The Towpath Trail & Connectors

The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail is a 101 mile multi-use recreational path that follows the historic path that mules walked to tow canal boats loaded with goods and passengers.

The route was determined by historic maps and remnants of the trail itself. In some places, like Cleveland's Tremont neighborhood, the trail leaves the historic route where time has erased the old path.

Perfect for biking, hiking, walking and running, the trail features visitor centers and interpretive signage so you can learn more about the cultural, historic, natural and recreational resources being preserved and celebrated along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.

The Towpath Trail is one of the northern-most sections of Ohio Bike Route 1, or the Ohio to Erie Trail, a 326 mile route traversing various trails that allows cyclists to ride from the Ohio River to Lake Erie.

The Towpath Trail in Cuyahoga County connects to a variety of other multi-use trails providing access to parks, reservations, the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie, as well as many Cleveland neighborhoods and the surrounding communities.


The Surface and Grade of the Towpath Trail

In Cuyahoga County, the Towpath Trail is entirely paved. South of Cuyahoga County, the surface of the trail varies between, gravel, earth and asphalt but is basically flat.

Directly outside of downtown Cleveland south of Scranton Flats and again over intersections along Canal Road - at Granger & Warner Road - the Towpath rises at an approximately 7% grade.


Towpath Trailheads in Cuyahoga County

There are more than 50 trailheads in four counties that offer trail access and public parking. Some trailheads include restroom facilities. You can find detailed information on Towpath trailheads in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County here.

Cuyahoga County Trailheads


Connector Trails


Cleveland Foundation Centennial Trail

The Cleveland Foundation Centennial Trail connects the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath to Lake Erie via a connection at the southern end of the Scranton Peninsula. The trail currently uses some on-road bike routes to connect to a 1.3-mile trail on the West Bank of the Flats that intersects with the Whiskey Island Trail, leading to Wendy Park and Lake Erie.


Red Line Greenway

The Cleveland Foundation Centennial Trail connects the Towpath Trail south of Scranton Flats to Red Line Greenway off Franklin Avenue and Carter Road in Ohio City. This 2-mile trail Stretches from W. 65th Street to future site of Irishtown Bend Park.


Treadway Creek Trail

The Treadway Creek Trail connects to the Towpath Trail via Jennings Road at Harvard Avenue. The 2/3-mile trail links Harmody Park and the Treadway Creek Ravine to the Towpath Trail, giving Old Brooklyn's 20,000 residents easy access to each amenity.


Washington Reservation All Purpose Trail

The Washington Reservation All Purpose Trail connects the Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation to the Washington Reservation via a 2.4 plus mile paved trail that connects to the Towpath Trail just north of the Elevated Railroad Trestle Bridge. This trail also connects the Towpath Trail to the new Cliffs Mountain Bike Park.


Mill Creek Connector Trail

The Mill Creek Connector Trail connects to the Towpath Trail at Bacci Park and is just over 1 mile long and includes a 150-foot pedestrian bridge that is ADA-accessible and extends over Mill Creek to offer views of the Cuyahoga Valley.


Hemlock Creek Trail

Hemlock Creek Trail is a 2 mile trail that extends from Selig Drive and Brecksville Road in Independence and follows Hemlock Creek to the Towpath Trail in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.


Towpath Trail Safety and Etiquette

  • Stay to the right. Always ride or walk on the right side of the trail.
  • Wear a helmet when riding a bike. This includes children in bicycle trailers.
  • Give an audible signal when passing on the left. Use a bike bell, your voice, or other form of notification. Many cyclists will call out the number of riders passing, as well.
  • Cyclists yield to pedestrians. Pass on the left after giving an audible signal. Remember to slow down before passing
  • Do not block the trail. When you need to stop, step off the trail. Never block the trail.
  • Protect your pet. Pets must be leashed at all times. Maximum leash length of 6 feet is allowed on the trail in the national park.
  • Leave no trace! Always dispose of trash in proper bins or take your trash with you when you leave. This includes cleaning up after your pet!
  • Class 1 and Class 2 electric bicycles are allowed on the Towpath Trail in Cuyahoga County and in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Speeds should not exceed 15 miles per hour. Electric scooters are also allowed. Other motorized vehicles are not allowed.
  • In case of emergency, call 911. To report an issue with the trail or a trail hazard call the Cleveland Metroparks at 216.635.3200.

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