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Trail Perceptions and Expectations

Jody G Dzuranin | Published on 6/6/2023

Trail Route Perceptions and Expectations

Hints about how to navigate the greater Columbus section. 

If Greater Columbus is a test of sorts, please know that it is an open book test.  

Overview area map 106 miles from Xenia Station to Ariel-Foundation Park

This post is about the Ohio to Erie Trail below and above the north end of the Camp Chase Trail at North Eureka Ave in Highland West.  For the purposes of this post, this is the center point where the trail types change 39.96350, -83.06657 .  

- Xenia Station to Highland West (north end of Camp Chase Trail): 52 miles  [Primarily linear Rail-Trail, few turns]

- N. Eureka Ave/Highland West to Ariel-Foundation Park: 52 miles [Non-linear city trails, many turns, brief street sections, and returns to linear rail-trail in north Westerville/Delaware county]

For people going NB on the Ohio to Erie Trail, there is a dramatic difference in the layout of the trail south and west of Eureka Ave and north and east of this point.  I think part of the frustration people have with the greater Columbus sections is due to the abrupt change in trail type at the point mentioned and they are surprised by it. Riding along for 52 miles from Xenia to Highland West, they may be lulled into a belief that the whole trail will be as easy to navigate as a rural linear rail trail.  It won’t.

Once you exit the Camp Chase Trail onto N. Eureka Ave, expect to use your best navigation abilities.  You will be disappointed if you are expecting a sign for every turn along the way.  The 52 mile section from N. Eureka Ave to Ariel-Foundation Park in Mt. Vernon can be easy if you expect to navigate yourself, follow the official Interactive map route and use multiple resources, like the facebook discussion group.  Expect that there will be many twists and turns through Greater Columbus and be ready for your decision points.  If you are in a group, try to stay calm and figure it out together.  It’s doable, it’s just going to need patience and ingenuity.  

We provide a whole toolbox on our website.  We offered a January webinar to help people learn to navigate in the tricky spots.  In April we offered an FAQ webinar which has helpful information.  We do offer tools through layers on the interactive map and we provide 10 tips to help you through Franklin county with special RWGPS links and more.  Our printed maps are packed with helpful information. 

Before you email us to say “the OTET needs more signs” what we hear you saying is, “I want the Ohio to Erie Trail to be easier to follow”.   Unless a sign has been removed (which happens), generally the trouble spots reported do already have signs, but maybe it has the local trail name instead of a Rt 1.  We can tell you people are still having challenges navigating in spots with lots of signs.  To make it easier, we ask you to prepare yourself to navigate through the tricky areas. 

Our Spring Newsletter has links to all our webinars, the expanded FAQs, videos, blogs and more.

Enjoy the Adventure! 

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