Saturday, April 30, 2016

Berlin Lake Trail

Photos by OHventures

Berlin Lake Trail
Kirkbride Road
North Benton, OH 44449
(southern trail head)

The Berlin Lake Trail is a multi-purpose trail that crosses Berlin Lake, located in the Southwest corner of Portage County. Parking is available on north trail entrance on SR 224, approximately 1.5 miles east of Deerfield Circle. Parking for the south trail entrance is located on Kirkbride Rd. off of SR 14, approximately 2 miles southeast of Deerfield Circle.

The southern entrance off of Kirkbride Road is where me and my two hiking buds Matt & Greg started and ended our hike (see our previous hike at Quail Hollow State Park). We were seeking out a hike that would be full of great scenery - and one that wouldn't be too difficult to navigate. Nothing seemed to fit that description more perfectly than the Berlin Lake Trail.

This limestone trail is just 2.2 miles in length, and is a straight shot north-to-south across the lake (making it 4.4 miles both ways). Because of this, we were able to get some really great views of the lake, on a brisk Saturday in April. It was more of a rigorous walk than it was a hike, due to the completely flat and straight terrain. 

You could tell that this is a "rails to trails" project - former locations of railroad tracks that are transformed into a trail. We learned that it was built on what was the former Lake Erie, Alliance, and Wheeling Railroad, and that the trail was opened to the public in 2011. 

We spotted several other folks utilizing the trail while we were out that morning: people running, pushing strollers, relaxing on benches, and walking dogs (we brought my little pup Slider along, knowing it would be good terrain for him). Dogs are permitted, as long as they remain on leashes. We may have broken that rule here and there (just a little bit), but only when no one else was in sight. The only animals we encountered (other than dogs) were geese along the trail.

In addition to people on the trail itself, we witnessed many folks fishing and boating on Berlin Lake, especially around the bridge (see photo below). The waters were calm and crystal clear, perfect conditions for a day out on the lake to fish.

While certainly not a challenging trail, it was great to get outdoors now that the snow has finally melted and the leaves are beginning to sprout on the trees. If you are looking for a very relaxing trail fit for everyone in the family (baby to grandma), the Berlin Lake Trail is a great place to go.

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