The North Coast Inland Trail through Huron County is just one segment of a system of trails in the North Coast Inland chain. Other segments include Lorain County
, Sandusky/Ottawa counties
and the Wabash Connector
The trail passes among hardwood forests, crosses several rivers and offers wide views in some areas. The trail follows part of the former Toledo, Norwalk & Cleveland Railroad (later New York Central's Norwalk Branch), which is being converted to trails across northern Ohio. The Huron County segment is managed by Firelands Rails to Trails, an all-volunteer, non-profit group.
The trail is continuous between Bellevue and the Norwalk city limits (9.5 miles) with the exception of a brief jaunt where the Peru Center Road grade crossing in Monroeville is used to cross the active rail line that this section of the trail closely parallels. East of Norwalk more than 4 miles of trail are open in the Collins area. A further extension west of State Route 601 toward Laylin Road will begin construction in 2013. When complete, the Huron County section of the North Coast Inland Trail will join other segments under construction in Lorain and Sandusky counties. Connection to the Sandusky County segment is currently available via a marked road route through the City of Bellevue. For the latest trail updates, visit Firelands Rails to Trails
Parking on the Norwalk-Bellevue section is available at the trailheads at North West Street in Norwalk, Peru Center Road in Monroeville, Sand Hill Road in Lyme Township, and the Reservoir 4 parking lot on Bauer Road in Bellevue.
Parking on the Collins area section is available at the trailhead at Hartland Center Road in Collins and a larger parking lot for horse trailers is located on South Railroad Street in Collins.
The nearly 10 mile Norwalk to Bellevue segment is a neat little section of rail trail. Most of it is flat and straight, though there are a few slopes and gradual curves to keep things interesting, while the adjacent landscape varies from woods to wide ...