A premier biking experience in the Canalway awaits you on the Towpath Trail — 85+ miles of flat-out joy on two wheels.
Discover one of our state’s most scenic regions while pedaling on the historic Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. Traveling a path once used by mules, you’ll ride through five park preserves in the National Heritage Area. The hand-off between parks is virtually seamless - although terrain & surfaces change a bit. Fun Fact - Voted 2015 "Best of Ohio" Bike Trail - by the readers of Ohio Magazine!
Where to Start Biking the Towpath?
- Trailheads - 49 Trailheads offer parking, Towpath access & great journey gateways.
- Trailheads run from Harvard Ave. North to Canal Lands Park South.
- Choose a distance - Use the map plan from there!
- One-Way Trip - Frequent riders suggest heading South to North
- Round Trip - Experienced riders suggest Cleve.—Tusc.—Cleve.
- Get the more rigorous journey done first!
- Towpath Campsites - are available for single night, pass through travelers
- Overnight Parking - is only available at select CVNP Trailheads
Bike Aboard! - Bike the Towpath Trail -
Ride the Rails!
Have fun experiencing two great travel experiences in one outing. Available seasonally - typically May through October.
for more information about ongoing services.
Along the Cleveland-Akron run of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad — you can bike one way and ride the Scenic Rail back the other for $3! It’s a great way to explore the National Park!
- When you’re ready to ride the rails - head to one of the Boarding Stations. We suggest arriving about 10" ahead of schedule.
- Wave BOTH arms to let the engineer know you’d like to board.
- Bike Aboard! The crew loads up your bikes & you’re on on your way.
Canal Towpath Bicycling Tips -
A bicyclist's point-of-view
Before you hop on that single seater, recumbent, or tandem, here are a few helpful tips which we've gathered from area cyclists. Some are general and some are specific to particular sections of the Towpath Trail. If you have suggestions or tips to improve the trail experience for others, we would welcome the input.
Map Your Visit, Preview Your Route!
- Bring water, snacks, and sunscreen; biking gloves too!
- Consider padded shorts for southern limestone surface portions of the trail
- Tires - Hybrid or Mountain Bike tires are best - the wider tires are better for the crushed limestone found along much of the southern sections
- Bike Bell - key safety item - let people know you’re coming; pass on left; ride single file
- Bright Clothing & Flashing Taillights - very helpful - early morning & dusk
Be Aware of Weather Conditions
- Check which Trailheads along your route have water available
- Note distances between Trailheads - and plan according to your fitness level
- Boardwalks/Wooden Sections - get slippery when wet or covered with frost
- Chilly frost in spring and fall - just a thin layer - turns Towpath boardwalks and other small wooden sections into slippery surfaces
- Continue to ride - but be careful/walk in these areas
- Recent rains / Early morning dew - again, be aware of wooden sections getting slippery
Canalway Fast Facts - Towpath
It's a shared use trail - with multiple surfaces - traveling through five park preserves. Learn more here.
Before You Go
Plan & Expand Your Visit - using site features
Two wheels of fun on the Towpath.
Follow the Canalway
Hike and canoe along a scenic river. Stroll hand-in-hand through charming streets. Share over quiet meals. When it's time for a getaway, here's a great adventure for two. Begin your day at 9:30 a.m. with a morning adventure by the water. Park just outside of town at Zoar Lake Shelter (434 West Fifth Street, Zoar, Ohio 44697). Remember to bring a pen and your Canalway Quest brochure (see below). The Waters of the Tuscarawas Quest is a peaceful hike to the Tuscarawas River, passing ruins of past industries... More »
A Towpath was a Towing Path Bicyclists and walkers on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail today follow the same path that in the 1800s was used by mules and mule-drivers to pull canal boats—with some exceptions. Canal Fever , KSU Press, 2009 More »
Events in All Sections See All »
11/12/2016 - 12/20/2016
Location Provided on Registration, Peninsula, OH 44264
10/9/2016 - 10/10/2016
1556 Boston Mills Road, Boston, OH 44264