The City of Akron and Summit County were the first to finish the development of the Towpath Trail county and city line to line. However, that does not mean that our work is done.
iTowpath is a plan that aims to improve connectivity, safety, accessibility, and aesthetics of the Towpath Trail in downtown Akron, creating a more connected and vibrant Akron.
This project was originally funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in 2015 after the realization that while complete, there are still many ways to Towpath Trail could be improved to better serve the community and visitors. To date, more than $750,000 has been granted to the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition to implement these trail-improvement projects, which span from the Mustill Store in the north to Summit Lake in the south.
More than 20 projects were identified as part of iTowpath, including the installation of bicycle service stations, enhancements to the dark underpasses along the trail, wayfinding signage, and connections to local attractions.
View and download the iTowpath Executive Summary map, or visit our news section for updates.
The purpose of iTowpath is to make improvements that the community expresses a need or want for. Therefore, the first steps in putting together a plan involved community engagement. Working with Alta Planning + Design, we held a three-day community engagement session that garnered hundreds of comments on the state of the Towpath Trail and possible projects.
The community engagement portion of the project is not over. We want to continue receiving feedback and involvement as we move forward. Here are a couple ways you can get involved:
Engagement with Projects: Many community partners and individuals are working together to complete iTowpath projects. Whether it is our associate board of young professionals developing a plan to enhance an underpass or a group of dedicated locals meeting about enhancements to Summit Lake, there is a lot of passion behind these projects.
Community Feedback: As projects are implemented, we encourage community feedback. Did you use a bicycle service station or Towpath Trail connector? Did you walk through a newly improved underpass? How can this project or similar projects be improved in the future? We welcome your feedback to make the Towpath Trail and Akron better.
To get involved or give community feedback, please contact Katelyn Freil.
Early-action projects began in the spring on 2015, with six projects being completed throughout the year. The remaining projects will be completed or underway within 2016. For more updates on our projects, visit our news section.
Check back here to see ways in which you can participate in our iTowpath projects.
The Ohio & Erie Canalway Associate Board has been hard at work on plans to improve our Towpath underpasses, one at a time. On May 6-7, the group will make their first steps to improve the Russell Avenue Underpass just north of Summit Lake and you can help!
May 6, 3-7 PM: Volunteer with us as we clear overgrown weeds from the banks of the underpass and clean up trash along the canal.
May 7, 9 AM-1 PM: We'll be heading back to the underpass to plant new (and native) ornamental plants and paint the retaining wall.
We are looking for at least 10 volunteers each day so if you're interested in helping, contact Katelyn Freil today at email@example.com.
Thank you to Knight Foundation and our many community partners for making iTowpath possible. We look forward to continuing to serve the community, making Akron a more integrated and connected space for their everyday lives.