Monthly Archives: September 2018

A Late Summer Bike Tour of Northern Ohio

Late Summer Bike Tour Northeastern Ohio
I wanted to get in a bike tour on the last hurrah of summer. (It’s still summer people!!!)

My friend Jim lives about one mile from the Western Reserve Greenway. Since I was going to be at his house after volunteering at the YUTC, it made sense to travel up this Rails to Trails to visit a part of Ohio that I haven’t really experienced.

Out and Backs

I don’t like out and backs. That is where you run/bike out a route, then turn around and retrace your steps. Boooring.

Created a Loop

I created a loop. I looked for the most bike trails I could find in the north eastern Ohio area.

How to Map a Route

I used a few resources for this. Rails to Trails Conservancy website will show you all the trails in the area you wish to bike. The State of Ohio has created an interactive trail map. Ohio Bikeways  was another source of trail intel to consult. Once I found all the off-road trail segments, it was time to consult “Ride with GPS” to make a route.
Ride with GPS is a good resource. It can show you elevation, print a cue sheet, print out your route, send your route to your phone, etc. You can look up other people’s routes and “pin them” to your account and ride their route.

The Route as Planned

The route is bike the Western Reserve Greenway almost to Ashtabula. Hop off the trail and ride roads over to Geneva-on-the-Lake. Spend the night with my Warmshowers hosts,  Carol and Pat.  Ride my made up route over to Painesville, where I will pickup the Maple Highlands Trail. This trail, albeit in about three segments, totals about 18 miles. After that, it will be road riding back over to the Western Reserve Greenway, back to my friend’s home.

Mileage

Day One About 50 miles. Originally I was going to ride the road portion first, but I want to get to my Warmshowers home at a decent hour. That will leave 72 miles for Day Two.

Considerations

Weather-will the remnants of  Florence hit Ohio by then? The forecast looks like warm weather, what about first thing in the morning? Will it be colder up by Lake Erie, what about wind? I don’t want to carry anything extra. Can I make it to this donut shop before it closes at noon on Monday?

Tune in for my next episode when I recap my ride!

Buckeye Trail Miles Tappan Lake Edition

Buckeye Trail Miles Tappan Lake

Buckeye Trail Miles

Today was a Buckeye Trail hike in the Bowerston area, hiking around Tappan Lake. How did I know about this hike? It’s on an App called “Meetup“.  Meetup makes it easy for you to see activities that you might want to attend.

I attended a section hike close to me, Point 13 thru 16  in the Bowerston area.

Tappan Lake

Tappan Lake

Tappan Lake takes its name from the former community of Tappan, which now resides under the lake. There was also the community of Laceyville that disappeared with the creation of the lake. 🙁

Tappan Lake

Tappan Lake is huge! 2350 acres in the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District.

Tappan Lake

Good Off Road Section

This is a good off road section! By “good” I mean hilly! There are at least three good climbs around the lake shore.Tappan Lake

There were seven stalwart hikers out on this humid first day of September. Dale organized the hike, he only has 200 miles to finish hiking ALL of the Buckeye Trail! Joy was one of the hikers, we had worked in the same hospital a few  years ago! It was great to see her again.

Sometime you need to look up to see the great views!

Dale and Jacob checking on the trail register to see who has been enjoying the Buckeye Trail.


I would think this would be fairly self explanatory, but perhaps not.  ◔_◔

The section was advertised as 6.99 miles but my Garmin registered 8.14 miles. Oh well, my Garmin is usually off a bit, but I would guess this was closer to 7.5 and 8 miles than 6.99. However, it’s not like the Buckeye Trail was ever “wheeled” for accuracy.

Despite the humidity, it was a good day to be out in the woods. I need to do more hiking!

Art Journal Prompt Week 35 Spaces

This week prompt was “spaces”.

First thoughts were “wide open spaces”. These were some pics I took of some wide open spaces.

 

and “white space”.

Unfortunately, that was the end of my creativity for “spaces” for the week. Oh well, if the prompt doesn’t kick any stimulus off, so be it! Onto the next week!

First Bike Ride on the Montour Trail

Biking the Montour Trail

 

I traveled over to Pennsylvania  to scope out parts of the Montour Trail. Soon I am going to ride the “Steel City Loop” as I call it. I was curious to find the trail, and see about a tricky section over the Ohio River.

Quick Silver Parking

It was a loose plan. Park at Quick Silver, bike to mile zero, then see about the road section which would lead me over the Ohio River. The preferred route, over Neville Island, was closed due to bridge work.

I was a bit surprised to see the Montour Trail was crushed limestone. For some reason, I thought it would be paved. The trail was in very good shape despite the heavy thunderstorms that hit the night before.

Overcast days don’t make the greatest pictures but it keeps the bikers happy!

A tunnel! I didn’t know about! It’s called the Enlow Tunnel, short and very well lit.

The traffic noises increase and sure enough I’m biking by the Mall. No time to go shopping, there is mile zero to find.

This is Montour Run, which parallels the trail.

Mile Zero

Short Attempt at the Connector

The recommended ACA crossing I loaded onto my phone with Ride with GPS. I turned onto Hassam Road from the Montour Trail-and immediately started a climb up a steep hill-there was a U-Turn switchback for pete’s sake. There was no berm. I made it maybe a 1/2 mile up before I hopped off and started pushing the bike-that was safer than me wobbling along in my granny gear.

A glance  up the hill. It still went UP! I gave up. It was going to be about 7 miles to the McKees Bridge, then I would have to turn around, and still have the bike back to my vehicle. Another day. At least I now know there are hills standing in my way!

Boggs

At Boggs Trailhead, there is a primitive camping set up. A hut, and  two established tent sites. There are picnic tables, fire rings, and Port-o-potties.

Now Heading South

Back to my vehicle, and decided to bike a bit farther south to the McDonald Trestle Bridge,

Panhandle Connector

I bike by the Panhandle Connector, it links up to the Panhandle Trail in one mile. I biked the Panhandle Trail in April. It’s 29 miles long and ends in Weirton, West Virginia.

McDonald Viaduct

Almost a 1000 feet long, the McDonald Viaduct is the longest bridge on the Montour Trail.

After a few scenic pics snapped, I biked back to Quick Silver, startling three large turkeys standing in the trail! Of course I wasn’t prepared to take their picture!

I biked about 38 miles on the west side of the Montour Trail. I’m still debating about how to go about my “Steel City Loop” with the detour over the Ohio River. I will figure this out!