Dennis dropped me off where the "trail" should be. The last time I was down this way, it was an old abandoned rail bed:
Now it looks more like a road, which some active construction activity going on.
one year ago .
I wonder who is in charge of the Zoar Valley Trail, as there are no marks at all on the trail on the east side of the Tuscarawas River. I knew where I was going, because of previous recon trips, but I believe a person could not really make much sense out of this guide.
101 Million Dollar Rehabilitation Project.
But this is all very runnable. Very very flat.
The Zoarville Station Bridge is a rare survivor of the earliest period of iron bridge construction in the United States, an era when unprecedented railroad expansion gave American bridge builders an international reputation for innovation. German immigrant Albert Fink first developed this truss design for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in the early 1850s.
Because it is the last of its type, features unique engineering, uses Phoenix columns in its structure, and is ancient with an 1868 construction date, this is a bridge that is rivaled by few in terms of importance.
The bridge features the highly unusual Fink truss configuration. These endposts are vertical and utilize a modified Phoenix Column. Phoenix columns are also used for the top chord and vertical members. Phoenix columns were a special patented type of built-up member. Very few examples of them remain today.
As I stopped to take pics, I realized how hot I was! Goodness, I don't expect eighty degrees and humidity in October! Of course, running right next to a river doesn't help with the mugginess either.
You have to know to turn left, run about 1/4 of a mile, crossing over the Tuscarawas River, cross to the north side of Rt 800, and look for the little road (which is the ZVT) there.
This is actually where signage begins!
This is also where blazes on trees begin. Although this looks white, the blazes are blue. The Buckeye Trail joins the ZVT on the west side of the Tuscarawas River for a six mile stretch.
I am glad someone thoughtfully posted a sign about alligators in the Tusc River. I had almost forgot about the "alligator in the Tusc River incident from 2009"
The sheriff’s department was notified about the reptile by a Newcomerstown area resident late Wednesday afternoon. Wilson said a deputy was sent at that time but was unable to locate it.
The Ohio & Eric Canal Towpath.
The signage for the Towpath Trail is much improved also. I do not recall seeing any of the brown signs on my earlier recons of the area.
The Towpath Trail down here in Tuscarawas County is nothing like the Towpath Trail that one finds in Northern Ohio. The Trail up north is at least eight or ten feet wide. The trail here is about three feet wide. Two or three people could run or walk abreast, but that is all.
It is also not a smooth trail at all, compared to the Northern sections.
It does seem like there are future improvements planned for the Towpath Trail, to extend it further south:
Working with the Tuscarawas County Canal Lands Committee the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition was awarded a “Clean Ohio” grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission to purchase 71 acres of land to extend the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail to Route 800 near Zoarville.
This property will allow for the completion of an additional section of the 101-mile Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail running from Cleveland to New Philadelphia, connecting cities and villages in Tuscarawas County to cities and villages in Stark, Summit and Cuyahoga Counties.
I think one of my winter runs should be to figure out the southern half of the Zoar Valley Trail. It appears that the rest of the trail is all on road. I think a good winter project would be to really improve on the ZVT map!!