Rails To Trails event slated for Sunday

Firelands Rails To Trails has expanded by 3.25 miles extending from Jackson Street in Monroeville west to Sand Hill Road. A grand opening will be held 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held on the trail just west of Ohio 99 on the south side of the Wheeling and Lake Erie railroad tracks.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010

 

Firelands Rails To Trails has expanded by 3.25 miles extending from Jackson Street in Monroeville west to Sand Hill Road.

A grand opening will be held 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held on the trail just west of Ohio 99 on the south side of the Wheeling and Lake Erie railroad tracks.

"We're going to have pony rides and light refreshments," said Rails To Trails president Gordon Oney. "We hope people bring their hiking shoes and bicycles and enjoy this part of the trail.

"There should be some good fall color and the weather is supposed to be nice," he said.

The new section passes through dense trees and open fields and also crosses several small streams. Displays of trail work and historical railroad displays will also be featured in the open house.

Oney said the group has worked on this section for about two years. "We've had a tremendous amount of volunteer work," he said.

Mark Schaffer Excavating and Trucking, Wasiniak Construction and Tom and Mallory Clemons also made significant contributions to the construction, Oney said.

Grants from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Kodak Foundation and the Huron County Foundation paid for about 70 percent of the $113,000 that Haynes Construction was paid to complete the section.

"We did a lot of manual labor ourselves," Oney said of the about 25 volunteers who have worked on the project.

This new section makes Firelands Rails To Trails about 6 1/2 miles, Oney said, but the trail is not continuous in Monroeville so people must use public roads between the sections. He said there are no signs in the village to direct people to the next section.

Oney said the group's next project will be another three miles heading west from Sand Hill Road to Prairie Road on the east side of Bellevue. "We hope to do that in 2009," Oney said. That would make Firelands Rails To Trails stretch more than 10 miles between Norwalk and Bellevue.

Then the group will work on connecting the sections in Monroeville so walkers and riders don't have to use public streets. Oney said he also hopes to eventually extend the trail in Norwalk.

"One of our greatest hopes is that we can get the trail extended from Northwest Street deeper into the city of Norwalk. We would like to make a connection to the downtown and to the shopping areas," he said.

Plans to eventually work on property the group owns in Townsend Township are still long-term goals, Oney said.

Comments

just curious (A...

I'm curious why don't they work on the rest of the sections in Monroeville first, before they continue to Bellevue???They should finish what they started.To tell the truth here -there is a big trashy mess from this area on Rt# 99!I sure hope they clean it up before the event on Sunday.Nobody wants to look at all that mess of railroad ties & stuff! It should be hauled out of there& cleaned up before they have any kind of party!I feel sorry for all the residents that live around there, having to look at all that everyday!This is an eyesore to the neighborhood there!I believe what they are doing is a great thing, but PLEASE clean up your messes!!It is supposed to be a good thing, not making the city of Monroeville look like they don't care & leave the waste laying around!It happens to be a nice wooded area right there & now it looks like someone just put a lot of trash there!

snotty (Anonymous)

congratulations and much thanks to oney and his crew. the bike trail is indicative of forward thinking and these people have stepped up with much time effort and money to make these communities more livable. also appreciation to schaffer, wathiniak, & clemons for contributing. you all are true good neighbors.

as for monroevile, why clean it up?????? then it will be out of character for monroeville. monroevile should be happy they have one good amenity...the bike trail. geezzzzzzz, monroeville has to complain about something.