Southern Miles on the Zoar Valley Trail

I have done it! I have successfully navigated the southern miles of the Zoar Valley Trail. I’ve been on the trail miles of the ZVT a few times, but finally was able to follow the directions for the road portion of the route.

The Route:
This scenic 20-mile trail provides hikers with a variety of historical sites and changes in terrain from rolling hills to level paths. The trail is anchored at the southern end by the village of Schoenbrunn in New Philadelphia and on the north by Fort Laurens in Bolivar.

0.0     Schoenbrunn 

Schoenbrunn, founded in 1772 as a Moravian mission among the Delaware Indians, was the first Christian settlement in Ohio. Although the village prospered for several years, pressures from encroaching settlers and British-aligned Indians forced the abandonment of Schoenbrunn in 1777, shortly after the start of the Revolutionary War. 

      Leave Schoenbrunn and follow SR 39  State Route 259  to University Drive (TR 312)           
      Turn right onto University Drive and proceed east          

I did not park or start at Schoenbrunn Village, as it closes at 5 pm.  I parked at the Buckeye Career Center, on University Drive, and started from there.  About 1.5 miles from Schoenbrunn.

No berm through here, so you have to be careful and watch for cars.

About one mile or so, you are out of the houses area.

A gradual climb up to the ridge line.

 It’s a good uphill climb up to Ridge Road-hence, the ridge!

2.5     Cemetery/Junction of TR 312 and TR 306 (Ridge Road)

 I didn’t notice the cemetery, right at the intersection,  until my return route.

     Turn left onto Ridge Road heading northwest          
3.6     Pass through intersection of Ridge Rd. and TR 313–continue west

Nice views of the farmland up on the ridge.  Rural Ohio is very pretty.

What I love about running: the things that you see.  I would have never seen this sign, painted on the barn if I was driving along.  They do indeed have a beautiful vista.  My picture does not do it justice.

     The route stays on the ridge for about three miles.  The area is not too populated.  There’s some high end houses tucked back in the woods.

5.9     Leave Ridge Rd./Follow Dawn Drive northwest to SR 39    

Dawn Drive is just a very short (1/4 mile or so) connector to State Route 39.  Then you are on SR 39 about fifty feet.

6.3     Turn right onto SR 39 and head east to Hillandale Road

 6.4     Turn north on Hillandale Road/Follow Hillandale Road to old railroad bed

This is about a 1/4 mile. Look for the bridge.

6.5     Turn right and head east on old railroad bed       
You are on the old railroad bed for about a 1/2 mile.



7.1     Turn left and head north on Pleasant Valley Rd. (TR314)    

This was the start of the big hill.  Then you run down the other side, into a nicely wooded section. Unfortunately, as I ran north, there was no berm at all, and a deep ditch as I ran facing traffic. I had to stop several times when cars came at me, hoping they would see me (I was wearing a bright yellow shirt).  If I run this route north again, I would hop over to the other side of the road where there was room to step off the road.

9.4     Turn right and head northeast on Boy Scout Road     

The problem with the directions is that it’s actually Reeds Run Road that you turn onto. When you turn on CR 85, then Reeds Run Road becomes Boy Scout Road.

 9.6     Turn left and head west on CR85.      

 10.1     Join with SR 416      
10.2     Turn right and head north on old railroad bed    

This road will take you to the Dover Dam, where the “trail” portion of the ZVT begins.  I stopped here. It looks like the rough road has been completely redone.  It is about two miles to the Dover Dam.

There~ I have connected the Trail!

Previous visits to the ZVT:

October 2013
October 2012
November 2010

I have been contemplating which way to run the entire ZVT.  The northern twelve miles is more trail.  The first three or four miles is actually asphalt, then it gets a bit rougher.  The northern end is very flat.  The southern end is all road, but the only elevation would be in the last six miles.

Next on the agenda is to just get the run scheduled.  It would probably be only about a 40 minute or less car ride from one end of the trail to the other, as there is easy highway access at both ends.  I think I will want to get this run in before Uwharrie.  It is not optimal  for training for a trail 100, but it is a pleasant run and I won’t get too bored on it!


One thought on “Southern Miles on the Zoar Valley Trail


    The northern most segment through the industrial flats in Cleveland may take a bit longer. By then the total length of the trail will be somewhere around 100 miles. However, trail construction is moving right along with new trail sections being finished on an annual basis. If you enjoy riding on the towpath, you should have some new trail to explore each season.


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