A Relaxing Day on the B&O Bike Trail

By Mindy McKenzie

May 29, 2013

While I have been working as an intern with the Mansfield/Richland County Convention & Visitors Bureau, I have learned a lot about different places to go and have some fun. I noticed the B&O Bike Trail and I thought that could be just what I was looking for! Since the weather had finally decided to cooperate, I knew this could be a perfect way to spend a relaxing Sunday afternoon with my dad.

The B&O Bike Trail is a paved and about 18.2 miles long, connecting Mansfield, Lexington, Belleville, and Butler. However, you can hop on the trail in whichever city you are closest to and travel the entire trail, or just a few miles. The trail is made to accommodate the visitor and that was something I appreciated. When we pulled into the parking lot connecting to the trail, I was very excited! I had been working and getting a bunch of assignments finished for school, so I was looking forward to unwinding and relaxing. As soon as we got our bikes unloaded, we geared up and started our journey!

 As soon as we took off, I was ready to start pedaling! My dad and I had gone on bike rides before, but I had never been on an actual bike trail. I was not quite sure what to expect. He had told me that it had great scenery and had an abundance of nature. I noticed that right away. Trees hovered over me throughout the trail, which was pleasant because the buds on the trees were beginning to develop. Ducks and geese were along for the ride, getting ready to go for a swim in the creeks.

 As we were moving along, I noticed just how many activities can be done on the trail. I saw a tremendous amount of roller blading, families walking with their children, runners, and other bike riders. I thought it was incredible that there were that many people out being active and enjoying such a beautiful day. The weather could not have been more perfect. When we first began, it was a little chilly. However, as I was riding along, I quickly warmed up.

Something caught me off guard on the trail and that was crossing over a few roads to get to the next section of the bike trail. The roads you cross are relatively busy and well-marked, but you need to pay attention at all times! My dad was quick to point that one out to me. We rode for about five miles and that brought us into Lexington. During our ride, it was very easy to drop off on a side road and go explore a town. There are a number of places to go and shop or eat in Lexington. There are signs along the trail that point out places to visit. I found that very helpful because some people may be unfamiliar with the area. The signs made it extremely easy to know where you were headed. You can also see what’s on the trail by visiting the “What to Do" section at www.MansfieldTourism.com before you travel the trail to familiarize yourself even more.

To say the least, this was a tremendous experience for me. I would highly recommend all of you to get out there and enjoy this treasure. It was a great place to go to let my mind take a break from the pressures and stress of everyday life. It is also a great activity because I was able to stay healthy and active, while enjoying quality time in the beautiful atmosphere with my dad. When we had completed our journey, I felt peace and tranquility. It was also a great activity for me because I was able to spend some quality time with my dad. It can be hard making that time, but this was definitely worth it. We had a fantastic day together. I know that we will be going on the B&O Bike Trail a lot more frequently together, and that is something I am looking forward to!

Mindy McKenzie wrote this blog while doing an internship at the CVB.  She just graduated from OSU and is now employed at Richland Source.

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