Visiting a Preserve
- from leaves to berries - take only photo souvenirs!
You’ll pass through five nature preserves along the Towpath Trail and in other parts of your visit to the Ohio & Erie Canalway, so please remember to take only photo souvenirs of your journey — protecting the region’s plants and wildlife is just as important as protecting yourself!
Removing any item from the preserve is a misdemeanor in Ohio and can result in a ticket. This extends to items you may not naturally think of — plants, tree limbs, rocks, leaves. Picking flowers and berries or feeding wildlife — including birds — also are prohibited.
You truly are walking in an area being “preserved” and you become part of the team keeping things in place. That’s why we’ll also ask you to stay on the trails too. They’ve been carefully placed to have minimal impact on the ecosystems flourishing around you.
Quick Links - Here are links to the regulations and rules for each preserve — North to South:
Cleveland Metroparks -
Cuyahoga Valley National Park -
Metro Parks, Serving Summit County -
Stark Parks -
Tuscarawas County Park Department -
Navigating a Shared Use Trail
- For a safe and enjoyable journey
The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail is a shared-use trail. You’ll be joined by walkers, bicyclists, joggers and - in some areas - travelers on horseback. Please Note: All trail users yield to horses.
Safe is Sound
Rules of the Trail - Simple guidelines for a safe and enjoyable visit
Visitor Tip: Yielding to horses…
- Bicyclists - Wear a helmet
- Ride/Walk Single File - Bicyclists traveling in a group must ride in a single-file line.
- Stay to the Right - Always ride/walk on the right and pass on the left.
- Give an audible warning before passing - either by voice or bell.
- Remember it this way - To Stay Safe - Make Sound!
- Many riders ring a bell - call out “LEFT” & the number of riders passing.
- Slow Down
- Do Not Block the Trail - When you need to stop - step off the Trail. Never block the trail.
- Protect your Pet - 8 foot leash (6 ft. in the National Park).
- All trail users yield to horses
The berm for horses is off to the side of the Towpath Trail in some places, while horses and pedestrians/cyclists share the Trail in other areas.
Simple Towpath courtesy prevails, pass on the left after giving an audible signal.
Remember - Slow down before passing and be aware that horses can spook easily if startled.