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The Suburbanite
  • FOUR SEASONS: Ride raises funds for Canal Towpath

  • he FirstMerit Towpath Century Ride on May 18 and May 19 will see about 70 bicycle riders riding the length of Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail from Cleveland to New Philadelphia.

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  • The Ohio & Erie Canalway folks explain that a fundraising ride is 101 miles long, but it has “endless possibilities.”
    The FirstMerit Towpath Century Ride on May 18 and May 19 will see about 70 bicycle riders riding the length of Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail from Cleveland to New Philadelphia. Participants will raise funds for the continued development of the Towpath trail and its connector trails.
    Riders will secure pledges per mile to raise at least $750, but each will have a goal of $1,000, said Tim Miller, development manager for Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition. Riders can choose a single day or a two-day ride, both of which include transportation, water stops, meals, snacks and breakdown support.
    Teams of riders (two, three or four riders on a team) also can be formed, with riders dividing up the ride into two segments of about 65 miles and about 35 miles.
    Miller noted that the FirstMerit Towpath Century ride travels near historic sites, with participants riding on crushed limestone and pavement. The route begins at Cleveland and travels through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, as well as Akron, Canal Fulton, Massillon, and Dover, before reaching New Philadelphia.
    For information, call (330) 374-5657, write tmiller@ohioeriecanal.org, or visit www.ohioeriecanal.org.
    EXTENDED SEASON
    Skiing, sowboarding and tubing at Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania has continued into April, thanks to a March snowstorm that totaled almost two feet.
    In all, the resort received 50 inches of snow during March, said resort officials. Thirty-three slopes and trails — spring groomed granular surface — are open. Base depth is 24-42 inches. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    WILDLIFE WANDERINGS
    Ohio has peregrine falcons nesting in several locations, according to Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
    Last year, the state had 36 confirmed pairs, from which 23 sites produced 59 fledglings. ODNR officials said at least 48 next sites have been documented in Ohio, but not all are active.
    Ohio reintroduced peregrine falcons in 1989, releasing several pairs in cities, where they could nest on high buildings, between 1989 and 1992. Ohio downgraded the peregrine falcon species from, endangered to threatened in 2008.
    GOOD TO KNOW
    Stark County Park District rents boats, kayaks, and canoes at Sippo Lake Marina in Perry Township and Walborn Reservoir Marina north of Alliance from May into October. Rates range from $3 to $10 per hour.
    During May, hours are 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday. June through August, hours are 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday. In September and October, hours are 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily.
    THE GREAT OUTDOORS
    Both Stark County Bicycle Club and Folks on Spokes Bicycle Touring Club schedule rides throughout the week. Visit www.folksonspokes-stark.com for information about Folks on Spokes. To learn about Stark County Bicycle Club, visit www.bikescbc.com.
    Page 2 of 2 - STEPPING OFF
    Hilltop Hikers Club has scheduled hikes at 10 a.m. Saturday in Munroe Falls Metro Park (five miles) and 2 p.m. Sunday along the Cuyahoga River at Cascade Valley Chuckery Park in Akron (six miles). For information, visit www.hilltophikers.com.
    BY THE NUMBERS
    The Wilderness Center protects 2,931 acres of forest, streams, prairie, and farmlands.