This Saturday is the start of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad's 2011 Bike Aboard! program.
According to their website, Bike Aboard! allows you to bike the towpath trail as far as you like, then enjoy a relaxing one-way train ride on the scenic railroad back to the Brecksville Station (or any station along the route) for just $2. If you bike from the Brecksville Station, you could go as little as 4.25 miles to the Boston Mill station or more than 24 miles to the Akron Northside station.
When I have participated, there has been a separate train car for bicycles, and CVSR employees loaded and unloaded all of the bikes.
I've biked to Peninsula a number of times, which is a 6.75-mile journey. I like to bring my camera and stop along the way to take pictures. Some of the things that I've seen along this route are blue herons, turtles, frogs, deer, rabbits and many beautiful wildflowers.
The ride to Peninsula is a great day trip because there's so much to see and do in this quaint little town. The website DiscoverPeninsula has many recommendations, including the following:
- Explore the art galleries & shops
- Visit the Winking Lizard or Fisher's to grab a bite to eat
- During the summer, you can buy food for a picnic lunch from the farmer's market and visit the farms of the Countryside Conservancy.
- Take a drawing workshop at the Peninsula Art Academy
- Hike around Kendall Lake
- Golf at Brandywine Country Club
But you don't have a bike, you say? Don't worry; you can rent a bicycle in Peninsula at Century Cycles. Just check their website for details like hours, prices and availability.
The CVSR website indicates that for Bike Aboard! you should arrive at the station 10 minutes prior to the train's scheduled arrival time and pay your fare when you board.
Bike Aboard! runs from April through October. There are no guaranteed seats and the $2 fare is only available to bicyclists. The train only runs on weekends during April and May. And keep in mind that the Rockside Station is temporarily closed due to construction, and the train doesn't make a stop there at this time.
Check out the National Park Service website or pick up a schedule of events at the Brecksville Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library for more information.