Buckeye Trail - Akron

Akron Section

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Trail Description


Brick walkway leading into Peninsula.
Andy Niekamp

Supervisor: Randall Roberts and Jim Sunyak
• 234-206-1957

57.6 Total Miles / 51.8 Off Road Miles (89.9%)
Map Publication Date: January 2012

SUPERVISOR PHONE IS VOICE OR TEXT. The remoteness of this section is quite amazing. The Akron Section is one of two sections that contain very large proportions of off road trail. And only 4% is recorded on sidewalk. The other extreme section is Loveland. Both sections include urban centers.

In the Akron Section, the Buckeye Trail (BT) passes through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, including several units of both Cleveland Metroparks and Metroparks Serving Summit County. Included are cliffs, waterfalls and many artifacts from the Ohio & Erie Canal. At the south end of the Cuyahoga Valley between CVNP and Akron, BT visits Cascade Locks Park (CLP) that includes Locks 10 through 16 and is supported by a unique non-profit, the Cascade Locks Park Association, Inc. The trail leaves CLP and enters the City of Akron. You hike on sidewalks through old neighborhoods past the Akron zoo. South of Akron, BT continues primarily on Ohio Erie Canal Towpath Trail through Barberton, Clinton and Canal Fulton, In Canal Fulton, you can ride the St. Helena III canal boat and/or visit the Heritage Society museum. BT ends further south in Crystal Springs where it enters the Massillon Section.

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Trail Alerts

  • (5/19/2017)
    Beginning May 30, 2017, the Boston Mills Road bridge over the Ohio Turnpike (Point 6) will be closed for redecking. The bridge should reopen on August 15, 2017. In the meantime, follow the detour described below.
    The most recent Akron Section Map was written in January 2012. That map uses feet for distances in the descriptions. The same usages are applied here. The detour description includes only the details of the trail itself. For items of interest, see your current Akron Section Map.
    CW CCW Pt
    10.4
    S
    47.2
    W
    5 Boston Mills Rd (C32) at Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail (OECTT)
    At the request of NPS, BT is not blazed on OECTT. Watch carefully for BT directions on NPS signposts. BT follows OECTT S beneath I-271 overpass. Just S of I-271, BT leaves OECTT SE on Valley Trail (an equestrian trail that extends the full length of this National Park) towards woods. Continue on the Valley Trail past where the BT now exits and go beneath the Ohio Turnpike. Ascend ridge beside Ohio Turnpike. In 5800’, the Valley Trail crosses the BT in the White Pine planting. This intersection is about 300’ S of the bridge undergoing repairs (Point 6 not in use). Exit Valley Trail onto BT. Head S with a major meander. In 4200’, BT turns E onto abandoned AP Rd. In 400’, BT reaches trail junction. BT leaves road SE into woods onto footpath that descends with undulations, fords Boston Run and ascends to Pine Lane TH.

    CW CCW Pt
    14.8
    W
    42.8
    N
    7 Exit from Pine Lane Trailhead at Old SR-303
    Follow the the descriptive material in your current Akron Section Map.

  • (12/7/2015)
    This Alert describes a problem area within the Akron Section that will remain in effect for a couple of years. A sewer line that lies within the former canal right-of-way is being repaired. During construction, a large portion of the Towpath Trail (TPT) will be closed between Points 15 and 16.

    MetroParks Serving Summit County that administers this portion of the trail has been very considerate of its users and provided a suitable detour. You will see MetroParks signs in a shape and color that represents a Blue Heron. You will see these signs scattered along the route of the detour. We consider the MetroParks signs adequate and have not blazed the route with either white or blue markers.

CW CCW Pt
0.0
S
1.5
N
16 OECTT at Entrance to Merriman Pkwy Parking
In spite of a prominent sign that reads something like "Towpath Trail Closed 500' Ahead" continue S on TPT beneath the Memorial Pkwy Overpass. After 0.13 mi just before a barricade across TPT, turn W onto newly paved multi-purpose trail. After 400', go S on sidewalk on E side of Hemlock St. In due course, the sidewalk is replaced by a crushed limestone path. After 0.28 mi, the crushed limestone path ends near a sign and partial barricade across Hickory St that announces a Private Drive ahead.

Ignore the “Keep Out” rudeness and continue on, soon climbing steeply uphill across a railroad track through another barricade onto sidewalk (0.22 mi) once again on the E side of Hemlock St. After 0.3 mi at Silver St , the sidewalk on E Side of Hemlock St ends. Cross to the sidewalk on the W side of Hemlock St and then cross Silver St. Continue downhill, again crossing the railroad track. After 0.24 mi, leave Hemlock St by turning NE onto sidewalk along the SW side of a stub of Maple St.

Where motorized traffic on Maple St. ends, continue NE on newly paved, steep multi-purpose trail. After 0.1 mi at the bottom of the hill, rejoin TPT heading SE up stream. After 0.12 mi, step up to the remains of Lock 15 on your E.

Look for the large turtles that sun themselves on the rocks in the pool below the lock. An oddity, this lock was built on rock. Most were "floated" on a wooden pediment in the clay and sands of the wet areas in which the canal was built. On your W is the reconstructed Mustill Store Visitor Center, owned and operated by Cascade Locks Park Assn.
CW CCW Pt
1.5
W
0.0
E
17 OECTT at North St
This point marks the end of the closure. However, you may still notice some faint blue blazes heading west on North St. These markers remain from an earlier time and should be ignored. You may also notice a pair of MetroParks Buckeye Trail markers attached to the MetroParks post on the north side of North St. Both indicate that the trail continues straight ahead across North St and on up the Staircase of Locks into downtown Akron.
  • (3/27/11) This Alert applies specifically to those portions of the BT that border the Tuscarawas River within the Akron and Massillon Sections. On March 26, Susan Stover, a Massillon Adopter, reported that the trail within the flood plain of Dover Dam remains under about 10' of water. In addition, deposits of debris, ranging from light mud up to two feet, cover portions of the trail along the way. BTA recommends that you contact all Agencies that manage trail that you plan to hike to determine present condition.

Map Updates

  • (5/16/10) When reviewing material for the newest Akron Section Map, we missed the small campsite located within Big Bend Metropark. The campsite is small but only about 350' off the trail. See Pt 15 below. BTA significantly altered the route of the Buckeye Trail through Akron over the past several years. The traditional route had followed sidewalks on city streets between Sand Run Metropark and the intersection of Manchester Road with the Ohio Erie Canal Towpath. Beginning with the November 2005 Edition, the Buckeye Trail returned to the Ohio Erie Canal Towpath Trail from Sand Run Metropark and continued south on the Towpath Trail to North Street near the restored Mustill Store. The trail then followed North St, Maple St and Perkins Park Rd to return to the traditional route at the intersection of Perkins Park Rd at East Ave. Beginning with the January 2010 Edition, the Buckeye Trail has been extended to include Ohio Erie Canal Towpath Trail south from North Street through Goodrich on across Summit Lake to Manchester Road. Since many hikers have bought the November 2005 Edition, the text from the last 17 points of the present Akron map are presented as part of this Trail Alert.
CW CCW Pt
27.8
E
29.9
W
14 Sand Run Pkwy at N Portage Path
Located 1/4 mi N along Portage Path at intersection with Merriman Rd, a marker honors the N end of the Indian Portage Trail (G, R) between the Cuyahoga R and Tuscarawas R.
BT heads E on Sand Run Pkwy. In 150', BT jogs S across Sand Run onto the Valley Link Trail (VLT). In 260', VLT joins the Parcourse Trail (PT) heading E. Lying at the bottom of a ridge through mature forest, segment generally parallels Sand Run Pkwy. In 2100' as PT climbs SE, VLT continues NE across Merriman Rd (240') into bottom land.
28.4
S
29.3
W
15 Valley Link Trail at OECTT
BT merges onto OECTT and heads S. In 1050', BT reaches the access trail to Big Bend Metropark (C, P). Located just 350' west on a bench a tad east of latrines, campsite (coordinates: 41.127872°N, 81.539512°W) is designed for through hikers or bikers. The specific rules for use are the same as those written under Pt 26, ¶1 below.
OECTT meanders S more-or-less parallel to the former towpath. The concrete sewer line nearby is built mostly in the canal bed. In 4600', BT reaches a view point at the confluence of the Cuyahoga R and Little Cuyahoga R. Between this point and Summit Lake, the canal followed route of short portage used by Indians during wet seasons. BT continues to meander along OECTT through this wooded, former dump site.
30.6
S
27.1
N
16 OECTT at Memorial Pkwy (P, WC)
OECTT continues S often on former towpath and always on canal rights-of-way through remains of Lock 18 (1400'), past remains of Lock 17 (1300') and Lock 16 (2000'). In just 390', a little past an emergency access (formerly N Maple St), OECTT passes remains of former canal wasteway. In 430' in front of the Mustill Store Visitor Center (P, WC), step up to the remains of Lock 15 on your E. Look for the large turtles that sun themselves on the rocks in the pool below the lock. This lock is built upon rock. Most "float" on a wooden pediment in the clay and sands of the wet areas in which the canal was built. The reconstructed Mustill Store Visitor Center, is owned and operated by Cascade Locks Park Assn.
31.7
E
26.0
N
17 OECTT at North St (P)
Continuing S on OECTT, BT climbs past the remains of 5 locks, the Beech St TH (P) and two RR trestles before the canal disappears beneath a complex of highways, all in the next 4500'. In 2200', BT has navigated generally S across these same highways and follows OECTT along widened sidewalks that border Quaker St, W Bowery St and Water St.
32.8
S
24.9
NW
18 OECTT at S End of Lock 1 Park
BT turns S on OECTT along canal. Soon, OECTT turns E away from canal, goes beneath W Exchange St, turns back towards canal, goes beneath W Cedar St and then follows canal. In 2000' behind Spaghetti Warehouse, OECTT heads SW onto paved parking area near canal and continues through former Goodrich buildings (940') and Courtyard. BT exits courtyard through gate, crosses Bartges St (1200') at Locktender Drive and turns W on sidewalk.
33.7
S
24.0
E
19 Bartges St at OECTT
BT turns S onto asphalt path on W side of canal into a part of Canal Park that is surrounded by residential properties. In 2200', OECTT and canal go beneath Thornton St bridge, turn W across Dart Ave (300'), turn S beneath SR-59, cross canal (450') and finally head SW beneath the I-76 and I-77 complex (1600').
34.8
S
22.9
N
20 Trailhead near Summit Lake Recreation Center Boat Launch, Fishing Pier, P)
Summit Lake (El 964') was a natural glacial, pothole lake. Engineers dropped its level 9' when they made it part of the Ohio Erie Canal. The lake received its name as the highest point along the canal. BT goes S along Summit Lake. In 1600', OECTT moves onto a 1400' floating bridge reminiscent of the floating towpath that existed here in canal days. While the old towpath sank as the mules and mule tenders moved along, this is a dry boot trail.
36.5
SE
21.2
NW
21 Access to Wilbeth Rd Trailhead (P, Pr, W)
BT goes S on OECTT. In 2800', trail crosses a bridge over a waterway that extends SE as canal turns SW. In the early days of the canal, the waters of the Tuscarawas R fed directly into the canal somewhere along this swampy area. Perhaps this is the location. Because the river failed to provide a steady supply of water, a system of reservoirs named Portage Lakes was constructed to water the canal. Long Lake was the final link in that system of reservoirs. Just W of Manchester Rd Bridge, water from Long Lake emerges from a culvert beneath the TP into the canal, a condition that makes this point the present summit of the Ohio Erie Canal.
38.2
W
19.5
E
22 Access to Manchester Rd Trailhead (P)
This site is near the information kiosk. BT follows OECTT W past active brine sites, under an overpass that carries the Akron & Barberton Beltline RR, past the reconstructed culvert at Mud Run and finally beneath State St Bridge. There is no access between BT and State St.
40.8
SW
16.9
NE
23 BT at Fairview Ave.
At the intersection of Fairview and Wooster Ave 1/4 mile W of here, a statue honors Hopocan, a Delaware chief. In 1650, Chief Hopocan ruled New Portage as Barberton was then known. BT continues W on OECTT passing the site of former Tuscarawas Ave bridge (5200'). Ahead, a modern bridge pretty much obliterates another old bridge site (Robinson St). Further on (1700'), BT crosses a concrete slab over a decaying wasteway. In 360', BT passes a house whose occupants may use towpath for their vehicles. In 1200' at the end of the watered canal are the only visible remains of Lock 1S. The ghost town of Wolf Creek is in the space that is occupied by Wolf Creek TH (P, WCs) SW of Lock 1S. BT continues W on Wolf Ave and turns E onto Snyder Ave (450').
42.9
S
14.8
W
24 Snyder Ave at Van Buren Rd
BT turns S on Van Buren Ave. At Elson Ave (2200'), Avilee Webb Park (P, Pr) is 1/2 block E. In 3000' at Eastern Rd, BT jogs W onto OECTT and continues S parallel to Van Buren Ave across Tuscarawas R. (1100'), past a view of a neat reclaimed pond within the fenced tailings area (350') and past a sewage plant (1200'). PPG Industries is reclaiming this extensive region of "lime lakes" along the Tuscarawas R by mixing the tailings with treated sludge from this sewage plant. Over time, this mixture creates a healthy ecosystem from the formerly sterile landscape. OECTT climbs a low hill and descends now parallel to Vanderhoof Rd. and soon enters the Vanderhoof Rd TH (2800', P, Pr).
45.0
S
12.7
SE
25 OECTT at Vanderhoof Rd
Although this location is close to the route of the Ohio Erie Canal, no tangible evidence for its existence is visible. BT joins OECTT that heads S only a few feet E of the nearby Chessie RR. OECTT crosses 3 extended bridges over the next 2900'. About 630' past third bridge, OECTT turns away from the RR. Almost immediately, a canal prism appears. The trail continues S on the towpath.
47.2
SW
10.5
NE
26 OECTT at Center Rd and TH (P, Pr, PT)
BT continues SW on OECTT and soon crosses Pancake Creek (1100'). In 400', BT passes short spur trail to 3 tent sites (Pr, PT, W). Sites are free and may be used by through backpackers and bike packers only. Each site may be occupied by up to 4 people on a "First come, first served" basis. No reservations. No open fires. Cook over camp stove. Carry out all trash. Use "minimum impact" techniques. In 3200', BT reaches remains of Lock 2. A plaque provides details of area. BT descends from lock and crosses two bridges, the second of which crosses remains of wasteway (350'). In 190', BT reaches remains of Lock 3. BT crosses bridge built on lock walls over former canal and continues SW. Another plaque offers interesting commentary on the canal to the north. Just south of the lock site, notice the lack of a berm on the far side of the canal prism. This spot marks where the Tuscarawas R joined the canal for a short distance. As you proceed S, look for stones at the edge of the canal. Here the river exited the canal. The stones hardened the fill. Across bridge on the other side of the Tuscarawas R lie the remains of the Clinton Guard Lock. See plaque for details as well as interesting map that shows how the canal crossed the Tuscarawas R.
48.7
S
9.0
N
27 OECTT at North St in Clinton (Clinton TH)
BT continues S on paved OECTT past bar and restaurant at Main St. BT continues S on OECTT with remains of canal to E and City Park (PT) to the W. In 1 mi, BT enters Stark Cty from Summit Cty and OECTT surface changes from asphalt paved 10' wide to chipped limestone, 8' wide. In 400', BT passes site of former Blue Goose Saloon. The saloon was an infamous watering hole during canal days. In 2 mi, canal receives water from operating Nimisila feeder.
52.5
SE
5.2
NW
28 OECTT at Market St in Canal Fulton
Village of Canal Fulton, NE on Market St 1 block, then SE on Canal St, offers a variety of services including Gallery, sweet shops, restaurants and PO 44614. There is a bridge back across canal 1 block SE of Cherry St allowing easy return to OECTT if you choose to dally. OECTT heads S on boardwalk past Kilbride Park and custard stand on W. OECTT continues S from Cherry St past Canal Fulton Heritage Society Museum with canal memorabilia (P). In 500', OECTT goes behind Canalway Centers or Port of Canal Fulton (P, Pr) where tickets may be bought in season to ride on the St Helena III, a canal boat replica w/ concrete hull, in season. BT continues SE on TP past dry dock for St Helena III.
53.6
SE
4.1
NW
29 Lock 4 Park (P, Pr, PT)
This Stark County Park features a restored lock and tumble in a picturesque setting. BT continues SE on OECTT.
54.9
SE
2.8
NW
30 OECTT at Butterbridge Rd (T-358)
BT continues SE on OECTT. In 2.5 mi at 3-Way Trail Junction, Trail Bridge offers access to Crystal Springs Park w/hiking trail, P, Pr, PT. BT now heads SW on OECTT and, in 260', crosses a reconstructed culvert that may be worth a look.
57.7
E
0.0
W
31 OECTT at High Mill Rd (T-352) in Crystal Springs (R)
Two restaurants lie within 1/4 mile E on Erie Ave. This is also the S end of the Little Loop of BT. In CW order, Little Loop comprises the AKRON, BEDFORD, BURTON and MOGADORE SECTIONS as well as the Hartville to Crystal Springs segment of MASSILLON SECTION. The AKRON SECTION ends here. BT description continues in the MASSILLON SECTION, whether you are traveling S to Cincinnati or N to Lake Erie.

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