Trails, Festivals and Rails: Bicycling Through Ohio
Tamara Brown, (614) 466-8591
Leslie Holbrook, (614) 383-1635
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 19, 2015
COLUMBUS, Ohio – One of the best ways to experience Ohio is with the wind in your hair and your feet on the pedals! Whether you’re looking for a scenic tour of Ohio’s rolling countryside or a new way to challenge yourself, there are plenty of experiences (both on the bicycle and off) for avid cyclists, new riders and families to enjoy Ohio by pedal power.
Trails to Rails
From June through October, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway’s Bike Aboard! program provides cyclists the opportunity to bike the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail through Cuyahoga Valley National Park in one direction and ride the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Train on the way back. This is a perfect outing for anyone, but groups with children will appreciate the opportunity to wave down the train when little legs get tired, and enjoy a train ride back through beautiful forests, fields and wetlands of the Cuyahoga River Valley.
The Little Miami Scenic Trail blends into the beautiful countryside of southwestern Ohio as it winds along the Little Miami River. Along the 75-mile path, bikers can tour Fort Ancient State Memorial to immerse themselves in rich Native American history and earthworks. Bikers can also make their own “bike-and-hike” trip with a hike through John Bryan State Park or Glen Helen Nature Preserve.
The Richland B & O Trail in north-central Ohio stretches 19 miles connecting the villages of Butler and Bellville with the city of Lexington while rolling through the heart of Richland County. One of the main attractions along this trail is the infamous Ohio State Reformatory. Riders can stop and take a tour of the historic prison that served as the backdrop for the movie, “Shawshank Redemption.” Riders can also fuel up at the Amish-style Der Dutchman Restaurant or take a spin on a carousel at Richland Carrousel Park, the first new, hand-carved carousel to be built and operated in the United States since the 1930s.
One of Ohio's longest rail-trails, the Wabash Cannonball Trail covers a total of 63 miles and traverses four counties: Fulton, Henry, Lucas, and Williams. It provides an easy ride thanks to the flat terrain, but still offers plenty of interest with 13 bridges, the longest of which is the Tiffin River Bridge spanning 210 feet in length. If you have wanted to try geocaching, this trail provides an opportunity to try it out as there are a number of cashes hidden along the trail. Also, just off the trail, riders can easily visit Oak Openings Preserve, a nature preserve that is home to Ohio’s only living sand dunes and more than a third of Ohio’s endangered species. It’s also a great place to see migrating birds during spring and fall. Additional nearby attractions include Sauder Village and Fort Meigs.
To find more great Ohio bicycle trails, order the free “Discover Ohio by Bike” brochure here.
Ride with a Side of Festival Fun
Bike the Cbus, Columbus, Sept. 5
Bike the Cbus is a casual bicycle tour highlighting the Columbus’ unique neighborhoods. Cyclists of all ages and abilities are welcome to choose from four routes totaling 30 miles with stops for snacks and entertainment hosted by local organizations throughout the city.
NEOCycle, Cleveland Lakefront, Sept. 11-13
NEOCycle, the Midwest’s largest urban cycling festival, combines multiple ride opportunities, live music and an outdoor festival to create a fun end-of-summer celebration. Attendees can participate in a half-dozen races and rides, including velodrome racing, cyclocross, a night ride, fundo and criterium. Enjoy food and drinks from food trucks and craft breweries and catch 25 bands on two stages over the two-day event. Don’t miss the stand-up paddle boarding, climbing wall, yoga, art, mini-golf and more!
Tour De Donut, Arcanum, Sept. 12
Tour De Donut blends cycling and donuts together in one harmonious and delicious event. A participant’s ability to eat donuts is just as important as their ability to bike fast. For each donut a rider eats during the race, five minutes is deducted from their overall ride time. New for 2015, The Glazer donut stop will offer participants the option to eat a special donut for a ten-minute time deduction.
Pawpaw Double Nickel Bicycle Ride, Albany, Sept. 12 (Start between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m.)
The 55-mile Pawpaw Double Nickel Bicycle Ride combines with the Ohio Pawpaw Festival for a great tasting, fun and challenging day. Rides start and end at the festival taking you from Albany on a tour around Zaleski State Forest. Enjoy challenging climbs, ridgetop views and sweet downhills, all along the Raccoon Creek Watershed. There is also a shorter 20-mile option. The self-guided, self-paced ride is included in the price of the festival admission fee, and includes a map of the ride, marked turns on the roads and an aid station.
Twisted Pretzel Tour, Germantown, Sept. 26
Add a bike tour to the Germantown Pretzel Festival, and you get the Twisted Pretzel Tour. Three routes (8, 19 and 38 miles) provide opportunities for all ages and skill levels to participate. Bring your tandem bicycle, recumbent, unicycle, pedicab or standard bicycle to enjoy the flat to gently rolling hills and historic Germantown covered bridge. Warm pretzels and toppings, along with other food items, will be available at breaks and after the ride, local craft brews will be available at the Twisted Pretzel Biergarten.
For more cycling events, click here to view the Ohio Bicycle Events Calendar.