The Western Reserve Greenway
The Western Reserve Greenway is 43 miles in length, and Ashtabula County is
home to 27 of the miles. The trail begins next to West Avenue, across from the ODOT garage,
in Ashtabula City and then south below Orwell. From there, the trail proceeds to Champion,
just north of Warren.
The Western Reserve Greenway is the former
PennCentral right-of-way which was closed in April, 1976.
The line at one time was also known as the USRA 714 rail line.
which served industry then, is now set to help serve the recreational needs of Ashtabula County.
The Ashtabula County MetroParks secured a 15-year lease agreement from the current
property owner, the State of Ohio. The lease, signed by Governor George Voinovich in late
May, 1997, and recorded in the Ashtabula County courts, authorizes construction of the Western
Reserve Greenway on the Ashtabula portion of the former 714 roadbed.
The ACT2000 task force on Parks & Recreation became interested in the Western
Reserve Greenway efforts several years ago. The task force was instrumental in
raising further awareness of the project.|
As a result, a substantial amount of "Jump Start" funding was awarded to the
Ashtabula County MetroParks by the Civic Development Corporation of Ashtabula (the CDC) and
the Ashtabula Foundation in 1998. Early in 1999
we were awarded a TEA-21 grant which, with matching funds, totalled nearly $1,250,000
for trail construction.
Koski Construction was awarded the paving contract
in early November 2001 for the trail's first phase of construction. The formal opening
ceremony for the Western Reserve Greenway was held at noon on Monday, July 15th, 2002.
Because the trail construction is federally funded, motorized vehicles are prohibited
except for motorized wheelchairs and maintenance vehicles.
However, as a result of the same law, snowmobiles will be allowed when winter conditions permit.
Funding was contingent upon the trail's being usable in all seasons of the year, and
Ashtabula County is known for snow during "normal" winters. There are no other exceptions to
this mandate which the County Parks Board enforces.
Partnership with the Illuminating Company (a division of First Energy) resulted
in their clearing overgrowth from the Greenway between South Woodman Avenue and West
Avenue in Spring of 2000. Besides giving the local citizens an earlier-than-expected opportunity to use the Trail, it also benefited the City of Ashtabula by providing installation
of a 35,000-volt feeder line for city residents.
Income from state road taxes was used to pave the new staging
area at the Munson Hill Trailhead. The new road and parking lot, complete with
collapsible bollards (i.e., barriers), were completed early in 2000, along with the staging
area in Austinburg on SR 307 next to the Post Office.
Additional improvements to the trail include the parking lot on Woodman Avenue where the trail
crosses at street level. The land was donated by the Herzog family, and the local Rotary Club funded
the improvement. The other is a restored
1897 King Bridge installed at the Clay Street crossing.
This bridge, built with steel from one of Andrew Carnegie's steel mills, is allegedly the only one
the King family knows of that has been restored and put to use this way instead of being scrapped.
A brief word of explanation: Although its formal name is "The Western Reserve
Greenway," it is also loosely referred to as the Trail, or the Greenway, or the Greenway
Trail. By any name, it is a great place to walk, run, stroll, hike, bike, roller blade, and ski.
Once the Western Reserve Greenway is fully developed, it will tie into a
nationwide network of hiking/biking trails.
Please contact the MetroPark board office 30 days in advance to notify us about any events your
organization is planning for the trail. This advance notice will help us prevent potential
conflicts with other user groups.
Directions to Western Reserve Greenway trailheads and parking lots:
Herzog Rotary Park
Munson Hill Station
- Herzog Rotary Park is located on west side of Woodman Avenue in Ashtabula Township. It is approximately ¾ of a mile south of State Route 20 or ¼ of a mile north of State Route 84.
Austinburg Parking Lot
- Munson Hill Station is located off of Old Austinburg Road, just south of the intersection of Munson Hill Road and Ashtabula – Austinburg Road in Saybrook Township. The intersection of Munson Hill and Austinburg Road is approximately 1-½ miles east of State Route 45.
Lampson Road Staging Area
- Austinburg Parking Lot is on the Western Reserve Greenway in Austinburg Township. It is located on the north side of State Route 307, ¼ mile east of State Route 45.
Rock Creek Runaround
- Lampson Road Staging Area is on the Western Reserve Greenway in Austinburg Township. It is located on the south side of Lampson Road, ½ mile east of State Route 45. Lampson Road is 1-¼ miles south of State Route 307. From I-90 exit at RT 45 and head south 2.3 miles.
- Rock Creek Runaround is located in the Village of Rock Creek. Take State Route 45 to the flashing light at the intersection of Main Street. Travel approximately ½ mile east of State Route 45 to the intersections of Jefferson St. (Footville-Richmond) and turn left. Make a quick right onto Liberty Street and continue around the curve on Station Street. Parking is available along Railroad Street.
- A parking area is scheduled to be constructed in 2011.
Be a Friend of the Western Reserve Greenway -
Write P.O.Box 1788, Warren OH 44481-1788.