Coolest Spots on the Ohio to Erie Trail
In 2021, Wilderness Voyageurs introduced a new bicycle tour on the Ohio to Erie Trail, from Cincinnati to Cleveland. But what’s there to see on a bike tour across Ohio? You might be imagining endless cornfields, farmhouses festooned with Ohio State decor and lots of delicious, hearty food. Okay, Ohio does have those things. But there’s so much more to a tour across Ohio–from cycling through peaceful National Parks to relaxing in upscale accommodations in Ohio’s state capital.
Introducing the Ohio to Erie Trail!
This scenic 326 mile trail links the Ohio River to Lake Erie, mostly on rail trails and canal paths. It crosses four major cities, lots of quaint towns and miles of pastoral countryside.
The Ohio to Erie Trail is a huge project, not just for the state of Ohio but also for the nation. Dreamed up over 25 years ago, this route will eventually be a car-free way to connect the Ohio River in Cincinnati to Lake Erie in Cleveland. (Of its planned 326 miles, more than 270 miles of trail are complete.)
This trail is also a planned segment of the Great American Rail-Trail, a nearly 4000-mile route (in development right now) to connect the country from Washington, D.C., to Washington state.
What’s so great about Ohio?
Throughout the ride on the Ohio to Erie Trail, you’ll pass through diverse landscapes, from cities to countryside and back. Here are a few places you won’t want to miss!
The Little Miami Scenic Trail:
This trail is a jewel in the crown of Ohio rail-trails, spanning just over 78 miles from the outskirts of Cincinnati to Springfield over historical bridges and through tranquil state parks, charming small towns, and stunning natural habitats.
Quirky Yellow Springs:
Yellow Springs is a “hippie enclave” in between Cincinnati and Columbus. Home to Antioch College and known for its laid back vibe and community atmosphere, Yellow Springs is a great stopover on the Ohio to Erie Trail. If you have some time in the evening, check out some of the cute shops on Main Street or the Yellow Springs Brewery, which is adjacent to the bike trail!
On our evening in Columbus, our tour stays the night at the classy Hotel LeVeque. Housed inside the historic LeVeque Tower in the heart of downtown Columbus this refined hotel adds a shimmer of light to the city skyline. The unique rooms are complemented with sophisticated décor and thoughtful touches that will help you unwind after a long day on the bike.
You’ll be free to explore for dinner on your own during our evening in Columbus. From Italian food to sushi, craft cocktails to microbrews, the sky’s the limit in downtown Columbus. If you’re in the mood for a stroll, our hotel is also close to the beautiful Columbus City Hall and Battelle Riverfront Park. Need a sweet treat at the end of the day? Walk a few blocks down to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams — the creative flavors and local ingredients make a scoop of Jeni’s absolutely worth the calories.
Bridge of Dreams:
Ohio’s second-longest covered bridge on the Mohican Valley Trail. This trail runs for nearly 5 miles along a former right-of-way of the old Penn Central Railroad on the eastern edge of Knox County, between Brinkhaven and Danville. The trail features the stunning Bridge Of Dreams in Brinkhaven, a 370-foot covered bridge over the Mohican River.
Holmes County & Amish Country:
There’s some road riding in Amish country, but from Killbuck to Fredericksburg, you’ll ride the Holmes County Trail, which has an adjacent Amish buggy path! Holmes County boasts one of the largest communities of Amish in North America.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park:
Although it’s a short distance from Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park seems worlds away. The park is a refuge for native plants and wildlife, and provides routes of discovery for visitors. The winding Cuyahoga River gives way to deep forests, rolling hills, and open farmlands. We’ll ride Towpath Trail through the park, following the historic route of the Ohio & Erie Canal.
Our ride ends in Cleveland on the last day of the tour. If you’re not tight on time, we highly recommend spending an extra day or two in this fun, lakeside city.
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: The “Rock Hall” is a world-famous museum celebrating the legends of Rock & Roll. Architect I.M. Pei designed the museum’s striking 150,000-square-foot (14,000-square-metre) glass-dominated building, an angular assemblage of geometric forms set on the shore of Lake Erie. The facility includes a wide variety of frequently changing exhibits that draw on the museum’s extensive holdings of artifacts to examine rock music, its origins and its influence.
Cleveland Museum of Art: Internationally renowned for its substantial holdings of Asian and Egyptian art, the museum houses a diverse permanent collection of more than 61,000 works of art from around the world. Best of all, admission is free!
The West Side Market: Cleveland’s oldest public market is home to 100 friendly vendors offering meats, seafood, fruits, vegetables, baked goods, fine cheeses, flowers, ready-to-eat foods, spices and nuts. This grand indoor market is house in a huge, ornate hall, completed in 1912. Its 137 foot clock tower has stood as a Cleveland landmark for over a century. Whether as a day-tour destination or a weekly shopping experience, the West Side Market is always an interesting and historical Cleveland tradition.
Curious about cycling across Ohio? Read about our fully supported, inn to inn adventure on the Ohio to Erie Trail here!