BIKE TRAILS Proposed path would link Cleveland, Youngstown

A section of the lake to river bike trail will officially open next week.
WARREN -- Officials have begun preliminary discussions about a new bike trail that would connect Cleveland to Youngstown along railroad rights of way.
The idea, floated by the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission, is years from completion, officials say. No land in Trumbull or Mahoning County has been acquired for the project.
The proposed trail would incorporate a path called the Headwaters Trail from Mantua to Garrettsville, said Alan Knapp, Trumbull County Planning Commission executive director.
The suggestion is to bring the trail eastward through Trumbull County, through Braceville and Leavittsburg, then south of West Market Street through Warren.
It would continue through Niles and Girard to Youngstown, he said. In some of these areas, the trail would run parallel to railroad tracks that are still in use.
No money has been programmed for the project, which officials say is at least 10 years away.
Next week, there will be a ribbon-cutting for the first county-to-county connection in a bike trail that is planned to one day extend from Lake Erie to the Ohio River.
On Nov. 10, a 5.3-mile paved path in Bristol and Bloomfield townships in Trumbull County will officially open to cyclists, joggers and skaters. It connects a section of trail completed last summer with a bike trail in Ashtabula County.
When the lake to river bike trail is completed, it will stretch about 100 miles through four counties. It's expected to be done about 2007.
The next Trumbull County section to be completed will likely be from the Mahoning County line north through Niles, said Julie Green, a planner with the county planning commission.
With the section to open next week, officials will have completed about 15 miles in Trumbull County at a total cost of about $2.6 million, officials say.
Trumbull County commissioners contributed about $265,000 toward the project.

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