The Pickaway Trail is a apart of the “Rails to Trails” endeavor that will ultimately be a 16 mile paved trail that runs form Circleville to New Holland built on the old Penn Central rail bed. Currently only about 2 miles of this trail are cleared from the Scioto River and Canal Road to Sisk Road. Currently, the first mile and a half from Canal Road to S.R. 104 is paved. This trail can be easily accessed from the parking lot on Canal road south of Canal Park and from the Calamus Swamp Parking lot on state route 104.
For trail updates visit our park projects page here.
On Canal Road is allocation called “the Crossover” this location is historical in the fact that the early railroad crossed the Ohio and Erie Canal. The Canal was an important transportation and economic development project for early Pickaway County. The Canal between Cleveland and Portsmouth moved passengers and freight from eastern markets via the Erie Canal. Canal construction began in Pickaway County in 1828 and finished in 1831. Canal usage was discontinued in 1913. The Cincinnati and Muskingum Valley Railroad was built in 1866 and in later years was also known as The Cincinnati, Wilmington and Zanesville Railroad, The Pennsylvania and The Penn Central. In Pickaway County this railroad went across the county and connected New Holland, Atlanta, Woodlyn and Kinderhook to Circleville and points east to Fairfield County. Railroads emerged as an important transportation mode in the 1850’s and within a few decades rendered many canal systems obsolete. Passenger trains moved between Cincinnati and Zanesville across the county until the 1950’s when it then strictly carried freight. Whiskey Switch was a railroad spur located just west of Canal road and ran north to Spunkeytown. The railroad stopped being used in the 1970’s and now is owned by the Pickaway County Park District and is called the Pickaway Trail.