Great Trail-Sandy Beaver Canal Chapter

photos by Peter Zelinka

About the Chapter:

National Trails Day 2016 with Great Trail-Sandy Beaver Canal Chapter

The Sand-Beaver Canal Chapter was created after the trail corridor study was completed in 1997 and after public meetings were held to address any comments to finalize the trail plan. We were the first NCT Chapter created in Ohio and our goal was to connect and coordinate our efforts with the Buckeye Trail for a Statewide trail.

Our name was chosen because of the Great Trail which was a main trail from Fort Pitt, which is now Pittsburgh, into the Ohio lands and it also follows portions of the tow path of the Sandy Beaver Canal which built in the 1830’s and abandoned in 1854. Because of the limited public lands in our area we were years in obtaining Memorandum of Understanding (MOU’s) from the Ohio DNR and private land trusts for trail construction thus creating a 7 mile section of the NCT.

The trail passes through Beaver Creek State Park which has a replicated Pioneer Village and has various events through the year to enjoy. Our trail also passes through Lisbon, Ohio which is one of the oldest towns established in Ohio and has stores to restock supplies. One can enjoy the old towns, Parks, Forestry lands and a Nature Preserves while hiking this area.

Whether it’s building new Trail, working on a re-route, mowing, or joining us for a guided hike or Chapter meeting, we would love to have you join us. Connect with us using one of the links below.




Join our Chapter! Become a member of the NCTA, join a Chapter and select Great Trail Sandy Beaver Canal Chapter here:


View this area of the Trail on our online map

Sheepskin Hollow Map (PDF)


Trail Overview:

Great Trail Sandy Beaver Canal Section of NCT in the spring, by Peter Zelinka

The NCT in Eastern Ohio begins at the Pennsylvania State line and then a road walk takes you to an old railroad bed on Beaver Creek State Forest lands. The trail continues South and parallel to the North Fork of Little Beaver Creek which is a State Wild and National Scenic River and continues South through a private tree farm to the Sheepskin Hollow Nature Preserve and meanders to the Western boundary of the preserve.

The trail continues West on an easement on Beaver Kettle Farms properties to SR-170. The trail is back to road walks to Gretchen Locks in the Eastern part of Beaver Creek State Park and then follows the Middle Fork of Little Beaver Creek on the Vondergreen Trail to the main Park and continues West through private lands to SR-7. From here the trail follows a canal tow path through a tree farm and then switching back to another road walk along Middle Beaver road and passes the Lock 30 campground and on to Lisbon, OH which was founded in 1803 and is the County seat.

There are approximately 55 miles of trail and road walks in Columbiana County, Ohio.

Area Links:

Suggested Hikes:

Show Suggested Hikes

Sheepskin Hollow Nature Preserve Trail.

Distance: 3.5 miles one way from TR-1031 to SR-170 and a return hike is a 7 mile round trip in Middleton Township of Columbiana County, OH.

Why hike this section: This is a good hiking experience although the terrain encountered is not a leisurely hike. The hike is through primitive lands both private and public and you can experience the solitude of a Nature Preserve untouched by any development and is free from noise other than the sounds of nature until you near a trailhead. The hike is somewhat difficult because of the elevations changes one encounters.

Directions: The access to the trail entrance is either from Pancake Clarkson Road West of the North Fork of Little Beaver Creek and hike Westerly to SR-170 or a hiker can enter the same trail section from the Western access point off of SR-170 about 1.5 miles South from the Pancake Clarkson intersection and hike Easterly to the Pancake Clarkson Road access. Parking is available at either trail entrance. The beginning coordinates off TR-0131 are N40d 45.186’/ W80d 32.475’ and the SR-170 coordinates are N40d 44.461’ / W80d