Ohio to Erie Trail
Welcome to the Ohio to Erie Trail (OTET), a scenic 326-mile trail linking the Ohio River in Cincinnati to Lake Erie in Cleveland. This Ohio statewide corridor of trails and on-road routes connect the south to the north, traversing four major cities, numerous quaint small towns, and miles of countryside. The entirety of the OTET is open to bike touring, with 83 percent of the trail on off-street trails made up of hard gravel or paved surfaces. Considerable portions of the OTET are through parks such as Little Miami State Park and at least 20 miles within Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Our group will dip our back tires in the Ohio River under Cincinnati’s historic Roebling Suspension Bridge in Smale Park, and end by dipping our front tires in Lake Erie at Edgewater Park in Cleveland, hence the Ohio (river) to (lake) Erie Trail. This is the longest continuous bike path, also known as Ohio Bike Route 1, and is a trail meant to be enjoyed.
We’ll leave with a deep appreciation for the beauty and character of Ohio.
"I was very impressed by the leaders. They were very effective at getting us/gear/equipment/schedules organized, and they were all genuinely glad to be out riding bike with us and getting to know us. I also liked the way the tour was structured — I liked that everyone was able to depart when ready, and ride at their own pace, as long as they arrived before dinner. I felt no pressure to go fast or slow, and that was very liberating for me."
Day 1. Cincinnati, Ohio, 0 miles
We'll gather in the late afternoon in Cincinnati, meet our fellow cyclists, and have our orientation meeting. If you arrive early, enjoy a stroll to Smale Riverfront Park, our start point for our adventure on the Ohio to Erie Trail.
Day 2. Cincinnati to Xenia. 68 miles
After a hearty breakfast, we will ride over as a group to dip our back tires in the Ohio River in Smale Park and begin today's route from OTET's southern terminus to Xenia.
The OTET begins on the Ohio River Trail, where we will begin our route cycling alongside the Ohio River. We will continue through picturesque Theodore M. Berry International Friendship Park to Turkey Ridge Park, experiencing great views of the mighty River Trail. We'll continue onto the Lunken Airport Trail and the Little Miami Scenic Trail passing through Terrace Park, Milford, Miamiville, the trail town of Loveland, and on to King Mills and continuing north.
Day 3. Xenia to Columbus. 59 miles
Today we will ride the South Central region traversing Greene, Clark, Madison, and Franklin counties via the Little Miami Scenic Trail, the Prairie Grass Trail, Roberts Pass, Camp Chase Trail, the Hilltop Connector, the Lower Scioto Greenway, and the Downtown Connector. The terrain is relatively flat, and the OTET utilizes well-marked street routes in South Charleston, London, and Columbus.
Day 4. Columbus to Mt. Vernon, 52 miles
We begin today's ride on Downtown Connector, joining up with the urban Alum Creek Trail. We will ride through the official geographic center of Ohio, correctly named Centerburg.
Our overnight stay tonight is located on the beautiful Mount Vernon Square. Arrive in time to visit the Ariel-Foundation Park, an unbelievable 250 acre one-of-a-kind of adaptive reuse on the former site of a glass-making factory. The park features architectural ruins, an observation tower, steel and glass sculptures, walking trails, and a museum.
Day 5. Mt. Vernon to Millersburg, 42 miles
Today's travels will take you through the villages of Howard and Danville, where we will join with the Mohican Valley Trail to the Bridge of Dreams, a 370-foot covered bridge originally built in the 1920s for the railroad, covered in 1998, and is the longest covered bridge in Ohio.
We'll be traveling through Amish Country today, ending in historic full service Millersburg. Make sure to stop at Hipp Station, an old train station noted as the most famous stop along the trail. Note you will be on the Holmes County Trail, the only dual-purpose recreational trail and horse and buggy path in the U.S.
Day 6. Millersburg to Massillon, 38 miles
We'll continue riding through Amish Country, sharing the route with horse-drawn buggies. The early part of today's route will be on beautiful rural roads before we turn onto the Ohio & Erie Canal towpath. The surface of the O&E Canal towpath is clay and crushed limestone. We'll continue riding alongside the Tuscarawas River to our overnight in Massillon.
Day 7. Massillon to Akron, 30 miles
As we head north, we'll continue on the OTET/O&E Canal towpath through historic Canal Fulton on the Tuscarawas River. As we get closer to Akron, we'll ride over to the boardwalk on beautiful Summit Lake and have a chance to stop at the Summit Lake Nature Center. From an art museum to a zoo, there is plenty to do in Akron!
Day 8. Akron to Cleveland, 39 miles
Our final riding day will take us through 21 miles of Cuyahoga Valley National Park before reaching our final destination, Lake Erie. Here we will dip our front tires in Lake Erie at Edgewater Park, the northern terminus of the Ohio to Erie Trail. Once our group arrives, we'll hop in a shuttle that will take us back to Cincinnati where we'll say goodbye to our new friends and scroll through photos of a great week together.
Know before you go
End of Tour Options: Our tour will end by riding into Cleveland, then a shuttle back down to Cincinnati on day 8. For those wishing to stay in Cincinnati longer, you can choose to depart the tour there.
Information for eBike riders:
Because every rider, eBike, road condition, and elevation profile is different, it is ultimately up to the participant to judge best whether their battery will last through each tour day. We recommend using pedal assist in its lowest setting or off when not needed to maximize battery range. Bringing a second battery is also recommended. Remember, there is no vehicle support on our inn-to-inn trips, and you would need to carry the extra battery along with all of your other things.