Proposed Niles bike trail extension would connect bike paths from Canfield to Ashtabula County
While a path had been announced previously, the newly proposed path will sit to the east of the original planned path, but the change will have less ecological impact.
The new trail would nearly double the length of the 4.5 miles of Niles Greenway Trail, with an additional 4.25 miles of trail through the former BDM Warren Steel Holding property. The proposed section will extend from Deforest Townline Road through a property owned by Ohio Edison. The proposed trail would follow along an abandoned rail line. the trail would go through one wetland area, which is nearly one-third of an acre, and go over three streams. The previous plan for the trail would have gone through six wetlands and two streams.
While some portions of the trail will still be on sections of roads in the county, however, the proposed paths shared with the cars will have a new 5-foot concrete walkway along Burton Street in the city.
"About 2017 we started this," said Zachary Svette, Executive Director for Trumbull County MetroParks. "We've just been in the process of getting property acquired. The trail is always full of people and users. We needed to do this connection."
If approved, work is expected to begin on the proposed plan by September 2024.
According to the Commissioners, from north to south, the fourth phase of the bike trail extension will allow the 43-mile Western Reserve Greenway trail that starts in Ashtabula County, along with the 16.7-mile portion in Trumbull County, that attaches to the 3.2 miles in Warren; which attaches to the Niles Greenway trail and will allow riders to continue onto the trail into Mahoning County.
"The majority of the trail was either commercial or railroad parcels," Svette said.
The Greenway is a bikeway that runs through MetroParks in Ashtabula, Trumbull, Mahoning, and Columbiana counties.
Svette said that the public may submit comments on the new plan or any concerns regarding environmental impact to the attention of Zachary Svette, Trumbull County MetroParks, 185 E. Market Street, 2nd Floor, Warren, OH 44481 or may call 330-675-3072 by June 12.