Makeover for popular bike site

Construction workers with the Shelly Company tear up the parking lot at the Western Reserve Greenway bike path Sunside Trailhead in Champion Thursday morning. The parking lot at the county's most popular trailhead is set to be repaved Monday, weather permitting, in an estimated $88,000 project, according to Zachary Svette, Executive Director of the Trumbull County MetroParks. The Western Reserve Greenway trail runs 43 miles from Warren to Ashtabula.

CHAMPION — The most popular bike path trailhead in Trumbull County is getting a makeover with paving set to begin Monday at the Sunside Trailhead parking lot off state Route 305.

The $88,000 project is being done by The Shelly Company of Twinsburg, which began tearing up the old parking lot on Thursday. The lot and portions of the trail are closed temporarily until work is complete.

The trailhead is part of the 16.7-mile Western Reserve Greenway bike path that runs from Bloomfield to Warren. It is one of three trailheads in that portion of the bike path. The others are Oakfield Station, located about a mile east of state Route 45 along Hyde Oakfield Road in Bristol Township and the Lockwood Trailhead on state Route 87 in Bloomfield Township. Each trailhead offers visitors parking, picnic areas, portable restrooms and pavilions.

Sunside offers visitors 54 parking spaces, sheltered picnic tables, benches and grills as well as an information kiosk. It is the busiest parking lot in MetroParks’ inventory, according to Trumbull County MetroParks Executive Director Zachary Svette.

The Western Reserve Greenway is just one of many trails that make up the 100-mile Great Ohio Lake To River Greenway, a mostly completed paved route that is anticipated to stretch from Lake Erie in Ashtabula to the Ohio River at East Liverpool.

The Ashtabula County MetroParks Western Reserve Greenway is the longest single trail within the Great Ohio Lake To River Greenway. The completed greenway begins within the city of Ashtabula and extends near the communities of Jefferson, Rock Creek, Roaming Shores and Orwell before connecting to Trumbull County MetroParks’ portion.

The city of Niles’ four-mile trail was completed in 2012. The trail originates from Church Street near downtown and follows a rail right-of-way out of the city, through Weathersfield Township, and ends at the county line where the Mill Creek MetroParks Bikeway begins in Austintown.

A fourth phase of the bike path is set for construction this year and will connect Warren’s portion of the path to Niles, completing Trumbull County’s trail.

The Western Reserve Greenway bike trail has been in the works since 2004.


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