Park district eyes Greenway expansion

The Columbiana County Park District is hoping to expand the Greenway Trail once again as part of a state plan to create a biking/hiking network that will eventually connect Lake Erie with the Ohio River.

Park District chairwoman Dottie Betz said the trail could extend to Route 11 within years if government grants are received. The district has applied for a grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation that would pave pay for the construction of a three-mile trail extension — featuring a short bridge — to the Day’s Inn.

“The trail would run along the north side of State Route 154, where we have an easement,” Betz said. Cyclists and hikers would connect from the current village trailhead by using Lisbon’s streets to Moore Street where the extension would begin.

The extension would be the trail’s third expansion. The trail’s first eight miles were laid in 1999, and then extended two miles to Leetonia in 2004-2005. The third extension to Washingtonville was completed four years ago.

“This expansion would bring us closer to the Ohio River,” said Betz.

The district should learn within four to five months if a grant is likely.

Betz also said that the district has also applied for another grant that would repave the trail between Franklin Square and Leetonia. The state recently contacted Betz for more information, giving her hope that the district could receive the money.

“That part of the trail is very bumpy and rough,” she said. “Repaving it would make it much better.”

The Greenway Trail is used by hundreds of cyclists and hikers each day.

The district will hold it annual walk/ride benefit from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 8. Participants will be able to purchase T-shirts for $20, and free water, snacks and ice cream will be provided.