Mantua – Last week, the Downtown Mantua Revitalization Corporation (DMRC) held the third meeting of the Headwaters Trail Collaboration at Miller’s of Mantua restaurant on East Prospect Street in Mantua. 

This is the third meeting of the group, which includes a collaboration of local mayors, city and township officials, and community organizations from Aurora, Garrettsville, Hiram Village, Hiram Township, Mantua Village and Mantua Township. Their mission is to connect these contiguous communities via improvements to the Portage Parks District Headwaters Trail, which runs through each locality.

Portage Park District Executive Director Chris Craycroft was in attendance to discuss a feasibility project slated to begin in early spring, a joint effort between the city of Aurora and the park district. According to Jim Kraus, Director of Aurora’s Parks and Recreation Department, the city has set aside funds, and has also obtained a grant from the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS) to complete a feasibility study on the Headwaters Trail. The city is working with Ms. Craycroft on this project. According to Ms. Craycroft, maintenance and improvements to the existing trail surface are included in the Park District’s 2015 budget. In addition, the Park District is working on obtaining necessary easements to further develop the trail.

The Headwaters Trail Collaboration also seeks to collectively solicit additional grants, such as Clean Ohio and ODOT grants in order to make improvements to and extend the Headwaters Trail from the city of Aurora to the village of Garrettsville, with input from the Portage County Regional Planning Commission. 

In Mantua, for example, the DMRC has collected an impressive 125 letters of support from residents who use the Headwaters Trail. The local Rotary Club and Eagle Scouts will provide resources and trail work, as well, showcasing the intrinsic value placed on this Park District resource within the community it serves. 

At a meeting on February 23rd at 10 am, a subcommittee of the group will meet at the Park District Office in Ravenna to discuss the creation of a countywide “branding” element for the Headwaters Trail. 

In addition, the full group will meet at noon on May 20th at Miller’s of Mantua to review the results of the feasibility study, create an updated action plan and to discuss promotion of the Trail during the summer months. For more information, contact the DMRC at (330) 274-4040 or

Headwaters Trail Map courtesy of the Portage Park District