BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) — The Great Ohio Lake-to-River Greenway bicycle trail, which eventually will connect Lake Erie in Ashtabula with the Ohio River in East Liverpool, is nearing completion.
Warren Councilman John Brown, who also is an avid bicyclist, and Greg Greathouse, provided an update on the status of the bike trail on Monday.
Brown said the idea for the 100-mile trail originated under Ohio Gov. George Voinovich in the 1990s.
“Slowly but surely, we are getting the pieces put together,” Brown said.
He said the last 2-mile section from Champion Street to North River Road will be completed by the end of this year, enabling cyclists to ride from Warren to downtown Ashtabula.
Greathouse said the portion that runs from Lake Erie to the Trumbull County line is complete and the link from there through Warren is the one currently under construction and is expected to be done by Christmas.
Brown said the most difficult section is the one between Warren and Niles because of the right-of-ways needed to through Conrail railroad property and also because of all the different entities involved. He said the Trumbull County MetroParks is handling that portion of the trail, which involves local, state and federal money. He said the railroad line was abandoned in 1976.
Greathouse said once riders get on the trail in Niles, they can ride all the way to Western Reserve Road in Boardman, but there is a missing piece between there and Washingtonville. The section between Washingtonville and Leetonia is under construction and the section between Leetonia and Lisbon is complete, but there is nothing south of Lisbon to connect to East Liverpool.
“It’s anybody’s guess how long it will take for that to be complete,” Greathouse said.
Brown said a lot of people have been involved in the project, and in Warren, they are mostly volunteers.
On June 7, the World of Wildlife will have a tour from Warren to Ashtabula and all the money raised from that will go toward the section between Warren and Niles.