Pedaling into the Fall
Ohio cyclists love the many choices of trails available to them. Popular trails like those extending from the Xenia hub make the choice of options a simple matter. Where else can you start in one place and find so many interesting destinations just a short bike ride away?
With so many trails to choose from, there is always an excuse to discover a new destination and that is exactly what I recently did when I cycled on the Roberts Pass Trail. Originating at the Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park outside of Columbus, this trail took me through pastoral settings immersing me into a calming landscape. The trail passes by farms and small towns. As part of the OTET (Ohio to Erie Trail), it is possible to ride either Lake Erie or the Ohio River if you ride many miles in the right direction. Seeing touring cyclists along the trail who were taking advantage of the OTET made me smile as I recalled my days of long-distance touring. Not only that, I felt the urge to tour the OTET from end to end.
Another favorite ride of mine is along the North Coast Inland Trail, as its name suggests, in the northern part of Ohio. Bucolic scenes with pumpkins in the field make this an ideal fall ride. I started in Elmore and headed east toward Fremont. Not yet contiguous, this trail has sections including one from Elyria to Oberlin, which is also a great ride and connects with the Beaches and Backroads Trail in Lorain County. Eventually, this path will be over 100 miles in length.
In the southeastern part of the state between Nelsonville and Athens, the Hockhocking Adena trail skirts the Hocking River. Passing by interesting geological features and through the forest, this trail is perfect for experiencing the fall. I always make a stop in the old company town of Eclipse, which has a bicycle shop with bikes for rent and a tool station right near the trail just in case there is a need for a tune-up. My lazy side really likes one of the benefits of this trail – its flatness, although there is a slight uphill grade riding in the Nelsonville direction. It still saves lots of huffing and puffing up the hilly roads in the area.
Check out a map for info on these and other Ohio cycling trails. Your local bicycle shop or cycling group is also a great resource for discovering a new Ohio trail. Happy pedaling!