This is our fall feature event for the bike-centric—those of you who can’t sit still and who love to experience the world by bike. Expect a dynamic ride and a couple very challenging sections—and be prepared to cover a lot of ground each day.
Join us for our inaugural Ohio Sojourn—a four-day, 202-mile super trek featuring the in-progress, cross-state Ohio to Erie Trail (and traversing 11 trails and greenways). From the hip, urban bustle of Cleveland, to tranquil Amish Country, to eclectic Columbus—the state capitol—this trip has it all.
On this ride, sojourners will take in the amazing sites and sensations of Northeast Ohio as they travel a portion of the 330-mile pathway that will one day connect Cleveland and Cincinnati. The route is currently 85 percent complete, and in addition to riding 11 trails, participants will check out some gaps that could make the vision a finished a reality.
Featured pathways include the Ohio & Erie Canalway Towpath Trail, Sippo Valley Trail, Holmes County Trail, Mohican Valley Trail, Kokosing Gap Trail, Heart of Ohio Trail (HOOT), Westerville Bike & Walk (B&W) Route, Alum Creek Greenway Trail, I-670 Downtown Connector Trail, Scioto Greenway Trail and Olentangy Tail.
Note: The route is mainly off road with a gentle grade, but there are numerous short on-road sections with steep grades. We’ll be covering a lot of ground each day (an average of 50 miles daily)—so be prepared! Please read the daily itinerary below for more details.
A SAG (support and gear) vehicle will be available to assist with serious medical situations and mechanical breakdowns, but all participants should plan to complete the route under their own steam.
This is a camping sojourn. Please contact Comfy Campers to reserve a tent package if you do not have your own tent. They also offer coffee service (highly recommended for coffee drinkers!), towel service and other a-la-carte options.
Hybrid bikes are recommended. Helmets are required.
Cleveland, Akron, Columbus
Cuyahoga River at Rivergate Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Sonnenburg Village, Kidron
Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area
Ariel Foundation Park, Mt. Vernon
Bridge of Dreams
Howe Meadow Campground, Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Sonnenburg Village, Kidron Ohio
Ariel Foundation Park, Mt. Vernon
Approximately 35 miles of riding
Day 1 will showcase the industrial past and present that Cleveland is known for, while featuring the best in urban trail development. Meet the group in either Columbus (to be shuttled to Cleveland) or right in downtown Cleveland at Rivergate Park on the banks of the legendary Cuyahoga River, where we’ll start with a welcome from Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC). From urban Cleveland, riders will enter beautiful Cuyahoga Valley National Park along the Ohio & Erie CanalWay Towpath Trail. You’ll pass through charming old towns and witness wonderful riverside views and historic waysides before ending Day 1at our first overnight spot: Howe Meadow in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Meals included: Dinner
Approximately 55.7 miles of riding
On Day 2, sojourners will experience how regional trails are helping to connect major urban centers in Ohio. After leaving on the Towpath Trail, we’ll make our way to Akron, a once-industrial mecca now redefining itself as a 21st-century city. Once south of Akron, we’ll be invited to stop in at several historic canal towns to enjoy their hospitality and their history. At Massillon, we’ll get on the Sippo Valley Trail and make our way to Dalton and Ohio’s Amish Country. After Dalton, we’ll come across our first gap—a 7-mile on-road route that takes us to our Day 2 endpoint in Kidron, Ohio. Here, we’ll camp at Sonnenburg Village, a 5-acre historical site with buildings and landscaping that utilizes sustainable living methods and green technology. A short 2.2-mile road route into the town of Kidron this evening will allow a visit to the famous 35,000-square-foot Lehman’s Hardware Store, a treat you don’t want to miss.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Approximately 60 miles of riding
Note: This day has the most miles of riding and has about a 1,700-foot climb over the 60-mile route. It does include a 0.5-mile-long road section with grades between 6 and 9.8 percent.
We’ll start Day 3 from Kidron on an 11-mile on-road section that will take us to Fredericksburg and the Holmes County Trail. Holmes County is home to the largest community of Amish in the U.S. (Next to our 10-foot paved trail you’ll see a 12-foot chip seal trail frequented by horses and buggies.) Stop at Millersburg, the county seat, for some amazing food, antiquing and Amish hospitality. At the southern end of the trail is Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area, which provides some great wildlife viewing. We’ll then come to a 12-mile on-road route before getting on the Mohican Valley Trail, featuring the Bridge of Dreams, the longest covered bridge in Ohio. The experience meshes seamlessly with the beautiful Kokosing Gap Trail, which takes us to our Day 3 endpoint and final overnight at the Ariel Foundation Park in Mt. Vernon.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Approximately 51 miles of riding
On Day 4, we’ll leave Gambier, transferring from the Kokosing Gap Trail to the Heart of Ohio Trail (HOOT)—which features classic Ohio farm country and some small town charm. A couple short on-road routes dot the way. After reaching Galena, we’ll ride along the shore of Hoover Reservoir, a massive recreation area, before entering Westerville. The trip takes on a distinct suburban feel here. We’ll then ride the Alum Creek Greenway, I-670 Downtown Connector, Scioto Greenway and Olentangy trails to our final destination at The Ohio State University, which is just north of downtown Columbus.
Meals included: Breakfast
The initial meeting point will be in Columbus, Ohio, where parking will be provided for the duration of the tour. Once meeting the group in Columbus, Wilderness Voyageurs will provide a shuttle to the starting point in Cleveland. All luggage and bikes will be transported to Cleveland at the time of the shuttle.
Option 1 (Into/out of Columbus): You can fly in and out of Columbus via the Port Columbus International Airport (10 minutes from downtown) and meet the group on the morning of Day 1 at the long-term parking location (TBA). The trip terminates in Columbus, where you can catch your flight home. Option 2 (Into Cleveland/out of Columbus): You can fly into Cleveland via Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and meet us the morning of Day 1 at Rivergate Park. Details will be provided one month prior to the trip departure in RTC’s Ohio Sojourn Ride Guide, which will be sent via email.
You can rent a bike for this sojourn from Wilderness Voyageurs. Available for rent is the Cannondale Adventure, a hybrid bike perfect for path and trail riding.
Rate: $50 for a four-day ride
Note: This is a camping trip, and there are no hotels within easy/close proximity of our camping locations for Nights 1 and 2. Contact Comfy Campers to register for camping equipment if you do not have your own. Their coffee, towel and chair services are also highly recommended for each night of the journey.
Night 1: The group will camp at Howe Meadow in Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Cleveland, Ohio.
Night 2: The group will camp in Sonnenburg Village in Kidron, Ohio.
Night 3: The group will camp at the Ariel Foundation Park in Mt. Vernon
Hotel Option: Quality Inn: 740.392.6886 (no shuttle service; five to 10 minute walk from the campsite). You are responsible for arranging your own transportation to and from the hotel.