A primarily off-street recreational trail from the Ohio River to Lake Erie, the Ohio to Erie Trail spans the state of Ohio from Cincinnati to Cleveland for the most part following lands formerly occupied by railroads and canals. The collection of regional trails connects four of Ohio’s metropolitan cities, a dozen large towns and numerous small villages – all done on easily accessible, paved trails that are primarily separated from highways and automobiles. The length in 2017 is 326 miles.
As of November of 2021, 281.8 miles (86.4%) of the 326 total are on separate, designated trail way with 44.20 miles (13.6%) on separated streets and roads. See details.
Our mileage grids help you to plan shorter or longer travels on the OTET between the towns or designated areas. The actual total mileage of separated paved trail changes monthly as more and more miles are taken off streets and routed onto new separate paved trails. As we utilize more abandoned rail bed we actually shorten the length of the overall length of the OTET.
Finding Your Way
The OTET is known as Route 1 in Ohio and in some locations it is also becoming US Bikeway 21. The large way-finding signs help travelers to know the distances between towns as well as what amenities each locale has to offer. Also, hundreds of Route 1 bike signs with arrows, mark the way between our way-finding signs.
Map Your Way
Our printed four map set will guide you well on both completed pathways and connecting road segments. However, note that with new pavement added, and local detours for all kinds of reasons, make sure that you have checked this web site for updates!
United States Bike Route 21
In the near future the designation of US BR 21 will be appended to the Ohio to Erie Trail, signaling an exciting era of inter-state bicycling networks. The OTET will retain the Ohio Route 1 designation but will also be known nationally as US Bike Route 21.
What You’ll See
Along the way, the trail passes through rural areas, farmlands, nature preserves, and regional parks giving the adventurous a hearty helping of nature’s finest. The small rural towns are a treasure of small shops, restaurants and history of Ohio. At the metropolitan perimeters, meadows and woods give way to exciting urban centers, affording the traveler a contemporary taste of Ohio’s culture and arts.
The Ohio to Erie Trail is a collection of multi-use trails that provide exercise and adventure to anyone who’s willing to leave the automobile behind. Bicyclists, equestrians, skaters, hikers, families with strollers, bird watchers, walkers and nature lovers are a common sight. In the winter, the trail becomes a snowshoe and cross-country ski path. And, for those with mobility impairments, construction designs call for full compliance with ADA guidelines so that everyone has the opportunity to explore the natural beauty of Ohio as the trail weaves its way across the state
Ohio’s Green Corridor
The Ohio to Erie Trail is in place with 270+ miles of recreational trail. Users are able to travel the corridor linking Cincinnati, Columbus, Akron and Cleveland on a safe trail while enjoying the splendor of Ohio’s rural heartland. Along the way, users can re-live the history that shaped the state: Amish history, Revolutionary War history, Civil War history, canal history, railroad history — it all happened here along the OTET!
Travelers can traverse the entire 326 miles of Route 1 from Cincinnati to Cleveland now using the 270+ miles of paved trail separated from streets. In the metropolitan areas there are still a few miles of travel required on streets. In the rural areas of Holmes and Wayne Counties there are a few miles of country roads as we work to acquire and also pave property for the OTET recreational trail. Wayne County has the largest section of very rural roads used on the OTET and has 17 miles remaining to be turned into recreational trail.
Connecting the State’s Local Trails
There are 22 local/regional trails that come together to form the Ohio to Erie Trail. Each of the trails has its own unique aspects and each varies in length with the Little Miami Scenic Trail in southern Ohio and the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath being the two largest with about 50 and 100 miles respectively.
On-Going Use of the OTET
Every week there are numerous events all along the OTET from local community walks to more ambitious fundraisers that have runners, walkers and bicyclists traveling many trail miles to raise funds for great causes. Many of these events are shared on our Facebook page here. Note that some local communities may have regulations regarding use of the trail for such events. The OTET Board of Directors strongly suggests that event organizers check with local trail stakeholders.
Ed Honton was the founder of the Ohio to Erie Trail and the non-profit organization’s first president. It was his vision in 1991 to have a recreational path from Cincinnati to Cleveland mostly using former railroad and canal corridors. Through Ed’s dedication and hard work, the Ohio to Erie Trail became a reality. It was a tremendous loss in 2005 when Ed died, but his legacy will be enjoyed for centuries. Along a new section of the OTET on the Alum Creek Trail, please take a few minutes, pause and read about Ed’s story on a large bronze plaque on a huge stone next to one of the Alum Creek bridges dedicated to this visionary in Ohio.
A plaque honoring previous President Dr. Tom Moffitt will be placed along the trail in the Hamilton County area in spring of 2020. Dr. Moffitt led the board to carry out Ed Honton’s vision, resulting in the completion of many miles.
Mike Groeber, current President, has served on the board since 2014. Former President, William Daehler, served as VP since 2001. Prior to William, Dr. Tom Moffitt led the organization as President of the Board from 2004-2017. Dr. Moffitt joined the Board in 2001.
Chris Haydocy, current Vice President, has served the board since 2017. Don Noble (Treasurer) has served the board in their position for over five years. Our current Secretary position is open after Mary Plumley served since 2016.
The Board has 14 elected, volunteer directors from across the state, many of whom have been active with the OTETF for over a decade. Jerry Rampelt was the Board’s long time executive director and he joined the Board as a member following his retirement as the director in 2014. It is this volunteer Board that is responsible for keeping Ed Honton’s vision alive.
In late 2015, Lisa Daris became the part-time Executive Coordinator. Lisa handles the day to day operations of the organization and reports to the board president and officers. Lisa served on the Community Advisory Committee for MORPC’s transportation department. She has also served on the board of FLOW (Friends of the Lower Olentangy), and is the director for TOSRV (Tour of the Scioto River Valley), the oldest running cycling event in the United States. In addition, she operates her own seasonal kayaking company, Olentangy Paddle. She is a graduate of the The Ohio State University.
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Ohio to Erie Trail Song
Dedicated to Ed Honton by Eric Nassau and friends