A two-mile-long section of the towpath will be closed the week of Sept 23, 2013 for maintenance. They are putting down a fresh layer of crushed limestone. The closure is between Rockside Road, Lock 39 Trailhead in Independence and The Canal Visitor Center at Hillside Road in Valley View. Rockside Road is six miles south of the Harvard Road Trailhead in Cleveland.
This is good news. This section of the towpath is heavily used and the limestone had turned to gray hardpacked dust. Looks a lot like concrete but is slippery when wet.
Anyone with basic road riding skills would be able to use Canal Road as an alternate.
Canal Road is a two lane road that parallels the towpath. This section is in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Canal Road can be surprisingly busy at peak hours as motorists use it as a cut-through the below the suburbs. Cyclists routinely use the roadway so it is a bike friendly, but narrow area.
Guy and I will ride down there to check it out and take some pics.
As promised…see pictures here.