Quick Getaway to Cuyahoga Valley National Park
By Rob Owen, Pittsbugh Post-Gazette
What: Take your bike for a ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (south of Cleveland) and then pedal back to where you left your vehicle.
When: Wednesday through Sunday through November (except the Canton, Ohio, station, which is scheduled only through August); weekends in November.
How far: About 2-1/2 hours from Pittsburgh.
How much: $2 one-way for all riders who bring a bike. Train schedule and details: www.cvsr.com or 1-800-468-4070.
What to do: Load the bikes on the car and take a drive to Ohio, where you can get a train ride through Cuyahoga Valley National Park for a dirt-cheap price. Board the train at any station along the route, ride the rails to another station, disembark and bike back to where you started along a paved trail through the park. Plan a distance that fits your biking style, from short rides (1.75 miles from Rockside to Canal Visitor Center) to more challenging, full-day trips (27 miles from Akron's Northside Station to Rockside, just south of Cleveland). $8 per hour bike rentals are available at Century Cycles, along the train tracks in Peninsula, Ohio. Contact them at 1-330-657-2209.
Fun factor: 9, if you like to bike and have warm nostalgia for rail travel.