Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail
THE TUSCARAWAS COUNTY CANAL LANDS COMMITTEE IS MAKING IMPROVEMENTS TO THE CANAL TOWPATH. THE EARTHEN SURFACE IS APPROPRIATE FOR HIKING, MOUNTAIN BIKING AND HORSEBACK RIDING. YOU MAY LEAVE YOUR CAR AT THE CANAL LANDS PARK ON DOVERZOAR RD, IN THE PARKING LOT BY THE ZOAR BALLFIELDS, FT. LAURENS, OR LEAVE A SECOND CAR AT THE CANOE LIVERY AT THE WEST END OF THE TRAIL IF IT IS OPEN.
You will see a Modern bridge that crosses I-77 and a Historic Iron Bridge crossing the river. In the future, the trail will also connect to the Historic Fink Iron Truss Bridge also known as the Old Zoarville Station Bridge.
When you travel the northern section of the trail you will see Ft. Laurens, the Brick Factory, Power Station, Slackwater Dam, Fish Hatchery and Zoar. Connected to this portion of the trail you will find the Zoar Wetland Arboretum. This casual 3 mile trail follows the level ground of the canal towpath for most of its route. Walking is easy, though at certain times high water, mud, overgrown vegetation or mosquitoes could impede your progress. If you walk at a moderate pace, pausing to see points of interest, you should allow 3 hours.
When you travel the southern section you will find railroad trestle and a more natural trail surface. You may find this segment a bit rougher to hike. There are plans to extend the trail to Route 800 with a trail head. Other sites in this area include Ehler’s Store, the Zoarville Station Bridge and Camp Tuscazoar. This segment is part of the Buckeye Trail (which continues east from Zoarville) as well as the Boy Scouts’ Zoar Valley Trail.
On your visit you may wish to just hike the trail, or to make the hike a portion of visiting one or both of the Ohio Historical Society sites adjacent to it. These sites include Ft. Laurens and Zoar Village. You can now hike the Bolivar Trail from Ft. Laurens into the Village of Bolivar.
Lodging in the area ranges from a modern motel to bed-and-breakfasts located in historic homes. (For more information, phone the Tuscarawas County Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-527-3387).
JESSE ROTHACHER, PARK MANAGER
JANE CLAY, PARK COORDINAToR
125 E. High Avenue Room 205
New Philadelphia, OH 44663