This is a great activity for families with small children who want to get out and ride bikes on the Towpath Trail without committing to an extended trip. This activity includes bike riding along the historic Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail as well as along beautiful stretches of the Cuyahoga River. Your children will also enjoy the train ride aboard the Cuyahoga Scenic Railroad and the potential for ice cream after a job well done.
General Information —
Your family can try “Bike Aboard!” from Boston Store to Station Road — a mini-trip for families with kids.
Begin by parking at the Boston Store Visitor Center (1548 Boston Mills Rd., Boston Township, 44264).
The Visitor Center also functions as a Towpath Trailhead - providing easy trail access. Ride bikes north along the towpath 4.4 miles to Station Road Bridge (AKA Brecksville Station).
Load up your bikes and board the SOUTHBOUND Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad taking advantage of “Bike Aboard!” Relax and enjoy the scenery as you and your family experience the park in a whole new way of travel aboard the train. Get off the train at Boston Station and make your way over to Trail Mix
, located across the street from Boston Store Visitor Center (where you parked) for ice cream!
Step by step!
Step One — Parking & Visitor Center -
Bring along your bicycles and park at the Boston Store Visitor Center (1548 Boston Mills Rd., Boston Township, 44264
). After unloading your bikes check out the displays in the Visitor Center and grab some maps and park brochures. You also can obtain your National Park and National Heritage Area passport stamps at this location!
: It's also important to grab a TRAIN SCHEDULE in order to gauge when the train will pass by Station Road Bridge to bring you back SOUTH to Boston Station. Or, to check schedules ahead of time - head to the CVSR page on our site and download the 2013 CVSR Summer Excursion Schedule at the bottom of the page. You'll want to look at times on the "National Park Scenic" - which travels through the National Park.
Step Two — Gear Up!
Make sure everyone in your group has their protective gear on properly and each knows the basics of the Canalway-wide “Safe is Sound” guidelines for riding on a shared-use trail. (Listed throughout the site on Family Outings/Bicycling pages)
Step Three — Wheels Up
Begin riding north on the Towpath Trail to Station Road Bridge. On your 4.4-mile bike ride be sure to watch for the historic locks along the canal, remains of the Jaite Mill, the Cuyahoga River, wildflowers and abundant wildlife. You’ll pass through one other Trailhead — Red Lock — about halfway through your journey.
Family Tip: All three Trailheads have restrooms.
Step Four — Station Road Boarding Station
Once arriving at Station Road Bridge, take a break or a little walk while you wait for the next SOUTHBOUND train. The Boarding Station itself is a little yellow Station House — with benches in the open-air seating area. Have $3 cash per family member in order to pay the train to load your bikes and take the gang back to Boston Station — $3 per person for Bike Aboard! and $1 per person for treats.
Step Five — The fun part: Waving down the train
To signal the conductor that you want the train to stop so you can “Bike Aboard!” simply wave BOTH your arms. Remember — one arm is a greeting, BOTH arms signal the train to stop. In the very last car of the train, Bike Aboard! volunteers will load your bikes for you and you’ll hop on the train for the 10-15" ride back to your starting point.
Step Six — Back to Boston and perhaps a treat
Once back at Boston Station, turn left on Boston Mills Road, walk your bikes over the bridge towards the Visitor Center and your vehicle. For an added treat, stop into Trail Mix, the Conservancy for CVNP store, located across the street from the Visitor Center, to get yourself and your family some ice cream or another treat.
We hope this activity proves to be fun and beneficial to you and your family!
Shorter Version: Not sure the kids can ride 4.4 miles? Head South out of Boston Store to Lock 29 in the city of Peninsula and Bike Aboard! in Peninsula taking a NORTHBOUND train. This is a 2.3-mile trip each way. At this location, you'll find Trail Mix Peninsula - where you can grab sandwiches, souvenirs and more. There also are restaurants, art studios, fun stores and a bike shop at this location.