The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail (known locally as merely The Towpath) begins its journey in Cleveland near the Steelyard Commons shopping district. This urban environment very close to Lake Erie, and the original source of the O&E Canal is city hiking and biking at its best, providing wide and safe paths away from city traffic (mostly) on its way south toward its end in Bolivar. There's ample parking, and lots of opportunity to stock up on water and snacks for your trek, although there's no lack of sources of these and more along the length of the trail. Your fur-baby is welcome to join you on leash. And while hiking the full trail is possible, there are many places to hop on and off as the spirit moves you.
As you begin your travels on The Towpath in Cleveland, you'll notice some interesting trailside exhibits that describe the historical significance and geography of the canal and its mule-driven towpath. The canal is your nearly constant companion as you move along and view its locks and buildings, as well as the wildlife that thrives near the water here: waterfowl, deer, beavers and many others. Even in the urban sections, the wildlife is abundant and visible. Before you leave Cleveland, you'll pass over 2 bridges over heavily-trafficked intersections that were built just for pedestrians and cyclists to help avoid difficulties.
The trail will pass through Cuyahoga Valley National Park, one of the most visited national parks in the nation with its magnificent scenery, lush plant growth and campsites reserved for through hikers.
As you approach the town of Peninsula, where there is a second major trailhead on Mill Street, you'll notice quaint and historic towns popping up, each with their own special flavor and attractions.
Past Akron, you'll have the unique experience of walking along floating boardwalks on Summit Lake while the lake denizens and lotuses float below. Beyond this is quiet shade and a few short climbs as you walk through forests and past tranquil ponds. The southernmost trailhead is at OH 212/Poplar Street in Bolivar.
This long and diverse trail has something for everyone, including Fido!
This is a multi-use trail, so use caution as you walk along and stay to the right so faster bicyclists, skaters, or horses can pass on your left. Horses are easily startled, so be sure to keep Fido firmly controlled with a leash.