When it comes to the Miami & Erie Canal Towpath, I have conveyed the idea that it should be opened up to trailside dispersed camping. When I was planning a 8,000 mile transcontinental hike, I did business with about 14 different distance trail agencies. And one thing in particular that I noticed on the Pacific Crest Trail was in Olympic National Park. Apparently, there was either impressionable areas, or inhospitable terrain (I can't remember). But I do think that I remember them stating that instead of traditional dispersed camping, that they offered "trailside."
The Miami & Erie and Wabash & Erie Canal Tow and Heel Paths can be rather wooded. But it's a canal. The parcels that it sits on is like a narrow corridor. Dispersed as it's commonly known wouldn't be possible. But trailside could be?
Word around from years ago is that ODNR actually conducted the studies needed to install hiking shelters along the Miami & Erie Canal. Apparently, the passed the process and may just be standing by for somebody to build one? If this is true, then they could be standing by for Eagle Scout projects. That process would entail a youth Eagle Scout going from an idea to a plan, getting it passed through the adult leadership, gathering supplies and money and then literately leading the effort on the ground, coordinating people and supplies? But in the meantime, could it be consistent with the finding of those studies to open those areas up as suitable tent sites while they're waiting for a shelter to be built?
Future prospects can be good. But you still have to grapple with the present.