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NOTE: Although other segments of the North Coast Inland Trail may permit equestrians, this segment does not.
This portion of North Coast Inland Trail, managed by the Sandusky County Park District, includes 23.25 miles of paved trail from Elmore to Bellevue, through the towns of Lindsey, Fremont and Clyde. This section of the developing 65-mile North Coast Inland Trail is divided into two segments: Elmore to Fremont and Fremont to Bellevue, which are connected via a marked road route along the city streets of Fremont, which if included brings the trail's total length to 28 miles. The corridor is open all year and is plowed during winter, making cross-country skiing prohibitive in this segment.
The 12.75 miles from Park Avenue in Fremont through Clyde to the west edge of Bellevue serves up a slice of corporate America (Whirlpool and Heinz have factories here) with a heaping side of down-home Ohio countryside. Most of this section is a rail-with-trail, with an active rail line paralleling your path. Begin in Fremont at the corner of Park and Hayes Avenues, just more than 0.5 mile east of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center and Library, or at Roger Young Park on Front Street, which connects to the main trail via a paved riverside path. A beautiful bicycle and pedestrian bridge carries you to the east bank of the Sandusky River. In the early spring when walleye run the river, you will see eager fishermen in the waters below. If Fremont triggers memories of hotdogs and french fries, blame it on the familiar fragrance wafting on the breeze from the Heinz Ketchup factory.
Just 1.5 miles into the trip you reach the picnic shelters, ball fields and playground in Biggs-Kettner Memorial Park. The park is the main access point for the trail and the site of the Fremont Community Recreation Complex. Refill water bottles or take a shade break beneath the many mature trees.
If you are starting here, you have the option of heading west to the Sandusky River bridge and the presidential library or turning east toward Clyde. Heading directly east from Fremont, you can look forward to 6.5 miles of rail-with-trail that is flat, paved and sprinkled with farms. Wildlife and natural wildflowers are abundant along the trail, and you may see many birds, squirrels, rabbits and even an occasional deer.
Arriving in Clyde you are greeted by the world's largest Whirlpool washing machine factory on the left side of the trail. Nearby bicycle parking areas are used by Whirlpool employees who commute to work via the rail-trail. The next mile of the trail winds through neighborhoods and passes through a quaint park near the historical downtown. There are a few restaurants available if you want an out-and-back trip with a lunch stop in the middle.
Beyond downtown Clyde is the newest section of this trail which extends 4.75 miles to the outskirts of Bellevue. After passing several factories on the east side of Clyde the trail slopes slightly through a wooded area, then returns to a flat and straight path along a farm field and tree-lined landscape. At CR 292 (Riddle Road) you will find a newly constructed trailhead parking lot, beyond which the trail continues for another half mile before ending at CR 177 on the westernmost edge of Bellevue. Those wishing to connect to the unpaved Huron County segment of the NCIT should turn south off the trail onto CR 292 and follow a marked road route that leads trough the city of Bellevue to that trail's western terminus.
The 10.5 miles from Elmore to Fremont serves up a slice of small village America and more Ohio countryside. From Fremont, the trail begins at the Walter Avenue trailhead parking lot and proceeds west through the villages of Lindsey and Elmore, passing parks in each, before ending just west of the Portage River. The small portion west of the river is unpaved, the only such section on this trail. The majority of the trail is lined by trees on one or both sides, with a couple bridges and even a bench or two for resting. It also passes by Wooded Acre Campgrounds between Fremont and Lindsey.
As you approach the village of Elmore, you pass by the beautiful Sugar Creek Golf Course. Upon entering Elmore, there is a bike shop right next to the trail and also an ice cream and sandwich shop: I Scream On Your Left, now with WIFI available. Downtown Elmore is less than a block north from the trail on Rice Street, with several antique shops, a coffee shop and a small restaurant and pub. The public library is also just about a block away, also with Internet access. Down Rice Street to the south is Tina's Carryout, where snacks and cold beverages are available. The trailside park in Elmore also features a restored railroad depot, serving as a reminder of the trail's history as a former rail line.
The only official trail access in Fremont is at the Fremont Community Recreation Complex at 600 St. Joseph Street. From State Route 20 turn south on St. Joseph Street and continuing about 0.75 mile until it ends at the park and recreation center. Trail access and parking are in the southeast corner of the park's parking lot.
To reach the trail endpoint in Clyde, take State Route 20 to Vine Street. Take Vine 0.5 mile south until it crosses the trail just after Eaton Road. Parking is available in multiple areas.
To access the section between Fremont through Lindsey and Elmore, you'll find trailheads, a parking lot and restrooms in Lindsey at Wendell Miller Park downtown (off SR 590), as well as at the trail end in Elmore at Walter Ory Park (near SR 51), which also has parking and restrooms.
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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