Ohio to Erie Trail

What’s 110 miles in length, friendly to cyclists, and chock-full of splendid nature? You got it: the Ohio to Erie Trail. With the last 1.6 miles completed (Madison County), you can now travel by bike from Battelle Darby Creek, all the way to Cincinnati!

This fabulous, accessible trail is part of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors (AGO) initiative; it’s a plan that in the grand scheme of things includes two major projects for each of 50 states “designed to protect special places and increase access to outdoor spaces.” The overall design and purpose of projects like the Ohio to Erie Trail are to establish community-based initiatives for “conservation, recreation, and reconnecting Americans to the outdoors.” More details of the plan, released in November by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, can be found on the Ohio to Erie Trail website.

The massiveness and importance of this one project for Ohio can’t be underestimated. Eventually a continuous trail will connect Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati and several other communities. Once gaps are closed in the Columbus area, the route will run 160 miles! These two gaps— Alum Creek and Camp Chase—will give access to 18 city parks, and will also connect with both Battelle Darby Creek and Big Darby Creek rivers.

Look for more changes in 2012, courtesy of Metro Parks’ capital improvement projects, as the Camp Chase extension will be connected via the canoe access through the park, to Galloway.