miles away. The route was from Cleveland upstream along the Cuyahoga River to Akron, then down the Tuscarawas River. Until the middle of the 19th century the canal was an economic success. However, like many canals, railroads and floods spelled its end. The final blow for this canal was the flood of 1913. Parts of the canal and traces of its heritage are now being restored in the corridor from Cleveland to Zoar. The modern-day Towpath trail runs 19.5 miles from Lock 39 in Valley View south to the northern edge of Akron. Mileage markers along the trail are based on historical mileages measured from Lake Erie, so the northern end of the trail is near milepost 11 and the southern end half a mile past milepost 30. The mileposts are not exactly a mile apart on the modern trail, so our intermediate measurements are approximate.
Trail organization: Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area, 15610 Vaughn Rd, Brecksville OH 44141, (216) 524-1497
The Bike and Hike Trail follows the routes of a former railroad, the New York Central, and two former interurban trolley lines, the Akron, Bedford, and Cleveland (or alphabet railroad) and another branch of the Northern Ohio Traction & Light Company. It features a variety of terrain along the route. The trail runs roughly as a Y with the base of the stem near Cleveland and arms reaching to Kent and Stow. The junction, where the arms join the stem, is just east of OH8. Most of the road crossings are at grade level, so watch for traffic.
Trail organization, Metro Parks, Serving Summit County Section: Thomas Shuster, Director, Metro Parks, Serving Summit County, 975 Treaty Line Road, Akron OH 44313-5898, (330) 867-5511
Trail organization, Cleveland Metroparks Section, Steven Coles, Chief of Park Planning, Cleveland Metroparks, 4101 Fulton Parkway Cleveland OH 44144-1923, (216) 351-6300
The Cleveland Metroparks system includes 19,000 acres of public land including 100 miles of parkways and 12 reservations for recreational activities. The system is called the Emerald Necklace because the lands nearly encircle the city of Cleveland. Ten of the reservations include paved all-purpose trails for cycling, walking, jogging, in-line skating, and other activities. The surface is suitable for wheelchairs, but some of the trails are hilly and some grades are steep.
Trail organization: Cleveland Metroparks System, 4101 Fulton Parkway, Cleveland OH 44144-1923, (216) 351-6300
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FreeWheeling Easy is available in many western Pennsylvania bike shops, outdoor stores, and bookstores for $9.95+tax. If you can't find it there, you can order from us: Shaw-Weil Associates, 414 South Craig St. #307, Pittsburgh PA 15213. We have to charge you for tax and postage, so send a check for $11.93. We usually ship in 1 to 5 days. Sorry, we don't do credit cards, but amazon.com books does. You can order it from amazon.com for $9.95 + shipping, but you will pay more for shipping and it will take longer.
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Updated 04/11/97 by Mary Shaw
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