Road Biking Ohio  by Celeste Baumgartner

Road Biking Ohio Guide Book

by Celeste Baumgartner (Falcon Guides)
Road Biking Ohio  by Celeste Baumgartner
Readers will find detailed descriptions and maps of forty of the best bicycle rides in Ohio, from easy afternoon jaunts to multi-day tours. Elevation profiles, recommendations for accommodations and restaurants, information on local events and attractions, and special attention to traffic conditions and road hazards make this an indispensable guide for Ohioans.

© 2010 Celeste Baumgartner/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Road Biking Ohio" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 40.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 40.

Meandering through the foothills of the Appalachians, this route boasts glorious scenery: woods and farmland, creeks and ponds. In spring the wildflowers coat the hills. In autumn the color is vibrant, as it is throughout the unglaciated portions of Ohio, and that’s the locale of this ride. Expect exhilarating hills and ravines.
Albany, OH - Road Biking - Trail Length: 35.7
Biking from Alum Creek State Park, this route winds down past Hoover Reservoir and through the funky little village of Galena, with its creeks and coffeehouses. It meanders through scenic farmland, past a geological kame, if you happen to care about things like that, and then travels back toward Alum Creek. and access to the boardwalk. This lake and its mudflats are an important migratory bird stopover and are popular bird-watching spots.
Sunbury, OH - Road Biking - Trail Length: 52.5
Ashtabula County, the second-largest county in Ohio, is known for its covered bridges. This cruise visits seven of those bridges on a route that travels through gorgeous rural vistas. This ride starts at an old bridge with a story. The Graham Road Bridge was originally in the southern part of the county. It got washed out in the 1913 flood. The bridge was rescued and for reasons unknown moved to the Graham Road crossing. Albert Benson helped rebuild it.
Pierpont, OH - Road Biking - Trail Length: 37.4
Resting in the Appalachian foothills, Athens County is a cool place full of arts, crafts, agriculture, and interesting people. Mother Earth News listed it as one of the “Twelve Greatest Places You’ve Never Heard Of.” Wanting to promote the artistic and agricultural aspects of the county as well as its Appalachian heritage, a group of individuals, artists, and organizations devised the Quilt Barn Project. Called a Patchwork Tour, this quilt barn tour combines hills, quilts, and weathered barns. The route passes five of the Athens County Quilt Blocks and the Bicentennial Barn, all in the hills of Athens County; there is a flat stretch on the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway.
Athens, OH - Road Biking - Trail Length: 29.5
The peaceful setting of Bear’s Mill will put you in a good frame of mind for this ride. The flat roads traverse big-farm country.
Gettysburg, OH - Road Biking - Trail Length: 24.5
This Clark County ride travels through a mix of farmland and suburbia. Part of the route travels along the Ohio to Erie bike path. On that path, which is edged with native prairie plantings, you will visit the South Charleston staging area, featuring an old train depot museum. To appreciate some of the features of the route, you need to travel 12,000 years back in time. The glaciers had receded, leaving low hills called moraines—places where the glacier had halted; those are the bumps and hillocks, which are deposits of gravel and sand. Old river valleys were filled by those deposits. Numerous springs now well up through that sand and gravel. The nearby city of Springfield is named for the springs seeping up from the meadows. The springs also account for the many bogs and fens in Clark and Champaign Counties.
Springfield, OH - Road Biking - Trail Length: 41
A pleasant tour in Butler County, this ride meanders through a variety of terrain, passes a former governor’s mansion, the site of a historic grist mill, and Chrisholm Historic Farm—all the while giving you some great bicycling miles. Harris was a freed black slave who built and operated the first water-driven grist mill on the creek. For fifty years his mill ground wheat and corn. Also, a Native American burial ground was located near the east bank of the creek.
New Miami, OH - Road Biking - Trail Length: 26.2
This is a ride of steep gorges, deep woods, prairie fields, and sparkling lakes and streams. You won’t be bored. Allow some time to explore the Caesar Creek Visitor Center. Set among prairie grasses and native wildflowers, it is beautiful and has exhibits featuring local natural history.
Oregonia, OH - Road Biking - Trail Length: 32
This is an out-and-back ride from Cambridge through Salt Fork State Park to the lodge and back. It’s a reasonably rolling ride—okay, there are a few hills—but this is hill country. You will enjoy beautiful, scenic views of Guernsey County and Salt Fork Reservoir. This ride leaves from Cambridge, a pleasant and historic small town. Wheeling Avenue, the main drag, is lined with unique shops and restaurants (also a bakery and ice-cream shop). The route is based on the Cambridge Countryside Ride, which takes place every July. Bicyclists leave from the scenic courthouse and have lots of help to get out of town safely. To avoid the traffic on Wheeling Avenue and US 40, you can drive east out of town a ways—past I-77. Find a place to park and then bike away from Cambridge on East Pike Road.
Cambridge, OH - Road Biking - Trail Length: 28.7
This is a pleasant meander out to nowhere in particular and back. A couple of nottoo- bad hills jazz up the picturesque, mostly rolling route. politician or monied gentry of the early twentieth century. Therefore, stories of intrigue, glamour, and downfall abound at the inn. You may not see any red fox or white-tailed deer at Clark Lake Wildlife Area, the staging area for this ride, but they are there—we saw both not too far away. The area looks so tranquil, but wildlife abounds. You probably will see Canada geese and maybe a couple of fishermen in pursuit of the bass, bluegill, crappie, and channel cats that swim there. The 180-acre lake was formed in 1957 when Sinking Creek was dammed. The wildlife area is owned by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife.
Springfield, OH - Road Biking - Trail Length: 28.5
Enjoy this terrific low-traffic, high-scenery ride. The route journeys through John Bryan State Park, passes Grinnell Mill, travels out to Cedarville and a little beyond, and then meanders back. All this is in gorgeous big-farm country with lots of farm critters, beautiful farmhouses and barns, and few cars. Imagine a river’s rush of water 40 feet down, walled in by limestone cliffs adorned with graceful ferns, hemlock trees, and other foliage. That’s Clifton Gorge. It encompasses 2 miles of the Little Miami State Scenic River, and National Geographic called it one of the nation’s fifty most beautiful places. The river enters the area at Clifton and drops 130 feet through layers of bedrock, creating quite a surge. Take time to follow the short path right behind the parking lot, which leads to an amazing overlook of the gorge.
Yellow Springs, OH - Road Biking - Trail Length: 31.1
Look for lots of scenic farmland as you travel through the land that was once the Great Black Swamp. The route follows part of the Northwest Ohio Rivers Council Memorial Bicycle Trail. Flat? Think of a lumpy pancake. Sort of like Defiance’s answer to the concrete goose. Some of the land along Russell and Evansport Roads is wetlands. Look for great blue herons and other interesting birds, if that is your thing. There is a carryout restaurant on the left if you’re hungry.
Brunersburg, OH - Road Biking - Trail Length: 25.4
This route travels between Flag City (Findlay) and Train City (Fostoria). But don’t let that “city” word worry you. The excursion meanders mostly along quiet, scenic country roads. And forget your granny gear—flat is the word. or more trains may pass through the city on any given day. Rail fans from all over come to watch the activity. On Flag Day, June 14, 1968, every house in the entire city of Findlay is said to have flown an American flag, earning the city the title of Flag City. John B. Cooke moved to Findlay in the mid-1960s and decided to make that happen. The Hancock County Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution helped to buy 14,000 flags, and they were distributed by Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Campfire Girls. This bit of trivia is included because you will see many signs alluding to this title and lots of flags flying along the route.
Findlay, OH - Road Biking - Trail Length: 31.3
Listen for the voices of history here: It’s the land of Indian wars and the Treaty of Greenville, the homeland of Annie Oakley, and the meeting place of Lewis and Clark. All this on an idyllic cruise through flat to gently rolling Ohio farmland with light traffic. It’s a pleasing ride whether you choose the full 40 miles or the shorter 21-mile route. “Oats and beans and barley grow,” the old song goes. On this ride it would be corn and beans and wheat and the rhythm would be lost, but you won’t lose your rhythm on this farmland tour. Fort Jefferson Park and Monument marks the site of an advance outpost of General Arthur St. Clair, built in October 1791.
Palestine, OH - Road Biking - Trail Length: 40.4
Preble County is still farm country—Eaton is is only city. Expect to see plenty of corn and bean fields, big tractors, and picturesque farms. Park Avenue you’ll pass Water Works Park, an Eaton city park. You could also use this as a staging area, but you’d miss the history. Turn left onto Eaton New Hope Road and you immediately come upon Christman Covered Bridge. It seems an anomaly so close to town.
Eaton, OH - Road Biking - Trail Length: 40.8
This ride is in Great Black Swamp territory. Start out on the North Coast Inland Trail and cycle through Fremont farmland, cross over the scenic Sandusky River, and see Old Fort on this peaceful route; Native Americans referred to this area as jungquendendah (“place of peace”).
Fremont, OH - Road Biking - Trail Length: 27.5
Headwaters Park includes East Branch Reservoir at the headwaters of the east branch of the Cuyahoga River. This ride begins at the park, travels along a few miles of the wooded Maple Highlands Trail, goes on roads through hills and valleys in beautiful countryside on to Thompson Ledges Park, and then returns to the starting point. route on Thompson Road. The green is a pleasant park with a gazebo. Stocker’s on the Park offers down-home food. Just past the square you will come to Thompson Ledges Park. Geauga County is the state’s top maple syrup–producing county, earning it the title of Ohio’s Sweetest County. It’s also home to the second-largest Amish communityin the state; wilkum is the Amish word for “welcome,” and that’s a word you will see often.
Middlefield, OH - Road Biking - Trail Length: 35.6
We’re talking seriously good scenery here: This adventurous route leaves from the Germantown Nature Center, then goes over the Germantown Dam and through the historic village of—what else?—Germantown. If you feel like a longer ride, you can trek out to Sycamore State Park; if not, take a circuitous route back to the nature preserve. It’s a great ride whatever the distance. This ecologically friendly underground facility features a variety of changing displays. The 1,665-acre metropark surrounding it has spectacular ravines, towering trees, wildflowers, prairies, and excellent opportunities to observe wildlife—a bobcat has been sighted there. Twin Creek, which meanders along this route, runs through the park.
Germantown, OH - Road Biking - Trail Length: 50.6
Enjoy two covered bridges, ride through picturesque wine country, and take a tour on the Western Reserve Greenway Trail; all that, plus ride past the oldest tavern in Ashtabula County. Life is good. Known for their Slider Buckets, they also offer chicken, steak, sandwiches, salads, and a full drink menu. In the late summer and early fall, the tang of ripening grapes is in the air along this Grand River Valley tour. The rich and fertile soils of the region are perfect for producing great grapes; Ashtabula County produces 65 percent of the grapes grown in Ohio. Twenty local wineries are in the area, and the route passes several of them. It begins at the Harpersfield Covered Bridge, built in 1868, which spans the Grand River. At 228 feet, this two-span Howe truss bridge is the second-longest covered bridge in the state.
Geneva, OH - Road Biking - Trail Length: 32
In this part of Ohio in mid- to late summer, you can get dizzy watching the fields of corn or beans sway in the breeze; the fields are endless. The route journeys past farmland to Goll Woods State Nature Preserve, one of the finest examples remaining of the Great Black Swamp forest, and traverses Lockport Covered Bridge. Enjoy the great view when you cross over the Ohio Turnpike.
Fayette, OH - Road Biking - Trail Length: 39.6