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The Western Reserve Greenway travels 43 miles through a scenic, mostly rural area, cutting a north–south course from Ashtabula to Warren in northeastern Ohio. The route follows much of the Pennsylvania Railroad’s former branch line, extending to the shores of Lake Erie at Ashtabula. This rail line once transported iron ore to the steel mills of eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. Today, the trail is the longest section of the planned 110-mile Great Ohio Lake-to-River Greenway that will begin on the shores of Lake Erie and travel south to the banks of the Ohio River in East Liverpool.
The Western Reserve Greenway begins only a few miles from Lake Erie, and a planned extension will bring it right to the shoreline. For now, you can start at Herzog Rotary Park (off Woodman Avenue), where you will find the first of 12 interpretive signs detailing the importance of northeast Ohio in the Underground Railroad. The greenway is used year-round, but note that snowmobiling is allowed only in Ashtabula County (the northern half of the trail).
Heading south, cross the historical King Bridge, a steel trestle built in 1897 that now spans Clay Street. Ahead is Austinburg, with a trailhead and plenty of options for food and drink. South of town, reenter the trail’s rural surroundings and enjoy the company of deer, beavers, and a multitude of birds, including wild turkeys and waterfowl.
As you pass through the small town of Rock Creek, you will have a short section of on-road riding. Upon leaving the community, you’ll cross a trestle spanning the eponymous watercourse. The bridge features bump-outs that give a bird’s-eye view of the creek and scenery below. When the path picks up again, you sail beneath sheltering trees and past the tiny village of Orwell, with a trailhead located below a water tower off Oak Street.
A stone arch bridge over Baughman Creek in Trumbull County is a true highlight of the Western Reserve Greenway.
Back on the trail, you will come to the Sunside trailhead at OH 305, where you’ll find a large parking lot and restrooms. The rail-trail continues beyond here to North River Road in Warren, where you can connect to the Garrett Wonders Bike Trail heading south into town.
At the northern end of the trail, there are two places to park in Ashtabula. The first is at H. L. Morrison Station on W. Ave. Take I-90 to Exit 223, and head north on OH 45. In 0.2 mile turn right onto Austinburg Road, and go 5.3 miles. Turn right onto OH 84, and go 0.3 mile. Turn left onto West Ave. The station is 0.5 mile ahead on the right. The other place to park is at the Herzog Rotary Park trailhead, located on the west side of Woodman Ave. To reach it, follow the directions above to OH 84. Turn left onto OH 84, and in 0.1 mile turn right onto Woodman Ave. The trailhead will be on the left in 0.2 mile.
The trailhead in Austinburg can be reached from I-90 by taking Exit 223 for OH 45. Head south on OH 45, and go 1 mile. Turn left onto OH 307 and go 0.1 mile. The trailhead is on the left at the edge of town. A large parking area and trailhead are available at Jefferson-Eagleville Road along the eastern side of the trail. To reach that trailhead, take I-90 to Exit 223, and head south on OH 45. In 5.1 miles, turn left onto Jefferson-Eagleville Road. The lot is on the right in 0.4 mile.
To reach the Sunside trailhead in Warren, take I-80 to Exit 209. Head east on OH 5, and go 7.6 miles. Take the exit for OH 45, and turn left. Go 2.4 miles, and turn right onto OH 305. Go 0.8 mile, and look for the trailhead on your left.
Labor Day Weekend we biked 31 miles. Parked at Sunside Trailhead in Champion and headed North to Orwell, and back. Makes for a nice 30+ mile trek. It's 15 1/2 miles from Champion to Orwell. Newly repaved section near Orwell. While passing the Wildlife viewing area we noticed the observation deck/platform has been removed. It's been falling apart so this is probably a good thing.
Nice flat and well maintained paved asphalt trail. Has a variety of open areas; fields. And shaded by tree areas as well.
It is a really good trail for all to use.
I've ridden this trail several times. The last time was at the end of July 2017. The Western Reserve Greenway is a long, straight, flat, bike path that is easy to ride. According to TrailLink the trail is 42.8 miles long, but I don't believe that includes the mileage of the Paul E. Heltzel segment of the Greenway which connects this trail with the Garrett Wonders Bike Trail that goes through most of the city of Warren. The trail is well-maintained, and on a beautiful weekend day you will encounter numerous cyclists and pedestrians around the greenway's trailheads. The trail is long enough that it never seemed crowded. It is an enjoyable path and after having ridden it several times (This was my first end to end ride.) I would say that your best bet is to ride this trail in sections.
Here are my reasons for my previous statement. First, the area that the greenway traverses is very rural in nature. Other than Ashtabula and Warren, the two cities that anchor either end of this trail, there are not many towns or services in between. I think that a good many riders would assume that they would come across at least several small towns or crossroads where they could buy some food, or find some water, etc. I have seen several folks in previous Rails to Trails posts explain at which crossroads to turn and bike into a town for food/drink. That is all well and good, but if you are unfamiliar with the area or are someone who rides greenways and bike trails because you don't like to encounter automobile and truck traffic when riding then be warned that there really is not much along or right off this trail to service your needs. This could be a serious problem if you are riding this trail on a very hot day and run out of water. I know this from personal experience. Secondly, I personally find this trail somewhat boring. It is mile after mile of riding through a tunnel of trees or wide open farm country when it does open up. I think the fact that there are so few turns throughout the trail's length may contribute to this feeling. In addition, this does not mean that there are not some interesting spots along the trail. There is the Rock Creek Trestle, the observation deck at the Mosquito Creek Wildlife Area, the old bridge near Austinburg, and the tunnels under the freeways south of Ashtabula. However, to see all of these things one has to ride a lot of miles of very repetitive scenery.
Last weekend in October we biked from Orwell up to Rock Creek. Pretty fall foliage. Nice and flat asphalt paved trail.
Very scenic and flat. Great trail to ride.
Parked at the Sunside Trailhead and rode to Warren. The trail connection is now open. Trail runs from Champion Heights to Warren. One section is the Paul Heltzel section (recently named) and it connects with the Warren Bikeway Trail.
The new section is very nicely paved. It goes through wooded areas and open fields.
They are still working on the trail way up North. See notes. Detour is not bad at all, just around the trail on some back country roads.
Facilities in Champion at the Sunside trailhead. Other than that, you're on your own.
Nice ride along the trail. We parked at Sunside on 305 in Champion and headed South towards Warren. This is the new section. It is along the former railroad bed. You can see old rails along the side of the trail. Some wooded areas, some areas out in the sun. Has the best of both worlds.
This trail eventually connects to the Garrett Wonder trail formerly the Warren Bikeway. Towards Warren it's a little shady, and not referring to trees.
There are no facilities along the trail until you get closer to Warren. From 305 to Warren is about 7 miles.
We biked North for a little while on the trail. There is a trail closure North of Champion but a detour that is not bad. Just on some back paved roads.
Ride the trail from Orwell all the way to Allen Rd. Would of been nice if there was a bathroom along the way
We spent the 4th weekend doing the Ohio & Erie Towpath, Western Reserve Greenway and the Alleghany River Trail/Sandy Creek Trail. I have posted comments on the other two trails.
We started in Orwell and went north. Well maintained very nice people on the trail. The system could use some trash cans along the way. It seems littering is occurring more frequently when we do not have the cans.
Could have a few porta johns and a few more mile markers. But all in all nice trail and I would probably do the entire system.
Rode this trail for the first time this weekend on a 100 mile ride to Geneva on the Lake from my house in PA. Last filled up with water in Niles, OH and got on the trail in Warren. Plenty of rest areas with shade and porta johns, but no water. Nothing really until austinburg. We passed an Amish farm along the trail and a boy filled up our water bottles. On our return ride home, we were prepared and packed extra water and Gatorade to get us through. Trail is wonderful. Very nicely maintained and the scenery is beautiful. We didn't ride it to the end, as we exited onto rt 45 to head to Geneva on the Lake. Will definitely ride it again!!!
On June 14th we rode for Hertzog Rotary to the county line.
1 Detour: At the intersection with I90 the tunnel is now completed and the pathway is fine. The detour signs have NOT yet been removed so they take you off the path and many miles out of your way. IGNORE them.
2 Detour at Rock Creek. Coming south take Jefferson (12) into Rock Creek and then turn left and take Water Street out back to the path. DO NOT stay on the path coming south there is a very poor road and some hardcore in the official detour.
Comments: This is a nice very flat safe ride. Frequently shaded by trees.
At Rock Creek you can take an aside and go to visit a covered bridge.
In Austinburg there is a convenience store very close to the path and a port-a-loo, (of very dubious quality). But there is a brick built toilet about 1 mile south of Austinburg.
First, February 20, 2016 we were fortunate enough to be able to stay on the trail during the repairs of the sandstone arch bridge over Baughman Creek. We parked at Sunside lot and traveled North to beyond North Bloomfield. We were prepared to exit the trail and bike on the roads (the detour). But were lucky the trail was open through. Not sure if it will be open from now on, just a heads up it is open, but may be closed.
Second, brand new parking lot in North Bloomfield! Located on Route 87 in North Bloomfield, recently constructed paved parking lot to accommodate 10 cars (includes handicapped parking). This is across the road from the former mud hole partially gravel lot which held only a few cars.
Third, new section south of Champion Avenue East is clear and open. We traveled on it just a short distance, not sure where it ends. Will scope another time.
Great Winter days ride, unseasonal temperatures for February. Trail being used by many people that day getting out and enjoying the Spring like day.
We have ridden this trail several times before, different sections and covered the entire length. Always a nice ride.
This time we parked in Orwell at the lot on Route 322 at Penniman Road. Nice large parking lot (under the water tower) and behind a welding shop. There is a bench along the trail, mile marker 2 (of Ashtabula County). No restrooms or anything though at that lot.
We headed North on a beautiful Fall day. Some areas of the trail are out in the open, some are in wooded areas and the leaves were changing colors.
We went 20 miles to just North of Austinburg to the Interstate 90 underpass. Then turned around, making it a 40 mile round trip.
Either we were tired, or it's uphill back to Orwell!
Saw a lot of squirrels, 7 snakes (sunny afternoon) and one rollerblader.
This section of the trail seems to be the most remote and peaceful and quiet. There are additional parking areas we passed with restrooms and picnic areas.
Started off at Rt 305, rode north about 7 miles. Stopped at the Oakfield Station to take a break. There is a porta potty there along with picnic tables. At both 305 and Oakfield the area was very clean. Not sure why the area north of Oakfield was taped off, so I could not go any further. The ride was awesome. Trail was very well kept. I am a novice trail rider. Trailered by 2 dogs along with me. It was great. Not much traffic. Not a lot of scenery to look at, but can't wait to go back during fall.
My first time on this trail I headed north for 13.5 miles - beautiful scenery - mostly wetlands, woodlands and farm land. Just one busy road to cross in all that distance, the rest were very quiet. And yes, the observation deck is well worth a stop just a couple miles north of the Oakfield trailhead.
Today I biked south, thinking I'd have just around 8.5 miles of paved path before turning around based on what the maps show, BUT, I was pleased to see the maps just haven't been updated yet with the newer section that continues down into Warren after traveling under the 82/5 freeway. I made it 10.6 miles and turned around at N River Rd, though the trail continued south. Some similar scenery to the section north of Oakfield, but different, too, especially as you get out in the open on the newer part and pass under the freeway. Mostly flat, with some slightly rolling hills and turns between route 200 and N River Rd.
This is becoming my favorite Saturday trail, despite the 55-minute drive time from my home. Beautiful scenery, not crowded, and mostly flat and straight - great for if you want to work on getting more miles in.
The beggining of the trail.... My opinion is to not start at the beggining of the trail in the city of Ashtabula. There is no where to park except on the city streets in a shady area. One of the locals, who was on his bike rode over to me and advised to park at my own risk. I found several places out of town to park but was disappointed that I couldn't start at the beginning. The trail itself is amazing. Lots of bridges and great scenery along with some snakes slithering along the trail but no worries they seem polite as they move over to let you pass!!
This is a wonderful trail with lots of parking spots along the way. In the description, Orwell (parking is behind a factory building off route 322, just a bit east of intersection at rt 45) was left out as well as other ones in Trumbull County (one small one is on route 87). One interesting part of the trail is south of rt 87 where there is an observation deck of a wildlife area. There is lots of evidence of the Canada geese too! And still further south is a little park with parking and port o potties too.
Another ride on the trail for us.
We parked at North Bloomfield and biked up to Callender Road in Rome Township. North Bloomfield is in Trumbull County. Callender Road is in Ashtabula county. We think this is the prettiest section so far. Just nice and quiet. Trail goes through Orwell, OH and crosses Route 322.
Park in North Bloomfield along Route 87. There is a parking lot, grassy area holds 10 cars ish. Nice ride up to Callendar Road. IT's uphill from North Bloomfield to Callender Road so enjoy downhill return trip.
You will see small animals, some farms and Amish Farms. Just a nice country ride through wooded areas and open areas.
12.3 miles from North Bloomfield to Callendar Road.
Always a nice trail. With is length of over 40 miles through 3 counties, it's nice to do sections at a time. We've completed the entire length several times over several times!
May 2015 we parked in Champion and biked up to North Bloomfield. Trail is level and in good condition.
Not much to see but trees and fields. There are several stop signs at main roads along the trail.
But always a nice ride. I guess it's about 10 miles from Sunside Trailhead in Champion up to North Bloomfield. Then back makes a nice ride.
Some areas of shade, some open.
We are thinking of doing this trail YET again this year. We usually do it once-a-year with our twins, who are now twelve. Last year, my son made this vid of the trail to show other kids that it's not just endless hours of bicycling but there are fun things to do at the campgrounds as well. We headed from the south to the north and camped in Orwell and in Ashtabula. and took two days, with just over 20 miles-a-day. We're thinking the last week in June, 2015 --any families interested?
Here's a very short (just over one minute) vid my son made last year. Enjoy! https://youtu.be/bxfaFOxhmkA
Today we rode the extension from Champion into Warren. It started as rural setting to ansuv!! But those canoes city style, where portions were road shares. Pretty excited
I have been enjoying this trail for several years. Geocaching, walking, biking and running. I usually park near Shannon's convenience store.
I'm on this trail alot walking jogging with my yellow lab Clyde ,, my son Isiah ,and wife Jane we bike it alot too! Nice flat well maitained ,as I said I'm on it year round ,best place to park north would be 307/45 access ,there is a small store Shannon's, the back bar has food never been in there but here its good ,there's a restraint a Clay st and 45 ,, Avoid parking at rotary park in Ashtabula lot of punks in that area,but all year long this is a great trail bike roller bad jog run cross country ski, but be advised alot of snowmobiles in winter but theyve always been nice ! Great place yo see leave change and there are deer turkey birds ,etc enjoy ,and if you see a guy wiggling (lol) with a Yellow Lab say hi
Took advantage of the 40 degree temps the day after Christmas. We parked at Sunside lot in Chamption and biked from there up to North Bloomfield and back. Total length of ride nearly 22 miles. Nice sunny day with blue skies. Worked off some of the Christmas meal and cookies!
We completed the entire length of the trail over several occasions.
We parked in North Bloomfield and biked up to Callender road and back. Leaves are changing. Nice Fall day.
Nice paved trial.
Nice flat trail with tons of geocaching. As a warning, our car had a window smashed while we were parked at Rotary Park. The deputy who took the report said they recommend parking further along the trail where there's a mini-mart and the area is heavily used as they've had multiple car break ins at the Rotary Park.
Nice flat and paved trail. Par for the course coming from PA. We parked at the Rotary Club Park just outside of Ashtabula. We traveled to Calender Road in Rome, OH. through Austinburg. In Austinburg there is a small mini mart next to the post office for cold beverages and snacks. A few rest rooms (portable) along the trail. Also in Austinburg you can get off the trail and take a paved path to the main road (s) and go to restaruants there. Some areas are shaded, some in the open. Benches along the trail for resting. Mile markers as well.
This is a great trail. I like the flat paved surface. I have only went 30 miles round trip...as I am still a novice rider to most. I ride this trail several times a week after work and the weekends are the best since I can travel farther. The scenery is wonderful from spring thru fall. Have to be careful of the wildlife, they sometimes run out in front of you suddenly. I had a small deer run beside me, it was scary and wonderful at the same time. Didn't know if it would dart my way instead of back into the woods. I watched a mother fox and her pups playing along side of the trail. But a previous writer is correct that you have to be careful of the geese, their young cannot fly for a couple of months and they are very protective.
The riders and walkers are all very friendly here. Everyday is a new day on this trail, I love it. I have been on other trails, but none compare to this one.
@snekrqueen: These bridges are not like you are probably imagining. Nothing very high up without adequate guardrails. I think you'll be okay, it's not the bridges on this trail that will cause you anxiety (read below).
I have ridden the Greenway many times. It is a great, flat (paved,smooth) endurance ride that has some neat changes in scenery. The only reasons that I have given it 4 stars is the following:
- I was attacked by Canadian geese two years in a row near the wildlife observation deck. Let me tell you, the name tells no lie! You will observe wildlife, likely closer than you think! The geese seem to like to use this area to bed down during mating season, and don't understand that 3 months later the area is filled w/ innocent passersby.
- This was already mentioned, but the frequent stops are a bit annoying if you are an avid cyclist.
Have more nice pictures to submit but unable to do for two days, server error. :(
Easter Sunday afternoon ride with the hubby. Despite the brutal winter we had, the trail is in very good condition. Nice, flat trail. We enjoy this trail. The only pitfall is that every few miles you come to an intersection of a road and you have to stop. So you ride for a few miles, moving right along then have stop. But it's worth it! There is also a large pond with an observation deck. Just a nice trail. -Vicki & Mile
@ snekrqueen We are planning our first ride on this trail this weekend :) We normally ride the Nw Pa trails so this will be our first out of state trip. What do you need to know maybe we can help you out .
I have a bit of "height anxiety," and I am concerned about the bridges referenced in the trail description. I would be biking the trail. Can someone please speak to the kinds of bridges and trestles on this trail? Thank you!
This trail is a true gem in northeast Ohio's crown.It is mostly rural except at the norther and southern ends.Flat,quit and scenic.Farms forests and wildlife.Great trail for hot summer days since it is mostly shaded all day except in a few spots.If you are a through rider there is camping at Mosquito Lake state park access by SR305E or 88E about 6 miles,Pine Lakes campground, 3001 Hague Road
Orwell, Ohio 44076, less than a mile off trail and Hide-A-Way Lakes Campgrounds
2034 S. Ridge West
Ashtabula, OH 44004
Local Phone: 440-998-1431,right next to the trail. In Orwell there are places to eat and restock supplies. East on SR 322 there is a convenience store (300 ft).West on 322 about a mile are fast foods groceries and a Dollar store...Carry water no water pumps at pavilions along the way....I ride this trail at least once a week weather permitting..Lightly used during the week.Weekends the northern and southern ends have more traffic..
Nice flat trail. Only gave it a 4 star, I think there are nicer trails out there. You really don't see much. Trees, some farms, fields. Not any exciting sights. About every 3 miles or so you come to an intersection of regular vehicular traffic and have to stop. Seems once you get on a roll, you have to stop. We went from Champion to Bristolville. On the particular day we were there, volunteers from the American Cancer Society Relay for Life were offering bottled water along the trail. We accepted some and gladly made a donation though they stated it was free.
It's flat, but it's flat out beautiful. For the most part its like riding in a green tunnel with little surprises waiting just for you. I came across flocks of wild turkeys and a blue heron for starters. Then there are the scenic bridges that carry the trail over some impressively deep creeks.
There is a closure at I-90 where a new tunnel will carry the path under the highway. This is actually passable now, but will be very nice when completed. There is an unavoidable break in the trail at community of Rock Creek. This is not well marked and the route traverses some extremely poorly paved streets. Use your intuition to figure out where to go if you don't have a map of the area with you. Bring what water you may need because there are no obvious water spigots or fountains along the way.
I rode 35 miles north and back from the OH-305 parking area and will do the entire route into Ashtabula in the autumn when the leaves are in color.
My thanks to fellow riders and the maintenance crews who have kept the trail impressively free of litter.
It's flat, but it's flat out beautiful. For the most part, its like riding in a green tunnel with little surprises waiting just for you. I came across flocks of wild turkeys and a blue heron for starters. Then there are the scenic bridges that carry the trail over some impressively deep creeks.
There is a closure at I-90 where construction is underway on a new tunnel will carry the path under the highway. This is actually passable now, but will be very nice when completed. There is an unavoidable break in the trail at community of Rock Creek. This is not well marked and the route traverses some extremely poorly paved streets. Use your intuition to figure out where to go if you don't have a map of the area with you.
I rode 35 miles north and back from the OH-305 parking area and will do the entire route into Ashtabula in the autumn when the leaves are in color.
My thanks to fellow riders and the maintenance crews who have kept the trail impressively free of litter.
Margaret, Mary, and I rode it this morning for a 50 mile "training" ride as we have a century ride in early August. Really nice surface for road bikes and flat out! Can really get some nice interval training between STOP signs and road crossing. WIll do the the complete loop(86 miles) over the July 4th Holiday as our last long ride - Thumbs up!
The trail is very nice. It's very flat and well kept. The trail provides beautiful scenery and a lot of opportunity for those who carry a camera on their rides. I haven't ridden the entire path but plan to soon.
This Pennsylvania Railroad branch line from Niles up to the ore docks at Ashtabula was a 49.9 mile coal and iron ore pipeline for the steel mills of Youngstown and Pittsburgh. Abandoned under Penn Central (1968-1976), the line started life as the Pittsburgh, Youngstown, and Ashtabula Railroad. Pennsy's 1966 employee timetable showed Pittsburgh as Milepost 0, "Detour" Tower at Niles (the branch's southern origin) at MP 75.5, and Ashtabula Yard on the lake at MP 125.4. Although this is a very nice and very well-kept trail, I have kept off one star rating for its lack of railroad artifacts, and also, for its shortage of trail mileposts and other historical markings. Other than that of the Underground Railroad, there is not once trace of trailside note that this was a very important and historic railroad line. I call trails like this "stripped." On 4/21, 5/19, and finally 5/26/13, I scouted the trail, and only yesterday did I find a scant few traces of rail artifacts. A relay case and adjacent concrete/steel lid battery box hide beside the big, blue steel company building at East Orwell. Another battery box is a very busy residential mouse house on the west side of the trail 4.8 miles north of the Orwell trailhead lot, across the street from the Kennametal plant, my Latrobe employer of 38 years. Finally, what I believe is the lower section of the heavy, steel base stanchion of Pennsy's "RM" Block-Limit station sign remains in place 0.1 miles north of the highway crossing at Rome, exactly 5.3 miles north of the Orwell lot. "Block-Limits" were the station posts which the tower operator who controlled the line, in this case "North Warren" Tower down at the old Erie Railroad crossing of this line, gave trains on the line permission to pass by, as there were no wayside signals on this secondary line. Trail mileposts on this trail segment exist only at MP 0.0 (Champion), at MP 10, and at MP 11 (Rock Creek). This is a beautifully remote wildlife trail, much nicely canopied, and surprisingly not overly utilized. For many miles, I was the sole user. Yes, services are extremely few and far between on this trail. If you need a drink or small snack, ride a short distance to the east on 322 from the Orwell highway crossing for the "JD" gas and snack store. If you want a dilly-icious burger, try the Jalapeno Thickburger at the A&W food complex about a 3/4-mile ride west on 322 (Pizza and sub eateries occupy the same complex). -Rich Ballash, Latrobe, PA 5/27/2013
I have ridden sections of this trail many times, mostly starting from the southern point in Warren north 10-15 miles or so, but also twice from Ashtabula the entire length south to Warren. Overall it is a very nice, flat, and straight trail, paved the entire way, with some well-marked, slight bumps here and there from roots. The on-road section in Rock Creek is easy to navigate (although a bit bumpy), and I have never encountered a car in that area. There is a bridge just south of Rock Creek with nice views and some benches to rest, if desired. The scenery is pleasant, and the trail is a nice mix of shaded and non-shaded sections. There are road crossings, but they afford good views of the roads in both directions, and the roads are not busy. There are port-o-potties along the way, not the cleanest I've used, but not horrible, either. Almost every time I've been on the trail, I have seen volunteers out walking it, and I've never seen a single piece of litter, so they do a fantastic job with keeping it clean.
4 stars due to strictly personal preferences: 1. I do not like road crossings every few miles. Annoying to me to have that break in rhythm constantly. 2. The trail is just one straight line, which gets a bit boring after awhile.
Overall a very nice, well maintained, clean trail. Highly recommended.
I took my sister for the first time on the trail and we had such a great experience,she just loves it as do I.the only thing I wish is that you would put the mileage on your website from one road to the other.This would be very helpful.Also we are from South County and our trails are not done at all,we too would like to take advantage of the health benefits of the trail with out driving to Jefferson or Austinburg.Thank You
The parking lot at HL Morrison Station on West Ave. in Ashtabula looked rather uninviting. My wife insisted we go to Herzog Rotary Park, on Woodman Ave. instead. The Herzog parking lot was just fine, though there are no services beyond parking. The trail is asphalt paved and, except where buckled a bit by occasional tree roots, smooth. The first 3 or 4 miles south out of Ashtabula have a noticeable up grade (southbound). South of I-90 it becomes pretty flat. There was a portapotti at Austinburg and a permanent vault toilet at the Lampson Road trailhead. Most of the road crossings are in good condition. All have ample views of traffic, so crossings can be made safely. A couple of road crossings had bumps and/or gravel at the road-trail junction, making a bit of care necessary. In Rock Creek, the trail runs on roads for a half mile or so, in a U-shaped detour to the west. These roads do not seem to have much traffic, but their paving is not in great condition. Because of the road crossings, the occasional bumps in the asphalt and the roads in Rock Creek, I would not recommend this trail for narrow tired bicycles. If you are lightweight, cyclocross width, 32mm, tires would probably be OK. We were on 35mm and 1.5 inch tires and were fine.
It is difficult to convey in words the beauty of this trail. It cuts through Amish country and protected lands, so there is a lot to see.
This trail is a very nice, easy, flat, straight trail. I do have a word of warning though, bring water! There are absolutely no fountains to be found and everytime I try to use the machine it is sold out at Sunrise Trailhead. Other than that i just rode 61 miles on it the other day and enjoyed it greatly. There is a little off path jaunt on a roadway in Rock Creek due to what looks like a business that wouldn't allow access through their property. Lots of trees on the southern portion for shade, a lot less the further north you go. Very scenic in portions and lots of wildlife. There is a little thrift store just off the trail in Orwell to the east that does have cold water for a buck, i had to learn that the hard way.
Great trail - coming from hilly Pennsylvania this was a truly enjoyable ride. I rode the Trumbull County portion of the trail from the trailhead near Champion, going far enough into Ashtabula County to read one of the Underground Railroad information boards (a nice touch for this history buff). Magnificent rural scenery - farms, wetlands, woods. Certainly not a heavily-used trail on a Tuesday afternoon/evening, but that made it great for a hard workout.
I did a 40 mile out and back on the Trumbull County side. It was a hot day, and a few mosquitos and gnats were swarming. We parked at the Champion trailhead, which is very nice indeed, with a little picnic area by a small pond. Someone has given this trailhead serious consideration, and it shows. The trail is very well maintained. Rough portions are spray painted. There is often a very nice tree canopy overhead to provide shade and cooler temperatures. Take water and food, because portions are pretty remote and there is a definite lack of places to secure water (other than the locals' houses). I saw a mama duck herding her still cottony young peeps across a road, with her wings sheltering them. Pretty special. Lots of red cardinals and little chipmunks sprinting across the path.
I'm planning on doing the Ashtabula side this next week, staying at the Holiday Inn Express to get a jump on the day, and fully expect to be just as charmed as I was on the Trumbull County side. Very nice trail indeed.
I rode this trail on Cinco de Mayo and it was fantastic. The other reviewers are accurate about how level and easy this trail is to ride. I started my ride at the Sunrise Trailhead in Champion, rode the additional mile south to the end of the trail and then headed north towards Orwell and Rome. I estimated that Champion to Rome and back would be about 44 miles total.
As I started my ride, I was truly impressed with how debris-free the Trumbull County side was. It had a few small pieces of branches on the trail but it was otherwise clean. The ride was fantastic and the scenery was beautiful. There were marshes, blogs, and thickly wooded areas all along the trail. Birds are abundant and there were a couple of beavers, rabbits and chipmunks to watch as well.
As I continued into Ashtabula County, there was a lot more debris on the trail. I found out from another rider that the trail is maintained solely by volunteers and I did see 3 elderly gentlemen cutting up fallen trees along the trail. My hats go off to these volunteers for keeping the trail in rideable condition.
I continued north until I reached Orwell and was told about a good restaurant (Jen's Restaurant and Flea Market) about a quarter of a mile East on Rt. 88. I went in to have some lunch and was pleasantly surprised. It was good food, at a good price with a great atmosphere. The waitresses were friendly and the locals are very inviting. The restaurant/flea market is closed on Mondays.
I continued north crossing over 2 more intersections and had to stop and turn around because a massive, unchained dog came out of a yard and I didn't want any trouble. I went back south and stopped at the wonderful observation deck where you can see geese, birds, and beavers.
When I got back to the Sunrise Trailhead, I had gone exactly 40 miles in about 3 hours. I will ride this trail again with my family. Truly an enjoyable ride.
Awesome....I live nearby, and I try to ride it at least once a week.
Very nice ride! I agree with the last reviewer that the volunteers are doing an excellent job of maintenance! Even to the extent of paint marking where the trail has been lifted by expansion or tree roots in a few areas. It was nice to have met a couple of regular riders to chat with for a short time, and see the wildlife area. In spite of some light rain, the ride was great! Thanks to all that make the trail possible and passable! One note, the introduction blurb is quite outdated, as the trail has been completed. How do we get that resolved? I'm sure it is making some reluctant to ride this fine corridor.
The Greenway is a very smooth black top serface. Little traffic and a mostly shaded trail make this a very pleasant bikeway. The volunteers are doing an excellent job of maintaining the trail.
We were there on 10/13/08 Monday, and rode from the "Sunside Trailhead" off of Rt. 305 in Champion, clear through to the village of "Rock Creek"... Just over 50 miles (round-trip). The new pavement is smooth and finished real nice. Enjoy !!
The 5.5 miles between Callender and Hague road has been paved.
The trail is done from West 52 in Ashtabula County. (mile 25.98)
All the way to Champion Ave. in Trumbull County. (mile 14.7) Next road South of Route 305.
The village streets in Rock Creek must be used to get around a factory. (Very bad roads)
There are trail signs, not very far to ride, but hilly.
There are many dogs at a OLD house just north of Fillingham Road (mile 5.22) in Ashtabula Co.
The dogs are friendly.
The distance measurements are from the Ashtabula/Trumbull County line.
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5.5 miles between Callender and Hague is paved now. I was riding on it this past Sunday (10/12)
I rode the trail from West Street in Ashtabula all the way past route 87 in Trumbull County on October 5th. There was still some construction equipment just off the trail at US 6 but at least one layer has been added to the entire section that was not paved prior to this summer. I "only" made it 31 miles south when I ran out of time and had to head back. The trail is in exceptional condition for the entire length that I rode. Make sure that you know which crossroads have gas stations or restrooms since I only remember seeing 3 latrines on the section that I rode (and 2 of them were within 3 miles of each other).
The trail management should sell advertising space or at least allow nearby merchants to post signs that food and restrooms are nearby.
Now that the trail is open for about 42 miles (84 down and back) they should think about having a cycling event to draw riders from Cleveland, Erie Youngstown, Pittsburg, etc. They could raise thousands for maintenance to keep this trail in great shape. They could name it the "Great Western Reserve Greenway Century Ride" which with a few additional loops would be accurate.
I am glad that this newly completed resource is available to draw more much needed tourist money into the area economies.
I look forward to riding again next spring!
This is truly a delightful trail. Flat and nicely maintained. Frequent sightings of wildlife (lots of chipmunks!). Benches scattered here and there. Beautiful wooded areas, my favorite being between Allen and Tisch Roads. Great parking at Route 307 (convenience store), Sanborn Road, Eagleville Road, Old Austinburg Road, Woodman Ave.
And... the long-awaited paving of the 5.6 miles section south of Callender Road is now completed!
Phase III Information:
The Rt 84 tunnel is open for use.
A little bumpy but a lot safer.
Would make a nice shelter if it is raining.
The 5.5 miles between Callender and Hague
has not been paved yet.
It can be rode with a mountain bike.
It has been cleared, graded, stoned and rolled.
Greenway enters Phase III
Tunnel, final paved section to be completed this summer
By CARL E. FEATHER - Lifestyle Editor - firstname.lastname@example.org
Charlie Kohli, Ashtabula County Metroparks commissioner and chairman of the Friends of the Western Reserve Greenway, says the contract for Phase III has been awarded and the work should be completed by late September.
Phase III involves paving a 5.6-mile section in Orwell and Rome townships and constructing a tunnel under Route 84 in Ashtabula Township.
“This will complete the whole 43-mile section, to just about Warren,” Kohli said.
Twenty-seven miles of the trail are in Ashtabula County. The only unpaved section is between Hague and Callender roads. Janet Takas, civil engineer with the Ashtabula County Engineer’s Department, says the stretch will be paved to a width of 10 feet this summer. The work will provide a continuous paved trail from Rock Creek to Orwell.
On the northern end, a 208-foot tunnel will replace the hazardous crossing at the intersection of Route 84, near Hide-A-Way Lakes Campground. Users must leave the trail and cross the busy highway, which carries a lot of school bus and commercial traffic.
“It is a 16-by-10-foot box culvert that will allow the pedestrians and bicyclists to pass (under) State Route 84 without having to stop for traffic,” Takas said of the pre-cast concrete structure.
Kohli says there will be disruptions to trail use during the construction; the unpaved section is already closed as Brobst Tree Service is clearing brush from the corridor. Kohli says the board has not specified a detour around this section and urges users to consult highway maps to find an alternate route.
The board will close the WRGT between Woodman Avenue and Sanborn Road while the culvert work is being done. That work is scheduled to get under way after July 4 and will take up to 45 days. During that time, Route 84 will also be closed to vehicular traffic. Koski plans to have the work done in time for the start of school
I live less than a mile from Callender and WRG.
The seven miles South is to be finished in 2008. (Not holding my breath)
I wish it did not use the streets in Rock Creek, but it is blocked by a factory.
Not to far to go around, but road is rough and hilly. (Be CAREFULL)
I have went South from Route 322 to Route 87, (Watch out for horse MANURE)
The Amish seem to like the trail, but no Respect for it.
Now for the good things.
The ride from Rock Creek North to Clay street is GREAT.
You can get off there and get to Mickey D,s just by crossing 45.
Be CAREFULL getting off at Clay short curvy hill.
There is plenty of shade, FLAT, and paved.
Watch out for the DEER, I see them between Callender and Rock Creek quite often.
Enjoy the WRG, I do.
This is very nice trail- its quiet, flat, paved, and not very busy. It is not finished though, there is a 7 mile section in the Ashtabula County section (just north of 322) that is not finished. The Trumbull section is complete (about 14 miles). About 20 miles is complete in the Ashtabula County section which makes for a nice 40 mile trip down and back starting in Ashtabula. Once the 7 mile section is complete, it will stretch 43 miles. Enjoy it, its one of the best trails around.
Went 17 miles north from the southern starting point. Great view all paved. No real challanges with hills but definately an enjoyable ride. Planning on doing the whole trail next time.
"Got 20 miles in today on the Greenway. First time visitor. Paved areas are nice, very rural, not a bunch of intersections. Was taken by surprise however. There is a section in the middle that is not paved. To the best of my knowledge, the trail website did not indicate this. Would like to have ridden further, but wet, soggy conditions prevented us."
"My wife and I grew up in Trumbull and Mahoning Counties, but have lived in another state for 23 years. On two recent trips home, we had the pleasure of taking two out and back rides starting at the parking area near Champion on Rt. 305.
With all of the tough times this geographic area has been through, it's encouraging to see increasing construction of rail trail recreation opportunities. The Western Reserve Greeway Trail is a very nice ride.
On our most recent trip, we saw plenty of wildlife--especially deer and groundhogs. Unfortunately our ride was cut short because of a looming thunderstorm.
The first time we rode the trail, we were able to take a nice break at the wildlife preserve about 10 miles into the ride.
For those who think Northeast Ohio can't possibly be a vacation destination, think again. There's plenty to do in the region. On a hot day, one can cool off after a ride with a swim in Mosquito Lake, just a ten minute drive east on Rt. 305. From the Greenway, you also have easy access to the resorts along Lake Erie and other inland lakes, as well as many attractions in Cleveland, Akron and Canton.
Youngstown is home to Mill Creek Park, one of the countries most majestic natural parks, designed by Fredrick Olmstead, who also designed New York's Central Park. In addition to biking, it's a great place to hike.
And after a ride, a hungry biker can usually get a great meal at a reasonable price. The Youngstown-Warren area has some of Ohio's best Italian restaurants, not to mention the venerable Hot Dog Shoppe on Warren's west side."
"Great trail. Well maintained. Approx 19 miles each way. No hills, strictly flat, smooth paved surface with no bumps, dips, cracks, potholes etc. Very enjoyable with much shade on a sunny warm day. Stop in Orwell on north end approx 1 mile from trail for lunch. DQ, Subway, A&W and pizza shops. Enjoy!!"
"very flat, smooth paved, evenly spaced between stops (road intersections). One odd dirt road crossing near southern tip (bike path paved thru). Wildlife observation deck. Soda vending machines, toilet facilities."
This trail is also paved now from Oakfield Road in Hyde up through Orwell in Ashtabula County. I am unsure of the exact length but I believe it to be around seven miles. So now you have a trail 15 miles each way and this park is supposed to be connected to the last Ashtabula part next year.
I have biked on both paved sections of the trail. I tend to like the Trumbull County part better than the Ashtabula part because of the scenery and it's easier to cross the intersections. The Ashtabula section was less busy with people on the trail than the Trumbull County section. This is a great trail and it has a great surface!
Another part of this trail has been paved from Route 305 to hyde-oakfield road in trumbull county. The section is an 8.4 mile stretch.
This trail does not have any events yet.
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