Akron to Canal Fulton
2-day hike (1 night in Barberton and optional 1 night in Canal Fulton)
This is an ideal hike if you would like to start in Akron and head in a southerly direction.
Note: If you arrive the day before, consider adding on ExploreAFoot’s 4-mile Akron Urban Walk.
Day 1. Akron to Barberton
Description of Trail: South to Barberton
The trail can be divided into 3 sections. It showcases the industrial side of Summit County, allowing you to the see a city that has re-invented itself without losing sight of its place in industrial history. You are also treated to the beauty of Summit Lake and the towpath as it winds its way along the Tuscarawas River.
1. Mustill Store to Howe House is the shortest section (1.4 mi), but it worth taking time to marvel at the history and memories of old industrial Akron. Stop off at the Diamond Deli (on South Main Street) and order lunch to go. You will need sustenance, as you have a long day of walking ahead of you with no easy place to buy lunch. Make sure to follow the trail through Lock 4 and Lock 3.
2) This section ends at Wilbeth Road Trailhead and showcases the beautiful Summit Lake. (3.15mi). Summer brings with it many species of birds. Sit on one of the wooden piers and marvel at the view. Ask one of the many fishermen about their catch.
3) The third section is the longest – 5.5mi. From Wilbeth Road to Barberton, the Towpath hugs the banks of the canal along the Tuscarawas River. You may want to have a restful picnic lunch in the shade on one of the benches. This would be a good time to have a short siesta. Try to spot one of the blue herons that call this place home!
4) When you reach Casa Bella you will use your access code to enter your accommodations. Read a book or rest on the shores of Lake Anna before going out to dinner. There are many food options, one being the famous Barberton Fried Chicken.
Day 2. Barberton to Canal Fulton
This walk can be divided into 2 sections.
Section 1: Casa Bella to Clinton
Section 2: Clinton to Canal Fulton
After a well-earned night’s sleep, help yourself to breakfast in the well-equipped kitchen. Your destination for Day 2 is Fulton House on Pleasant Hill in Canal Fulton, a distance of 10 miles. It would be a good idea to pick up a picnic lunch at a local restaurant or coffee shop, as there are no restaurants close to the Towpath. Your path today hugs the Towpath. We suggest walking half the distance before taking a well-earned rest at the Clinton Trailhead. This would be good place enjoy a picnic lunch and take a rest under a shady tree to avoid the hot midday sun. After lunch, there are four miles left to walk to Canal Fulton. There is a small hill to climb once you get to Canal Fulton, so reserve a little energy for the final push. There are many places in Canal Fulton to have an ice cream, a cup of tea or the famous "Canal Mud Candy" at Deliciously Different Fudge before heading back to Fulton House on Pleasant Hill.
In the Historic District of Canal Fulton, there are many restaurants. On the other side of the river lies the Canal Fulton Glassworks Glass Studio and Art Gallery. At the intersection of Cherry Street and Canal Street, you’ll see The Dragonfly Tea Room and Gift Shop where you can enjoy a relaxing break and a cup of tea. Popular restaurants include Sisters Century House Restaurant and Carla’s Pizza. Don’t forget about dessert! Enjoy ice cream at the Cherry Street Creamery.
Next morning, consider boarding the St. Helena III canal boat that is pulled by two Percheron horses. It departs from the Port of Canal Fulton in St. Helena Heritage Park for a one-hour ride down the Ohio & Erie Canal. A historian on board provides information on the history of the canal, the boat, and the area. If you are looking for more adventure, visit Canal Fulton Canoe Livery & Campground for canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, mini golf, and more!