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people riding bikes along Ride your bike along the Richland B&O Trail in Mansfield Ohio

Follow the Trail

They say getting there is half the fun. That's the case with riding the 18-mile Richland B&O Trail. Be sure to stop off to explore. Rather than merely rolling past diverse communities, the B&O Trail invites discovery all along the way — that's where the real fun begins.

Richland B&O Trail in Mansfield

Follow the Trail

By Nick Dekker

Posted On: Mar 16, 2023

Take to the trail and explore on two wheels! Ride along the Richland B&O Trail that spans 18 miles and connects four of Richland County's communities and one of the area's most beautiful attractions on its trek between North Lake Park in downtown Mansfield and Butler. Popular with residents and visitors alike, the paved trail runs along a former railway and is perfect for both short trips and longer outings. You'll pass families and people of all ages riding their bikes, alongside others on a quiet walk, a healthy run or zipping by on roller blades.

No matter how you travel the Richland B&O Trail, some of the best parts are the opportunities to hop on and off the trail to explore. Go across 18 bridges, past open fields, through a spectacular historic garden, around colorful public art, and through four communities inviting you to stop and sightsee.

Travel as many miles as you wish at your own pace and whatever direction you chose. Just be sure to bring your camera to capture the memories.

Plan your bike outings around these five suggested places to get off the trail to explore.

three people on bikes posing for selfie in front of colorful mural near the trail head on richland b and o bike trail in mansfield ohio

Recommended Stop: North Lake Park in Mansfield

The trail's northern-most point, North Lake Park in Mansfield, is a perfect photo spot. Take a selfie by the colorful mural near the trail head. Hop on your bikes to cross over the creek on a bridge made of sandstone that dates back to the 1880s.

three people walking garden grounds at Kingwood Center Gardens in Mansfield Ohio

Recommended Stop: Kingwood Center Gardens in Mansfield

Locals know to stop at Kingwood Center Gardens in Mansfield. Smell the flowers and rest in the shade of towering trees at the former estate of industrialist Charles Kelley King. An admission fee is required to explore the gardens and it's well worth it. The flowering gardens, cool woodlands and ponds are the perfect spot to relax and take a rest from the trail. Tour the historic Kingwood Hall mansion and follow the Storybook Trail with your kids. Seek out the story pages spread throughout the woods like you're in a living fairy tale.

Bike here, like the locals do, for gardening workshops, yoga classes and wellness walks. Pick up a garden-inspired gift, plant or locally made art at the garden shop that’s open for free to the public and a favorite spot for unique gifts. If you only have time for a bite, entry to the Gateway Café is free, so you can grab a casual lunch before you hit the trails again. The café dishes up a light breakfast of pastries, fruit and yogurt, and offers soups, salads and boxed lunches for the kids — and maybe a cold beer or glass of wine for the adults. There’s plenty of places to eat inside and out.

couple man and woman walking next to bikes with baby in wheeled bike stroller in downtown Bellville Ohio

Recommended Stop: Downtown Bellville

Just before you arrive downtown, you'll find the Bellville Depot where you can stop and rest, pump up your tires and use the restroom. Hop off the trail and stroll the picturesque Main Street in downtown Bellville that's lined with locally owned shops and restaurants.

Sip on a coffee or get lunch at Brumby's Coffeehouse & Pizzeria. Poke your head into Smith Hardware and Rustik Market — their selections may have you driving back to take your finds home. Inspired to garden after seeing Kingwood Center? Find gardening tools and more at Elzy Milling & Trade, housed in a Civil War-era feed mill. Shop for gifts, supplies for your home garden or kitchen, bird feeders or treats for your pets. Bike over to the Bellville Cemetery and walk under the iron archway. The oldest sections of the peaceful cemetery grounds date back to the late 1800s.

Indulge with fresh doughnuts or a hearty Amish meal complete with a vast selection of pies at Der Dutchman. You can even play a round of mini golf before hoping back on the trail. Find more hearty comfort fare at local favorites V&M Restaurant or order Italian specialties and pizza at Fast Eddie's. Linger on the patio with a glass of Crimson Skies Cabernet or the award-winning, semi-sweet Starry Night wine with a flatbread, steak salad or dish of Tuscan pasta at Wishmaker House Bed & Breakfast and Winery. Don't miss their amazingly decadent cheesecake. You can even stay the night in the 1890s home and then pop back on the trail in the morning.

three people looking at bike inside Y-Not Cycling store in mansfield ohio

Recommended Stop: Nickel & Bean and Y-Not Cycling in Lexington

Stop to relax over a cup of coffee and fresh-made biscuits at Nickel & Bean coffee shop in Lexington. The family-run establishment is popular with those looking for a pick-me-up like the freshly baked, chunky chocolate chip cookies baked here. Sip a cappuccino or refreshing smoothie alongside a veggie-loaded quiche with a berry rhubarb scone.

Does your bike need a tune-up? Stop in at the area's full-service Y-Not Cycling & Fitness (the only bike shop on the trail!) just down the street, where the knowledgeable experts can perform repairs to get you back on the trail again. You can even purchase or rent a bike here, too.

Recommended Stop: Five 5 Drive In in Butler

Reward yourself with a stop at Butler's 5 Points Drive In. Cool off with a peanut butter shake or a raspberry slush, or choose one of a dozen flavors, like thin mint, Oreo, brownies or cookie dough, in their signature hand-dipped tornadoes. If you've worked up a serious appetite on the trail, the double cheeseburgers, foot-long hot dogs, sloppy joes and shredded chicken sandwiches are just the answer.

Whether you take on the entire Richland B&O Trail at once, or you ride a couple leisurely miles and stop for lunch, the trail offers plenty of opportunities to connect with Richland’s adorable small towns and beautiful scenery. Multiple access points will get you on the trail in no time and off to new adventures!

Trail Time

Be among the first to hit all of the stops on the brand-new Black Cyclone Trail that will be completed in summer 2022. It tells the story of the extraordinary life of Ohio's own Charles W. Follis — the first African American pro football player. Learn about how he defied the odds to make it to the pros at stops in Shelby including Charles Follis Way, the fields where he played and restaurants where he and his teammates socialized. It's always Trail Time around Mansfield with these options: The Shawshank TrailRichland B&O TrailWine & Ale TrailHaunted Mansfield and Bridle Trails.

couple biking across bridge on richland b and o bike trail in mansfield ohio

Where To Stay

Sleep in style with everything from log cabins, bed & breakfasts and a hotel with a waterpark for young kids.

More To Explore

From Shawshank Redemption filming sites to a Wine & Ale Trail, there's an abundance of fun activities in Mansfield.

Where To Eat

Find whatever you're craving here — from home cooking to fine dining.

Map It

Use this handy map when you head out on the Richland B&O Trail.

For more cycling & bike paths in Ohio, check out #OhioFindItHere at Ohio.org

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