More than half of the smooth, flat, 6.1-mile Heritage Rail-Trail has a parallel 4-mile horse trail. The equestrian corridor starts at Hayden Run Road and continues northwest to the Cemetery Pike trailhead. If you're walking, biking or inline skating, start the trail in downtown Hilliard off Main Street. The trailhead has an abundance of parking, a warm-up area and bike rack; the adjacent Old Hilliard historic district has numerous shops and eateries.
Journeying northwest you immediately come across a lovely fountain and a pond on the south side of the trail. From an observation platform on the banks of the pond you can view Canada geese. If you prefer art to wildlife, an excellent display of public art includes some colorful sculptures. This trail has numerous well-designed connections to soccer fields, tennis courts and the local high school football field. There are also connecting paths to the many housing subdivisions in this rapidly growing part of central Ohio. For example, the Vaniard Trail branches off to the south at Hoffman Farms Drive and connects to a subdivision of homes and Hoffman Farms Elementary School. It ends at Municipal Park and Pool, which has baseball diamonds, soccer fields, a pool and plenty of parking.
The trail links two major parks: Homestead in Washington Township and Hayden Run Metro. Homestead Park is approximately 1.3 miles from the start in downtown Hilliard and has a restored Conrail caboose, restrooms, parking, vending machines, public telephones, a 0.75-mile loop trail, playground equipment, an information kiosk, a fishing pond and picnic tables. After Homestead Park the trail continues through the countryside. If you like birding, there are many bluebird boxes along the trail. Hayden Run Metro Park, on Hayden Run Road, is just 1.1 miles from Homestead Park. The parallel equestrian path begins in this park, and the area features a corral and horse trailer parking. The coarse gravel horse trail runs on the east side of the Heritage Trail until Amity Pike, where it switches to the west side.
From Amity Pike the last 2 miles of tree-lined trail allow glimpses of classic Midwest farmland. The trail ends at Cemetery Pike just over 1 mile southeast of Plain City.
Parking and Trail Access
To reach the trailhead in downtown Hilliard from Interstate 270, take Cemetery Pike west for 1.5 miles. Turn right onto Norwich Street and after 0.5 mile turn left onto Wayne Street and go another 0.1 mile. Turn right onto Center Street and look for the trailhead on the left.
To reach the trailhead in Plain City from Interstate 270, take US 33 west for 2.8 miles and exit onto State Route 161 west toward Plain City. After another 2.8 miles, turn left on Cemetery Pike. The trailhead is on the left.
Very straight trail
I wish they would extend it through Plain City. In town houses have been built on the former right a way of the railroad.
Just a nice little simple trail.
The Heritage rail trail
The Heritage rail trail is where I took up more than just neighborhood bike riding. I wanted a little more than just cruising around the neighborhood, so I heard about “Rails to Trails” and this is the first trail I explored. ...