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The North Coast Inland Trail is a series of trails across multiple northern Ohio counties that, as they expand and connect, are emerging as an impressive long-distance trail between Cleveland and Toledo. Within Huron County, the trail was built in two sections, with an on-road route bridging the gap in the trail between Collins and Wakeman. The other two segments of the North Coast Inland Trail are located in Lorain County and Sandusky and Ottawa counties.
The first section of the Huron County trail travels from the east side of Bellevue to the county seat of Norwalk. This crushed-stone path is well maintained, but the loose stone can make it tough at times for skinny tires and some wheelchairs. The views consist of classic Midwestern farm fields stretching to the horizon. Much of this route runs alongside an active rail corridor, creating excellent train-watching opportunities.
The agriculture landscape continues to the town of Monroeville, where a fabulously restored train depot (dating back to 1863) awaits. The depot and surrounding area host drinking water, a picnic shelter, restrooms, and—if you’re lucky—some great company from a local volunteer!
About 3 miles after leaving the depot, you arrive at a beautiful historical bridge over the East Branch of the Huron River. The 1871 stone double-arch bridge is a sight to behold, and wonderfully built observation platforms allow a great view of it. Moving a few short miles along the tree-lined trail brings you into the city of Norwalk and the terminus of this section.
It’s about a 3-mile gap before the next section of trail begins. You can reach it by taking surface streets through Norwalk, but only if you’re comfortable riding in traffic. The crushed-stone path picks up east of Norwalk and stretches just over 5 miles. Pleasant vistas of more farmland are plentiful along this section, though the tree cover is also heavier, which offers a good respite if riding on a sunny day.
In Collins, a horse trailer parking lot is adjacent to the trail. This section of trail ends at Derussey Road; there is no formal parking or a trailhead here, so plan on backtracking a short distance to Collins, or continue along a series of rural roads to reach the next segment of trail in Wakeman, an asphalt pathway which heads out east to the county line along the side of Highway 20.
To reach the westernmost trailhead (located just outside of Bellevue): From the Ohio Turnpike (I-80/I-90), take Exit 110 toward OH 4 (Sandusky/Bellevue) and go south. Travel 4.8 miles and take a left onto Beckstein Road. Go 0.9 mile, and turn left onto US 20 E. Go 1 mile, and take a right onto Sand Hill Road; the trailhead will be on the left in 0.3 mile. The end of the trail is 2.7 miles west.
To reach the Monroeville trailhead: From the Ohio Turnpike (I-80/I-90), take Exit 110 toward OH 4 (Sandusky/Bellevue) and go south 0.4 mile. Take a left onto Harris Road. After 0.7 mile, take a right onto OH 99 S. Travel 7.3 miles through the town of Monroeville; the train depot trailhead will be on the right shortly after passing Monroe St.
To reach the Collins trailhead at the east end of the trail: From the Ohio Turnpike (I-80/I-90), take Exit 118 for US 250 S and continue south 2.3 miles. In the town of Milan, take a left onto Williams St. and then in 0.2 mile a right onto S. Main St./OH 601 S. Travel 4.7 miles and then take a left onto US 20 E. Go 2.6 miles and take a left onto Heartland Center Road. Go another 0.7 mile, and the trailhead is on the right. The end of the trail is 1.3 miles east.
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