Freedom Trail Phase III is complete in Akron

Freedom Trail Phase III in Akron is now complete, offering bikers and hikers a newly paved path extending from Eastwood Avenue to East Mill Street. Also opened this year is the Middlebury Road Trailhead in Tallmadge and an extension of Freedom Trail Phase I to a new parking lot.

Freedom Trail is a multipurpose trail that follows an unused railroad corridor on land owned by METRO Regional Transit Authority, the University of Akron and Summit Metro Parks. When complete, the trail will stretch nearly 10 miles from the Portage County line in Tallmadge to the Towpath Trail in downtown Akron.

Supported by a grant from the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study, the next phase of the project is divided into two parts. Construction on the first part of Phase IV is scheduled to begin this summer and is expected to last about six months. It will include a new trailhead and parking lot at East Mill Street, extending to East Buchtel Avenue. When complete, the second part of Phase IV will connect Freedom Trail to the Towpath Trail near Spaghetti Warehouse and will include a bridge over South Broadway Street.

A future Middlebury Connector Trail also benefits from AMATS funding and will cross an existing CSX railroad line via a new bridge, connecting Freedom Trail to the Portage Hike & Bike Trail via switchback-style path.

Construction on the Freedom Trail began in 2011, with the first phase being 4.2 miles. The second phase was two miles, the third phase was 1.8 miles and the fourth phase will be 1.4 miles. ∞