Walk or ride on the Historic Towpath Trail

Redbud in bloom
Redbud in bloom near Bend View

A Very Peaceful Trail

The eight-mile Towpath Trail extends between Farnsworth  and Providence Metroparks and is ideal for both hiking or biking.

The trail also runs through Bendview Metropark and actually is the only way to get to Bendview.  I think this trail is one of the nicer trails in Northwest Ohio.

Remnant of the Miami-Erie Canal

The towpath trail is just that. The entire trail follows the towpath of the original Miami-Erie Canal. The old canal can still be seen although it’s overgrown with trees and brush.  It is mostly washed in except at Providence Metropark where it has been restored. 

The Smooth Section

You can begin the trail at either Farnsworth or Providence. I have traveled it both ways and don’t really have a preference where to start.

If you are looking for a smooth ride or a simple walk I would recommend starting at the Farnsworth end of the trail. The trail is covered with packed crushed stone and is very smooth.

Towpath with stone
Smooth section

The smooth part of the trail runs for about 3 miles from Farnsworth Park and through Bendview. Runners use this part of the trail often. This portion is also more suitable for road bikes.  

Mountain Biking

The trail from about the 3.5 mile point to Providence Metropark is pretty rough. It’s great for mountain bikes and hiking, but road bikers won’t like it. The crushed stone doesn’t cover this part and a lot of large tree roots are exposed.

This section of the trail doesn’t seem to get a lot of traffic and is pretty secluded. For all of these reasons it's my favorite part of the trail. It's quiet and there's lots of wildlife and native plants to see.

A lot to see

The rough part of the towpath
Rough section
There is a lot to see along the towpath trail. The trail is shaded by trees the entire way. About half of the trail runs right along the Maumee River. The other half is away from the river. Some of the sections closer to Providence have a big drop off on either side. One side falls steeply towards the river while the other side falls towards the old canal.

The trail is lined with many different trees native to this area. There are several Ohio Buckeye trees along the way as well as various native flowers. There is always something to see along the river.  Occasionally wood ducks can be seen in parts of the canal that still has water in it.

Fall is especially nice to travel the trail. The color of the leaves along the river and canal are beautiful. There also aren’t many bugs that time of year.  



Towpath Trail Map (Farnsworth end)
Towpath Trail Map (Providence end)


The Old Mill

The Towpath Trail leads to Grand Rapids, Ohio, home of the Isaac Ludwig Mill at Providence Metropark. Make sure you go during a day when the mill is in operation.

This  fully operational mill was restored by the Toledo Metroparks.  Park staff and volunteers will gladly fill you in on its history.

You can also see the fully functional lock 44 of the Miami-Erie Canal in operation. The Toledo Metroparks operate a full-size replica of a canal boat equipped with mules and a crew.  The canal boat runs from late spring - early fall.


Additional Pictures (Click for larger images)

The Bend View Overlook
The Bend View
Ludwig Mill
The Ludwig Mill
A Maumee river view
A River View
Miami-Erie Canal
An Overgrown
Section of the Canal

NW Ohio Nature Oak Leaf