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At the height of its popularity the Miami-Erie Canal provided a major means of transportation for both people and goods. After the development of railroads, use of the canals declined. The canals finally ceased to function in this area after the 1913 flooding of the Great Miami River basin. Today, canal lands in Ohio are finding a new purpose as recreational trails for the enjoyment of all.
After many years of neglect by various state agencies the ownership and responsibility of all of the canal land in the State of Ohio was transferred to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, (ODNR), in the mid 1980's. Some canal land was sold to private individuals and businesses in cities while other lands, particularly in rural areas, sat unused. Over time ODNR and community leaders began to realize the economic and recreational value of this historical corridor and its potential to link people across Ohio. Development of multi-use trails began on sections of the canal in the 1980's. This movement began in urban areas but has been gradually spreading to rural communities.
The Shelby County Park District began its development of local canal lands in 2000. The overgrown towpath on a section of the canal between Pampel Rd. in Houston and State Route 47 in Newport has been almost cleared for foot and mountain bike traffic with a few natural obstacles along the way. Volunteers have done the majority of the work clearing this trail. Long-term plans are to have the trail developed from county line to county line linking with already developed trails to the north and south.
NOTICE: ATV TRAFFIC IS PROHIBITED
per Ohio Revised Code!
Take I-75 to State Route 47 W. Follow State Route 47 to Hardin Wapakoneta Road (in the village of Hardin). Turn south. Travel to Houston Road and turn west. Follow to Pampel Road or Dawson Road. Turn north on either road. The canal trail is currently unmarked. It is about 50 feet from the railroad tracks. The only parking available is along side of the road; no parking lots are available at this time.