Vondergreen Trail is a 6.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near East Liverpool, Ohio that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Great trail! Worth the effort. Take the upper loop in the Summer (too many weeds and poor view on the lower). The views of the old locks on this hike are spectacular. Be sure to get to Gretchen's lock (it's haunted by a little girl named Gretchen - Google it for the story). I would say this is a moderate to difficult trail. A lot of up and back down the mountain. But well worth it. Beautiful park.
I love this trail. The trail has recently been cleared and the blazes re painted. It was a beautiful trail. A few drawbacks were there was a wash out so I had to go around and the horses really tear it up. Take the upper if your hiking while the creek is high. You will not be able to hike through to the state park bridge. I will hike this again! This would be a bad ass trail for mountain biking.
I would go back with my mountain bike but probably not again for hike. It's a really pretty hike along the creek, but the end sections of the trail are horse friendly, meaning they are completely torn up and muddy. There are also a lot of small side trails which are good in that the offer extra places to explore, but bad because they're not well blazed or marked on the maps, so you're not alway sure where you're headed. Even the main trail isn't well blazed, and I had to make some guesses along the way to stay on course. The park itself gets 4 stars (very pretty!) but I'd give the activity of hiking here only maybe 2 or 3 max.
We just finished this trail. We started at the group camp and finished at Gaston's Mill. Fairly easy trail, but as stated in one of the other reviews do not follow the trail by the creek the entire way. From the group camp we turned left at Gretchen's lock on what looked like a horse trail. Then we followed the next trail to the right up a steep hill. This will take you up and over the hill and eventually take you to another obvious horse trail where you turn left. This will connect back to the Lower Vondergreen. Overall a nice hike. We passed two hikers over the duration of the hike, so it is fairly secluded.
I am an experienced hiker and mountain biker and have hiked or ridden nearly every trail in every state park in Ohio. That said, I hiked the Vondergreen Trail from the pioneer village at the west end through to Hambleton's Mill on the east end and back. The round trip was 8.35 miles and took 4.0 hours walking quickly and taking a few pictures. The overall condition of the trail is poor when compared to trails in other state parks because it is so overgrown with few directional signs or blazes.
To hike this trail, park at the parking lot by Gaston's Mill and then visit all of the buildings in the pioneer village. Then cross the river on the evident steel bridge and you'll see the Lower Vondergreen trailhead on the right at the end of the bridge. (The Upper Vondergreen trailhead is about 50 yards up the road and it joins the Lower Vondergreen eventually.) The trail hugs the shore of Beaver Creek in an easterly direction. The first Sandy and Beaver Canal lock that you'll encounter is Grey's Lock. A short distance later is Vondergreen's Lock and then finally Gretchen's lock. (All three locks or on the shore of the creek.)
Here's the important part: After reaching the Vondergreen Lock you'll see a sign for the haunted Gretchen's Lock that points straight up the hill and to the right. TAKE THIS TRAIL rather than following the creekside trail because it eventually becomes very dangerous in several long sections. Really, do not go here, please. By following the sign for Gretchen's Lock the trail will go up and over the top of the hill and it descends right at Gretchen's Lock. This lock is in much better condition than the Grey and Vondergreen Locks. Explore it. When you're done there, follow the creekside Vondergreen Trail to the eastern parking lot and walk out to the road where you'll see Hambleton's Mill. The site of Pretty Boy Floyd's demise is up the hill to the left.
I took the upper (correct) route heading east and then the lower route heading west and really regretted that decision. The hills are so steep and the ledges are so narrow that I'm surprised that I wasn't hurt.
For those with a GPS, here are some good waypoints:
Gaston's Mill / Pioneer Village / Lock
40-43.612' N 080-36.752' W
40-43.112' N 080-36.378' W
40-42.777' N 080-35.999' W
40-42.466' N 080-35.634' W
40-42.412' N 080-34.850' W
Scenic Overlook (of the entire valley - drive there)
40-42.218' N 080-35.118' W
Pretty Boy Floyd
40-42.838' N 080-35.302' W
The trail should only be hiked when it is dry because many sections overlap horse trails where the trail gets very muddy and slick.
This trail is located in Beaver Creek State Park and is approx. 3.2 miles long. A fairly easy hike with a reputation of being haunted. There are locks from an old canal system along the creek. Gretchen's Lock is the one purported to be haunted. Makes for some spooky story telling if you bring your kids along, hehe.
Moderate elevation changes. The North Country Trail also follows this route.
There's a campground in the park if you wish to stay overnight. There are other shorter trails to hike also, most notably, the Dogwood trail (2.0 miles). You can mountain bike the trail also, but it's clear the paths were not made for this purpose.