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The North Coast Inland Trail (NCIT) represents a regional collaboration among park districts across the Buckeye State to connect trails linking Ohio to Indiana and Pennsylvania.
Begin this section of the NCIT in Ottawa County’s village of Elmore, which has a trailside bike shop as well as a downtown featuring antiques stores and a few small eateries. A restored railroad depot greets visitors, highlighting the history of Penn Central Railroad’s Norwalk Branch that served local industries and passengers.
From there, the route heads southeast for nearly a dozen miles to Fremont, entering Sandusky County and transporting trail users through charming small towns, lovely parks, and pristine rural areas. Midway, you’ll travel through Lindsey, where you’ll find Wendelle Miller Park, which provides public restrooms and drinking water.
At the Walter Avenue trailhead in Fremont, a gap in the trail begins, requiring travel via a low-trafficked, marked on-road route across town. While in town, a notable stop is the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums, about 0.5 mile from the bike route.
At Hayes Avenue, you can pick up the trail again. As you pedal out of town, you’ll cross the spectacular bicycle and pedestrian bridge over the Sandusky River. The path continues just over 12 more miles through Clyde to the western edge of Bellevue, ending at County Road 177. Most of this segment is rail-with-trail and provides proximity to such icons as the world’s largest washing-machine factory. You’ll also have ample opportunity to take in the Ohio countryside.
On the west end of the trail in Elmore, parking and restrooms are available at Walter Ory Park. From the Ohio Turnpike (I-80/I-90), take Exit 81 for OH 51. At the T-intersection, turn right onto OH 51, and go north 1.3 miles. Entering Elmore, the route becomes Rice St. Cross Ottawa Street and immediately see the park and public parking lot on your right. The trail runs through the park and ends 1.2 miles northwest.
On the east end of the trail in Bellevue, parking is available at County Road 292/Riddle Road. From the Ohio Turnpike (I-80/I-90, take Exit 110 for OH 4. Head south on OH 4, and go 5.6 miles. Turn right onto US 20, and travel 5.7 miles to Riddle Road. Turn left onto Riddle Road, and travel 0.3 mile south to the trail parking lot, which will be on your left. The trail’s end is just 0.5 mile east.
I started Labor Day 2017 in Monroeville in Huron County at the City Park below the dam. Its a short ride up the hill to pick up the trail at MM 50.5. The surface is finely crushed stone. The trail goes west stopping on the outskirts of Bellevue. Good signage helps you navigate to where the trail resumes at TR177 or TR292 on the west side. Try to make time to visit the Mad River and Nickle Plate RR Museum.
From that point on to SR105 just outside Elmore its nicely paved. I was expecting it to be all soybeans and corn but the trail was often in a narrow band of trees and made it seem wore woodland than farmland.
The small towns of Clyde, Lindsey, and Elmore were charming and very well kept. You can tell they like their trail.
In Fremont you have to take some public roads. Most are through residential areas. There is a very short section of 4 lane highway (Business US20) but the shoulder is wide and paved. The signs easily guide you through this section.
A very nice trail and you can make a really nice ride by doing all 76 miles from Elyria to Elmore. A lot of the trail in Huron County (Bellevue to Norwalk) is hard packed crushed stone. West of Kipton, leave the trail at Baird Rd and ride north on Baird then west on Bates to Lincoln then south on SR60 to Wakeman. These are very nice quiet country roads. Again the trail becomes a bike route through Norwalk but its not bad. Follow the signs which take you one block behind Main Street with its on-street parking.
I often ride this trail from Elmore to Fremont and back. When riding this section i recommend stopping in Lindsey at Sandi's Village Cafe for their great coffee and they have great food and pastry items also. The staff is very small town friendly and will assure your stop is enjoyable. This section of the trail runs through wonderful countryside and deer can often be spotted. I did ride the streets of Fremont once to connect to the Fremont East section but would not do so again as it is a bit too dangerous for me. The trail east from Fremont is also a nice ride and both sections of this trail are generally well maintained. There is a wonderful bike shop in Elmore (Elmore Cycle and Fitness) and the folks are very helpful with any bike or travel issues and are avid bikers themselves. As is often the case on trails there is a nice ice cream shop (I Scream) next door also. A nice safe trail.
A lot of early morning cyclists. A bench every few thousand feet it seemed. Every few benches are covered. A few nice bridges.
The trail ends at Hayes Ave and starts again at Walter Ave in Fremont. You need to ride on the road and through neighborhoods. The last bit to ride as you near Walter Ave is a busy highway without a space to ride a bike or even a sidewalk to seek refuge and safety. The neighborhood park was tricky enough (almost got hit 2 times in that distance due to inattentive drivers). Trail has nice surface and is flat with few shaded areas so wear the sunblock! Restroom facilities are few and are between to prepare. Look forward to all the North Coast Inland Trails to be linked as a trail without road riding needed.
The trail is a great addition to all the local communities that can use it and their families. It's nice to know that or kids can ride on the trail and every cross road is marked with a stop sign.
The only thing that scares me is how some people just run the signs like they aren't even there. I've made it a rule to always hunk my horn and slow down a lot while crossing a section of the bike trail. The horn alone won't do any good when someone is wearing headphones. I also know my wife and kids do the same. The part that shocks me is all the people I've seen or heard having close calls are adults. So I wish that everyone would do the same. Because it sure doesn't take much for kids or adults to lose focus while riding bikes down that beautiful trail.
This is a great trail....smoothly paved, well signed/painted, plenty of nearby amenities and parking, and a nice landscape of farms, woods and towns. I'm rather impressed with the way Fremont has connected several of their parks to this trail via well signed side trails, especially the paved riverside path that provides access to both Roger Young Park and downtown Fremont. It's also neat how the trail passes directly through the towns of Clyde, Lindsey and Elmore without needing a road route detour.
The new section from Clyde to Bellevue's west edge is a welcome addition, along with the new trailhead parking lot at CR 292 that provides easy access to this portion. As the previous commenter noted, the newest section does have a rather abrupt ending, which is at CR 177. Though it looks as though the process of remedying that issue has begun.
It has recently been made public that the city of Bellevue is seeking grants to extend the trail into downtown Bellevue, a project that would be completed in 2014 IF funding can be secured. The plan calls for building an 8 foot wide sidewalk on the city owned right of way along the southern side of U.S. 20, most of which would involve widening existing sidewalk in town. From downtown the trail route would continue as a marked road route down Southwest St and join the existing marked route across the southeastern part of the city that leads to the Huron County portion of the NCIT. However, it was also mentioned that if this project does happen, a second and similar project could be attempted along the rest of U.S. 20 across the eastern half of Bellevue, which would connect to the rest of the NCIT to complete a designated bike/pedestrian path across the entire length of the city.
It is not possible to build the trail along the former NYC property in Bellevue because Norfolk Southern Railway owns the entire stretch between CR 177 and Prairie Rd, and part of it is still active rail line. While a glorified sidewalk may not be a cyclist's favorite medium for a trail, it looks to be the only possible alternative to the exiting marked road routes that currently direct traffic between the two trail segments. Hopefully this idea is able to be funded and carried out.
Ran from downtown Clyde to just outside the City of Bellevue last weekend. This is a brand new 4.5 mile section which connects perfectly through downtown Clyde with plenty of parking. There is also a lot near the Bellevue end. Much of the trail is in the open, but there are some pretty sections...especially between Durnwald Drive and CR 175. It would be nice if the trail actually went into Bellevue. It sort of ends abruptly at at township road just outside the west end of the city....maybe some day.
I dropped the boys off at Cedar Point (don't do coasters) and drove the ~45 minutes over to Clyde. Plenty of parking at the start, but no facilities (there are if you start in Elmore). There's a port-a-potty a couple miles into the ride with a sheltered bench though. Being an old rail line, it's as flat as a board and there are portions of this trail that are laser straight...when coupled with some open field areas, the wind really comes into play. My odometer said the trail was just shy of 22 miles versus the 19 miles TrailLink says. The trail itself is in great shape with excellent pavement and without tree roots or potholes. There are a couple of nice parks along the way. The trail breaks in Fremont, but the connecting roads are well marked and you are taken through a nice neighborhood of beautiful old homes. There's a short stretch along a four lane road that had me checking the rear view mirror often. Overall, a nice trail...and a heck of a lot better than sitting on a bench waiting for the kids to get off of Millennium Force!
We're on a cross-country tour and this was a big improvement over the shoulder of US20. The trail is nearly all paved and in good condition. Most of the side roads are marked. There are mile markers.
I'd ripped a hole in my shorts earlier and stopped in the trailside shop in Elmore. It's a full shop with a good inventory. They do rentals. Mike was very helpful and gave us an improved route to Perrysburg.
Riding the North Coast trail from Fremont to Elmore last Saturday, I noticed that now Elmore has both a trailside ice cream shop and a bicycle shop. The bicycle shop is a branch of the Fremont Cycle and Fitnesss bike store and talking with the staff person there, they said they are planning to remain open all year. They also do bike rentals. Also, in Lindsey, the local store/ice cream shop has a sign right next to the trail, inviting trail users to stop by.
The pavment has set and the paint stripes are dry the North Coast Inland Trail is OPEN for riders from Clyde to Elmore Ohio. You can now nearly cross the entire county on this clean rail trail with many amenities. Connectors on both sides of Fremont involves some city street traffic however the trail way is clearly marked at all turns through town to get you there safe. Main Street is the fastest route but be sure it is very very dangerous to ride through on Rt20, I recomend following the trail signs through side streets.
Clyde, Lindsey, Fremont, and Elmore all have excellent parks and public spaces. Nice coffie cafes andlocal shopping. You will find a well stocked bicycle shop in Fremont for any accessories or on the spot repairs. Wi-fi locations that I know of are Fremont library and Lindsey cafe. Clyde library probably has internet also but I am not aware for sure also same for Elmore. All the MEGA chain stores are available in Fremont for your shopping or dining needs. Hotels and motels available throughout the county. Old Orchard Inn is directly on the trail path in fremont and likely has lower rates than the big chain hotels out at the big plaza.
Youll be riding parallel to the Ohio turnpike, in fact crossing it just east of Elmore, so nearly all cell phones will have great coverage in this corridor. I can not emphasize enuf that there are LOADS of parks throughout the county so plan lots of nice rests along this 20-30 mile section. Toward the late summer the sunsets line right up with the trail. What a beauty to be traveling west and enjoy watching the orange glow cradle itself into the trail ahead of you. Also sunrises lineing up similarly in the AM. Generally not heavy traffic on this trail in the mornings. Enjoy!!!
I am a volunteer on part of this trail between Fremont and Clyde, responsible for litter control of a rather large section and I must say that this trail started out great and just keeps getting better. A few years ago it was extended into downtown Fremont across the scenic Sandusky River and soon the section between Northwest Fremont and Elmore will be open (Fall 2008). This has been a project long in the making and there is something for everyone along this trail. Come and see!
"This is a great section of the Northcoast Inland Trail with nice flatlander riding and parks everywere. The Fremont section has some mild and enjoyable elevation changes and LOADS of nice city parks. Great destination for a stop including grocery, library (with internet access), local cafes, and a great local bike shop with full service. Your biggest problem on the fremont section will be choosing wich park to stop at for your picnic lunch. Have fun!!!"
In October 2005 this segment of the North Coast trail was extended another mile or two west from its earlier western termimus. The new extension takes you across the Sandusky River across an old railroad bridge.
This is a great trail and a real asset to the community. Not too long but birds seem to love the flora along the trail. I can't wait to see this trail developed into something a bit longer.
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