How long does it take to ride the Ohio to Erie Trail?
The answer is; it depends.
We’ve talked to people that did it in three days! That’s better than 100 miles a day!
The way we rode was not to accomplish a feat, but to actually experience the trail, the people and all of the cities, towns and country side along the way. We carried gear for camping and staying in hotels. It took us eight days. That’s an average of 45 miles per day. Not too bad. Your mileage may vary.
There are reasons we took as long as we did; 50 miles per day is about as far as we can pedal in one day and the places to stay are spaced in such a way as to pre-determine our particular pace. In other words, pedaling past a particular point just to get more miles in would land us in a place with no or reduced accommodations – food, camping or hotel, etc. (all of this goes out the window if you are stealth camping)
So for those that want to know the schedule we kept without reading our entire trip blog, here is a synopsis of how and why we we did what we did, north to south.
Day 1: Cleveland To Stow
Approximately 35 miles from our front door near downtown, to the hotel in Stow. Some city riding, but mostly trail. (note that we deviated from the official Ohio to Erie Trail route utilizing the paved Summit County Bike and Hike Trail. It is 6 miles from our front door to the Harvard Road Trailhead.)
Day 2: Stow to Massillon
We stayed in Massillon the second night 46.5 miles from Stow. Akron was too close to Stow, but was too far from Cleveland for the first night. See?
Day 3: Massillon to Millersburg
40 hard miles. Some road riding through the hills of Amish country.
Day 4: Millersburg to Mt. Vernon
42 more hard miles. More road riding through the hills of Amish country and some rough going on the Mohican Valley Trail
Day 5: Mt. Vernon to Columbus
54 miles. A long day for us. Mostly trail with sections of relatively flat road roughly between Mt Vernon and Mt Liberty and Centerburg and Sunbury. (note that we deviated from the official Ohio to Erie Trail route utilizing the newly paved sections of the Heart of Ohio Trail.)
Day 6: Columbus to London
36 miles. A good easy day, except for how confusing the trail system is in Columbus. Luckily, we had a local guide, or else we’d still be there!
Day 7: London to Waynesville
50 miles. All trail. Tough day as the trail is very exposed and windy.
Day 8: Waynesville to Cincinnati
50 miles almost all trail.
353 miles total over eight days.
Even though it was May we got hammered with some extremely hot and humid weather making the hills seem higher and the miles longer.
Our return trip was a bit more drawn-out as we were no longer on a strict schedule. We stayed in Cincinnati for a few days and detoured (wandered) over to one of our favorite campgrounds outside of Dayton for a few more days. All in all we were on the trail for about three weeks.
Here are some numbers from our northbound journey.
Cincinnati to Spring Valley: 58 miles
Spring Valley to Brookville: 51 miles
Brookville to Cedarville: 53 miles
Cedarville to London: 23 miles
Bike trouble caused us to hitch a ride from London to Columbus
around town in Columbus and to Polaris: 28
Polaris to Mt Vernon: 41 miles
Mt Vernon to Millersburg: 43 miles
Millersburg to Massillon: 40 miles
Massillon to Akron to home via train: 44 miles
in Akron we loaded our bikes onto the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
and took the train to Rockside Road then rode our bikes home
total mileage 759