|Album: photos:Ohio Erie Canal Towpath
25 - 26 June 2005: Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail Overnighter
The growth of Akron and Cleveland, Ohio in the early 1800s is due in significant part to the opening of the Ohio & Erie Canal in 1827. The entire canal system linked Lake Erie to the Ohio River. This major engineering feat was replaced by railroads in the 1860s. Now it it is part of the 110 mile Ohio & Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor. The portion between Akron and Cleveland has been converted into a multi-use gravel trail. A large part of the towpath trail runs through the underappreciated Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area.
In combination with the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, the Towpath Trail offers a unique non-loop hike without transportation difficulties. It is possible to jump on the train at nearby Rockside road and ride through the park to Akron then walk (it is more popular to bike) back to the starting point. There is no legal camping but about halfway there is the Stanford Hostel only 5 minutes off the trail. Using the hostel (or stealth camping nearby) splits the 27 mile walk into two easy days. I thought this would be a nice overnight hike for Adventure Chick and I. It would serve a dual purpose as preparation for the following weekend's backpacking trip to Zaleski State Park too.
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