The Bike & Hike / Towpath Connector Trail runs concurrently with part of the Old Carriage Trail. The Old Carriage Trail is a 3.25-mile loop that begins and ends on the Towpath. Do not ride your bike on the hiker-only portion of the trail (as indicated by the signs).
CAUTION: the Old Carriage Trail is very steep and rough in some spots.
Getting from the Towpath to the Bike & Hike Trail
If you are riding north on the Towpath Trail, look for the Old Carriage Trail sign about 3/4 mile past the Red Lock trailhead on Highland Rd.
If you are riding south on the Towpath Trail, look for the SECOND sign for the Old Carriage Trail, about 1-3/4 miles past the Station Road Bridge in Brecksville.
Follow the Old Carriage Trail up the hill. When you reach the end of the trail, you will see the end of a dead-end residental street called Holzhauer Rd. Follow Holzhauer Rd for about 1/2 mile, and you will come to the Bike & Hike Trail. Turn left on the trail to go north; turn right on the trail to go south.
If you continue on Holzhauer Rd instead of turning onto the Bike & Hike Trail, you will end up on Rt 82 near the Marc's plaza in Sagamore Hills. Much of Rt 82 has a bike lane, so if you are comfortable riding along this busy road, this can provide you access to other areas of Sagamore Hills, as well as Brecksville, Northfield, Macedonia, and Twinsburg.
Getting from the Bike & Hike Trail to the Towpath
Look for one of these signs as you cross Holzhauer Rd along the Bike & Hike Trail:
If you are riding north on the Bike & Hike Trail, it will be the next road crossing after Highland Rd. If you are riding south on the Bike & Hike Trail, it will be the next road crossing after Rt 82.
Turn onto Holzhauer Rd in the direction of the arrow on the sign. The road will end in about 1/2 mile; continue onto the Old Carriage Trail. Follow the Old Carriage Trail downhill, and it will end on the Towpath Trail.
When you reach the Towpath Trail, turn right to head north (towards Brecksville), or turn left to head south (towards the Red Lock Trailhead, Stanford Hostel, Boston, and Peninsula).
Alternate On-Road Connections
If you are comfortable riding on public roads with automobile traffic, there are other options for going between the Towpath and the Bike & Hike Trail nearer to the Peninsula area.
The most direct route is just to take Rt 303 between Peninsula and the Bike & Hike Trailhead near the intersection with Rt 8. Rt 303 is a busy two-lane state highway with little or no shoulder most of the way. Going from Peninsula to the Bike & Hike trail, it's mostly uphill; going towards Peninsula, it's mostly downhill. It's about 3 miles each way.
The other option is a little longer, but on much less-traveled roads. Assuming you are starting at our store in Peninsula:
Turn left (east) onto Rt 303/Main St.
At the traffic light, turn right (south) onto Akron-Peninsula Rd.
You will pass a golf course on the left; turn left at the next road, which is Truxell Rd. This road was freshly paved in the summer of 2007, so it is very smooth with a wide shoulder. It's mostly uphill for about 4 miles; near the end, the name will change to Kendall Park Rd.
At the top of the hill, there will be a flashing traffic signal at Akron-Cleveland Rd; cross here and the road you are on again changes name to Barlow Rd.
About 1/2 mile down Barlow Rd, you will come to the Bike & Hike Trail. Turn left onto the trail to go north towards Sagamore Hills; turn right onto the trail to go south towards Stow and Silver Lake.