Towpath Trail

Akron Bike-Hike Trail


Not only does the Akron Bike-Hike Trail connect with the Emerald Necklace and a portion of the Portage Trail, but its route also passes near the Ohio & Erie Towpath and Freedom Trails. [Scroll past 'Trail Facts' to continue reading.]

Rock Ledges
Northern Section - Photo by Lynda Warner

Latest Update: 8/2/17 by OB - Tunnel Work Brings Daily Closings Aug. 14

From summitmetroparks, "Work continues on the The Metro Parks Bike & Hike Trail at the new tunnel between Norton and Sowul roads in Stow.

"Beginning Monday, 8/14, daily closures will be in effect for approximately three weeks as contractors pave the trail in the area."


Summit County Vehicle Break-Ins - 7/22/17 by OB

From hudsonhubtimes, "Officials from the Summit Metro Parks are asking for the public's assistance in helping to prevent break-ins like a series of seven that were reported July 20.

"Seven cars parked in six locations had windows smashed and purses taken, according to rangers.

"...the break-ins happened in Hudson at the Bike & Hike Trail/Route 303 lot; in Akron at the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail/Memorial Parkway lot; in Akron at the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail/Big Bend lot; two in Fairlawn at the Sand Run Metro Park/Revere Road lot; in Springfield Township at the Springfield Bog Metro Park and one in Munroe Falls at the Munroe Falls Metro Park Lake Area."

Upcoming Closure - 7/13/17 by OB

From summitmetroparks.org, "The Bike & Hike Trail, from Sowul Rd. to Norton Rd. in Stow, will be closed from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, 7/14 and Monday, 7/17. The trail will be open on the weekend. There will be additional trail closures in the near future as the contractor for ODOT and the City of Stow works to complete the project."

Trail Event Traffic June 4 - 5/30/17 by OB

From summitmetroparks.org, " A bicycle ride of up to 500 people will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. between Highland and Hines Hill roads, and between Boston Mills and Barlow roads."

Bridge Over Trail Replaced - 12/2/16 by OB

From city of Stow, "The bridge on St. Rt. 91 (Darrow Road) over the bike trail has been replaced with a 16'x10' arch culvert...

"...The bike trail will be partially opened on a limestone base by late December for the winter and spring. However, additional work such as sealing, painting, and grouting the culvert along with placing the asphalt base and surface will take place when it is warmer in late spring and summer. Temporary closures of the bike trail will be needed at that time."

Boston Heights Section Closing - 6/28/16 by OB

From hudsonhubtimes.com, "A 1/3-mile section of the Bike & Hike Trail, between Route 8 and Route 303 in Boston Heights, will be closed beginning July 5. The closure is expected to be in effect up to 30 days. No detours are planned because of the relatively short duration of the closure.

"The Ohio Department of Transportation is completing emergency repairs to an unstable slope near the Akron-Cleveland Road tunnel. The Route 303 parking lot and the Bike & Hike Trail north of that lot will remain open during the work."

Trail Section Closing in Stow - 5/11/16 by OB

From stowsentry.com, "A .6-mile section of the Bike &Hike Trail, between Sowul Boulevard and Norton Road in Stow, will be closed beginning May 16. The closure is expected to be in effect until early 2017.

"The Ohio Department of Transportation and the city of Stow are replacing a bridge on state Route 91 with a tunnel. The Stow project is similar to a recently completed trail tunnel replacement under Akron-Cleveland Road in Boston Heights."

Sagamore Hills Section Closing - 11/4/15 by OB

Tree removal is closing a section of trail through the end of today, Nov. 4.

From ohio.com, "...The closed section is between Boyden and Highland roads in Sagamore Hills Township, Summit Metro Parks reported."

Bike Repair Station - 9/21/15 by Frank Kovach

A repair station was installed at the Rt 303 parking area.

Trail Specs & Facts:

Location: Summit County, OH

Class: A1++

Length: 32.3 miles / asphalt (includes 5.7mi road routes)

Condition: Good

Facilities: Several locations along the trail.

Parking: A centrally located lot near Hudson, OH. (See trail map for more options.)

Worth Noting: The sections that follow road routes are in the southern loop portion of the trail.

Map: Akron Bike & Hike Trail

Elevation: North to southeast

More Trails in this Region: NE OH Trails List

The bikeway terrain ranges from relatively flat to gently rolling with turns. Sections run through rural areas as well as residential neighborhoods. Variety is the key word here. Just as you're settling in and getting a feel for the trail it soon changes... then later it changes again.

Northern Section

This portion of the Bike & Hike has a distinctly different personality from the rest of the trail. Some of it follows a utility right-of-way which leads the path directly between the legs of electric towers. At road crossings the trail ramps up slightly to reach street level. Several of these crossings do not provide a good line of sight for cyclists of oncoming traffic, so use caution here.

Creek Crossing
Near Alexander Rd - Photo by Lynda Warner

Heading south on the bikeway from Boston Mills Road the trail is generally flat and smooth. Signs at road crossings provide you with street names and the distance to the next crossroad further down the trail. If you think of the bikeway as a main transportation route and the crossroads as exits, you can see how this provides great information for trail users, particularly if you're inclined to explore the surrounding area.

A short section with rock outcroppings provides interesting scenery on your way south.

Further along the trail takes on a more rolling, turning course and does a good job of avoiding too many sharp turns.

Southern Section

The southern part of the bikeway splits into 2 trails just after you ride over the Rt. 8 overpass. A sign marks the split. Continue straight ahead and you're on your way to Silver Springs Park in Stow. Turn right and you're traveling to Silver Lake and Munroe Falls. Regardless of which route you choose, the entire southern end of the trail is tied together to form one large loop. This is accomplished using bike route signs to direct you along streets between trail sections.

Trail Split
Trail Split That Begins Southern Loop

If you ride southeast toward Stow, you'll turn south on Young Rd to connect with the Stow Bikeway to continue on the Bike-Hike. If you miss this turn, or decide to continue riding straight at Young Rd, you'll be riding into Portage County on a portion of the Portage County Trail.

The southern most portion of the Bike-Hike Trail makes its way along the Cuyahoga River. Here you'll find access points to the river as well as restroom and water facilities right along the trail.

A trail sign marks the 1.5 mile Kelsey Bikeway that connects to the trail at Munroe Falls. This spur takes you past Kennedy Park and ends at Galt Park.

You'll rack up mileage quickly on this 32.3 mile trail. Keep in mind that doubling back to your car will bump up your totals. We totaled 48.5 miles which included a jaunt over to ride a short segment of the nearby towpath trail.

If you ride the entire southern loop, 5.7 of those miles will be on connecting road routes as well.

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