Proposed Hike and Bike trail to offer students alternative transportation

Erica Weisburn

As part of the PORTAGE Hike and Bike trail project, a trail connecting Dix Stadium to Loop Road will serve as an alternative method of transportation for Kent State students.

Thomas Clapper, transportation services general manager, hopes the construction of this portion will begin either late this fall or next spring.

The trail from Loop Road to the stadium will include the bridge over state Route 261, which was completed last year via a partnership between Kent State and the Portage County Commissioners.

Bobby Wysocki, sophomore justice studies major, thinks the project is a good idea. He has a stadium parking pass and frequently uses the bus system to get to campus.

“I think it will get a lot of use; everyone is on bikes,” Wysocki said.

He said waiting for buses is the main reason students would use the PORTAGE Hike and Bike trail. It would persuade him to ride his bike more often.

Sophomore business major Matt Chernisky isn’t “into riding bikes.”

“I think it will be efficient for some, but I wont use it myself,” he said. Chernisky said he likes riding the bus from the stadium.

“The bus will get me to campus a lot quicker than walking or riding a bike,” he said.

After the trail from Loop Road to the stadium is completed, development to expand the trail through the Kent State campus to Lincoln Street will begin.

“When completed, it will traverse the entire length of Portage County on an east/west axis from the Summit County line to Trumbull County,” Clapper said.

The multimillion dollar trail is a joint effort between the Portage County Commissioners, City of Kent, City of Ravenna, Franklin Township, Ravenna Township, Portage Park District, Kent Parks and Recreation and Kent State University, Clapper said.

John Idone, director of Kent Parks and Recreation, said funding for the project is mostly a joint effort from federal grants and Kent Parks and Recreation. Applications for other funding are still being evaluated.

Idone said the goal of the project is to link up the parks and connect communities together.

Development of the trail system began about four years ago. Clapper estimates that it will be another five to eight years before the trail is completely finished, but expects to have phase one complete sometime within the next two years.

For more information on the trail, visit

Contact transportation reporter Erica Weisburn at [email protected].