Originally used for mules pulling canal boats, the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail is now the key walking, running, and biking route through the Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area.
Currently spanning 90 continuous miles long across four counties, the Towpath Trail is estimated to be 101 miles when complete. The trail follows closely, though not entirely, along the original route of the Ohio & Erie Canal and provides natural, cultural, historical, and recreational opportunities throughout.
The Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition supports the development of the Towpath Trail in Summit, Stark, and Tuscarawas Counties, with sister organization Canalway Partners leading efforts in Cuyahoga County. Development of the Towpath Trail is expected to be complete by 2025. Currently, nine miles of the Towpath Trail remain to be built on the southern end of the Towpath Trail.
Learn more about the development of future Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail sections below. To learn more about visiting the Towpath Trail, visit the Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area website.
Completing 101 miles of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail
State Routes 800 to 416
South of Zoarville, the Towpath Trail continues across State Route 800. Here, the trail will follow the Zoar Valley Trail, across the Zoarville Bridge, before heading south parallel to the Tuscarawas River. Development of this section will extend the Towpath Trail another 4 miles to State Route 416 in Dover.
Tuscarawas County Commissioners and the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition entered into a license agreement with land owner Kimble Company for the development of the Towpath Trail along this section. In 2019, the Ohio Department of Transportation announced a $483,000 Transportation Alternatives Program grant to be awarded to Tuscarawas County Commissioners. The project design is completed and the construction work will be bid in early 2024. The project will be implemented in two phases; Phase I will develop 2 miles of the Towpath Trail from Zoarville to the Dover Dam, and Phase II from the Dover Dam to State Route 416.
State Route 416 to Downtown Dover
After crossing State Route 416, the Towpath Trail is planned to continue along the Tuscarawas River into the heart of Dover. Studies and partnership conversations are currently underway to determine the feasibility of routes throughout this section.
Dover to Waterworks Park
We are facilitating a design and planning study to identify the route of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail from Dover to Waterworks Park in New Philadelphia. A ward meeting was held on Monday, October 16, 2023 to provide an update on the proposed route of the Towpath Trail for the residents of New Philadelphia to provide feedback. We are also collaborating with the City of New Philadelphia, Tuscarawas County Commissioners, and area businesses on the implementation of the New Philadelphia Bicycle and Pedestrian Connectivity Plan.