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Finding Some Trail in NW Ohio

July 14, 2008

I had to leave SW Ohio today to go setup for some training I’m doing in NW Ohio. At the last minute, I decided to throw my bike on the rack and take it with me….. Glad I did!!

I asked a guy at the hotel concierge if he knew of any bike trails in the area. He mentioned that there were some being worked on, but in various stages of completion. It seems that there are long term plans to have a trail from Montpelier (near the Indiana line) over to Toledo. I’m a couple of miles from Montpelier, so I started doing some searches online when I got to the hotel room. What I found was plans for the Wabash Cannonball Trail.

According to the reports, the paved trail portion stops about 20 miles east of Montpelier, but most of it was navigable with a mountain bike. I pulled up the trusty Google maps and made a mental note of where the trail might be accessed.

Driving a few miles from the hotel, I turned down some country roads, but had a hard time see where the old rail lines might be, but after zig-zagging a couple of times, I found one that look promising, especially since the small sign had the name of the trail on it.  I parked along the side of the road, jumped out, geared up, and took off.

The trail is primarily loose cinder, some loose mud in places, lots of overgrown cropped grass, and even some piled “rip rap” type rock to allow farmers to go across from one field to another. This sure wasn’t as difficult as some of the mountain bike trails we’ve already done because it’s extremely flat, but it did take consistent pedal to stay moving. When you stopped pedaling, you coasted to a stop in 10 ft or less in most places. The exception to this was the trail inside of the town of West Unity. Most of this was hard packed pretty good where it almost felt like pavement, but there was some at the park in town that was like riding through someones lawn before they’ve mowed it.

One of the highlights was a cool bridge that goes over Main St in West Unity. Nice covered bridge to watch the cars drive under the viaduct from.

I worked up a great sweat churning down the trail, but I only spent an hour riding. I wasn’t really ready for something longer after doing 100K yesterday, but I am looking forward to playing around more on this the rest of the week while I’m in the area.

Right now… biking feels like a drug… I couldn’t wait to get on the bike today, and then searching out new trail was a pretty cool too. For a fitness activity, this has gotten a bit addictive! 🙂

View Interactive Map on MapMyRide.com

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2 comments

  1. I’m soooo glad you took your bike. Did you miss me? 😀 Sounds like taking the bike in a box/mountain bike is the way to go. That way, whatever kind of trail you find you’re set to ride it. Just next time, take the camera with you. I need pics!


  2. It would have been hard to take pics unless I stopped constantly… one hand would have been a chore!



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