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Headwaters Trail

Posted Jan 27 2009 8:24pm
During the middle of the day my brother and I drove over to check out the Headwaters Trail, which is an 8 mile limestone-paved trail built on the former Cleveland-Mahoning Railroad line between Mantua and Garrettsville. This trail is part of the Portage County Park District, which was created to help preserve greenspace, develop parks/trails, and improve the overall quality of life for residents. I believe these kind of initiatives are vital to our future and I'm thankful that there are other people out there that think the same way I do and devote their time and energy to this. Click here to watch a nice video they produced this year.

We started our run today next to State Route 700 in Hiram and ran the east section of the Headwaters Trail to Garrettsville and back. This path doesn't offer much scenery along the way since it's basically a converted railroad but we were happy to be able to try out somewhere new. We did notice a few nice streams alongside the path though and a lot of wooded areas that could be potentially developed into trails, but I'm not sure how much of this is private property.

When we reached Garrettsville Jeff and I stopped and tried out the new Powerbar Gel Blasts that I bought from Vertical Runner. This is Powerbar's answer to Clif Shot Bloks and include a new liquid center inside of their energy chews. Right now they only come in Cola and Lemon flavors though. I've used Shot Bloks for quite awhile but may have found a new favorite ultra food for myself since I like the taste & texture of Powerbar's Gel Blasts a little bit more. However, I think the Gel Blasts are a little more like candy and don't give you all the nutrition that you get with Shot Bloks.

It's not very often that you get to see a mile marker with zero on it

On the way back to our car we naturally picked up the pace and finished with a total of 6 miles. Overall we weren't too impressed with this path (I guess the Cuyahoga Valley National Park kind of spoils you) but there are some other areas of the Portage Park District that I would like to explore to see if they contain any dirt trails of substantial distance.

The highlight of our day though came after the run when we were looking for a place to eat. As we were driving through downtown Garrettsville we were excited to see a sign on the right side of the road that read "Main Street Grille and Brewing Co." I guess I didn't realize that Garrettsville had a place that brewed their own beer so we stopped to grab a bite to eat.

Next to the bridge where we parked you can look over and see a river flowing behind their restaurant, along with an old mill wheel that was probably once used to grind flour, etc. Their restaurant also has a multi-level deck overlooking the water that is probably nice in the summer.

video

The atmosphere inside the restaurant was nice and clean. I felt like I was in an old mill or log cabin that's been updated with flat screen TV's and a nicely done bar. My brother and I talked to the owners upstairs for a bit while they were watching the Steelers game and they said that they're having a beer fest on January 31st that will include Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. and some others. I think they said tickets will be presold at $20/each. I might consider going to this if anyone else is interested. More info will probably be posted online when their website is completed in a couple weeks. Here are a couple pictures I took on their upstairs balcony...

They had 25 cent wings today so we both ordered some and I tried their "Toxic Toast" (barley wine) and their "Nightmare on Main Street" (pumpkin cream ale). Both were good, but the Toxic Toast was my favorite.

Here's what they currently have on tap...

Flagship Ales:

River Rat Amber Ale - ABV 5.5%
Brewed with roasted and crystal malts and a combination of German and American hops to produce a beautifully balanced flavor with a moderate hop finish.

Garrett's Mill Light - ABV 3.6%
Back by popular demand. Our light ale offers a light body, mild bitterness, and a smooth finish.

'35 Extra Stout - ABV 5.5%
Same beer, new name: The term stout refers to stout porter and was first used in the 18th century due to its popularity with train porters in London. Named after the 1935 Garrettsville train robbery, our extra stout is brewed with 7 different grains for a decadently delicious medley of malty goodness.

Edelweizen - ABV 4.9%
Who doesn't love "Edelweiss"? A sweet take on a German style Hefeweizen: A combination of German & American hops & 10 lbs. of honey blended beautifully with the hint of citrus flavor produced by the yeast resulting in a sweet, refreshing wheat beer.

Seasonal Ales:

"Toxic Toast" (Barley Wine) - ABV 9%
Relax! It's only toxic if you consume copious amounts & we just can't let you do that. Called a barley wine because it's made from barley like beer, but has sweet, fruity notes & a high alcohol content like wine. This English-style ale is smooth, sweet & malty, with a slightly toasty finish.

Reluctant Reverend (E.S.B.) - ABV 6%
An English-style pale ale named after my best friend, Kevin, who developed the recipe. It's brewed with English malts & English hops providing a deep gold color, balanced malt flavor, and a crisp, dry finish.

Nightmare on Main Street (Pumpkin Cream Ale) - ABV 6.8%
While brewing this beast, I learned why many brewers don't use real pumpkin in their pumpkin ales (hence its name sake), but I think you'll agree that the results were well worth the effort!

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