I had been spending so much time riding on trails and cities throughout Pennsylvania and Maryland that I hadn’t been back to the Metroparks Trail near Youngstown, Ohio for months. That was a mistake, because it turns out that I missed a few interesting spots since the the last time I wrote about this area.
Starting at the Pilot Travel Center near Austintown, Ohio I hopped onto the Metroparks bike trail that runs right along the back of the parking lot, and headed north. After a couple of miles the trail becomes the Niles Greenway, and ends in the city of Niles, Ohio, the birthplace of William McKinley, our nation’s 25th president. I stumbled upon the presidential library and birthplace museum completely by chance; my discovery was simply another unplanned surprise resulting in travelling a little farther up the trail than I had previously ventured. Niles is like many nice mid-sized Ohio towns founded during the 19th century. Its roads are fairly bike friendly and its downtown area is well preserved.
By the way, I passed a J.B. Hunt terminal on this ride. I used to work for them, but I didn’t keep a bike on the truck with me then. I don’t remember ever having to stop at the Niles terminal, but seeing it reminded me of all of the times while driving 48 states that I would have to spend my 34-hour breaks at terminals like that. In larger cities, I would walk or rely on public transportation to get around. In Oklahoma City, for example, I walked a mile to the nearest bus stop when I was stuck at a J.B. terminal for repairs. I then took a bus downtown, where I visited the Murrah Building memorial, and other OKC landmarks, restaurants and stores. That was several years ago, before they got a basketball team, so I would imagine there is even more to do there now.
That trip to Oklahoma City would have been even better if I had my bike back then.
But I digress.
Here is a map of the route I took from the Pilot to downtown Niles (click here).