Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail–Canal Lands Park
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About the Canal Lands Park
The Canal Lands Park Trailhead is on the Zoar Valley Trail section of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.
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.
From Canal Lands Park webpage
About Zoar Valley Trail
The Camp Tuscazoar Foundation has assumed operations of the historic Zoar Valley Trail. This scenic 20-mile trail provides hikers with a variety of historical sites and changes in terrain from rolling hills to level paths. The trail is anchored at the southern end by the village of Schoenbrunn in New Philadelphia and on the north by Fort Laurens in Bolivar. The trail passes Zoar, with an overnight stop at Camp Tuscazoar.
You may start your hike from either end. However, it is generally thought better to start at Schoenbrunn, covering the hard surface and hilly part of the trail on the first day. Camp Tuscazoar is the halfway point on the trail and provides both lodges and primitive camping. Several camp sites are only a short walk from the trail and may be reserved by contacting the camp ranger. Please, notify the ranger several weeks in advance to guarantee a site. The last portion of the trail travels along an abandoned railroad bed and the Ohio-Erie Canal towpath, with a short stretch on the hard surface from one to the other.
From Zoar Valley Trail website