Thursday, June 19, 2008

Towpath Trail campground opening in Jackson Township

A lot of visitors ask us about camping locations in the area, and many are disappointed to learn that there are not very many campgrounds directly accessible from the Towpath Trail. It looks like that has just been fixed, according to this June 6, 2008 article from the Akron Beacon Journal:

Towpath Trail campground opening in Jackson Township
By Bob Downing
Beacon Journal staff writer

Backpackers and long-distance bicyclists on the Towpath Trail now have a new option: camping out.

On Saturday, the Stark County Park District will unveil a primitive campsite at the Bridgeport Quarry Trailhead in Jackson Township on the Congressman Ralph Regula Towpath Trail.

The park system is marking National Trail Day with activities from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Erie Avenue Northwest trailhead, south of Traphagen Street.

The campsite has room for several tents and is designed for walk-in use only -- no vehicles, said district spokeswoman Connie Rubin.

Campers must provide their own water. A portable toilet is on the site.

The fee for overnight use has not been set. Advance reservations are required by calling 330-477-3552.

Stark County is looking at providing overnight camping at a second site, but that has not been finalized, Rubin said.

Similar campsites are planned along the Towpath Trail in Summit County: in Clinton and in the Big Bend Area of Sand Run Metro Park in northwest Akron.

David Whited, a planner for Metro Parks, Serving Summit County, said both those sites should be open by the end of the year.

The National Park Service wants to add a similar Towpath Trail campground for up to five tents near the Stanford Hostel in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, said deputy park superintendent Paul J. Stoehr.

In a related development, federal officials have designated the 25 miles of the Towpath Trail in Stark County as a National Recreation Trail.

It is one of 24 trails covering 1,100 miles in 16 states that have been added to the prestigious national system by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The designation was sought by the Stark park district and does not apply to the Towpath Trail in Summit, Cuyahoga or Tuscarawas counties.

Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or

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