Like to Bike? Get a Pedaling Perspective of Cleveland Plus
Originally constructed some 175 years ago as a dirt path that mules walked down as they pulled canal boats between Lake Erie and the Ohio River (connecting Cleveland to Portsmouth), the Ohio Erie Towpath Trail is now a multi-purpose path used by cyclists, runners and pedestrians. And, one day, it will extend all the way to downtown Cleveland.
Winding along what’s left of the canal and the Cuyahoga River, you can stop at various centers and historical sites. You can even see how an original lock worked while at the Canal Visitor Center located at Canal Road and Hillside Road. And, if the route from Cleveland to Akron proves to be too long, flag down the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad between Independence and Akron at a boarding station with your bike, pay a two dollar fee and enjoy the view and the narrated tour.
Cyclists wanting a more urban experience should take advantage of the new Cleveland Bike Rack, set to open downtown in June on East 2nd St. A shower and parking facility for commuters, it also offers bike rentals for visitors. “People who rented bikes last summer [during a trial bike rental program] said it was really great,” says Downtown Cleveland Alliance’s Sheri Bontrager. “People generally would go about for about an hour and explore the city a bit . . . riders loved the bikes we have because they’re basic cruisers with a back pedal brake and they are made to work for everyone.”
Want to do it all? If you can navigate your way from downtown to the towpath trail, don’t be surprised to see some wildlife. You don’t have to venture far from the city to see many of the deer that populate the parks. Trust my experience . . . they’re quite fearless and often remain stationary as you pedal past them. – Submitted by guest blogger JNiesel