Metroparks is working with the Northwest Ohio Rails-to-Trails Association on a plan to pave an additional 10 miles of the Wabash-Cannonball Trail, in two phases.
Metroparks is applying this year for funding through the Transportation Alternatives Program to extend the north leg of the trail six miles west from where the pavement leaves off at Lucas-Fulton Road to County Road 109 in Fulton County, where NORTA’s headquarters is located.
NORTA maintains the trail in Fulton, Henry and Williams counties.
If the grant request is successful, the park district plans to apply for additional funding in the future to extend the multi-purpose trail another four miles west to County Road 11 near Wauseon.
A proposal last year to extend the trail the full 10 miles was not funded.
The North Fork is a 46-mile trail, which is currently paved for 9 miles from North Jerome Road in Maumee west to the Lucas-Fulton County line. From there, the trail currently consists of hard-packed cinder ballast as well as areas of dirt and grass for another 10 miles to Fulton County Road 11. It then continues west on-road for 2 miles until the asphalt trail resumes at County Road 13, the eastern limit of the City of Wauseon. The rest of the trail, to Montpelier Ohio, is unpaved.
The project would greatly enhance a significant piece of the Wabash Cannonball Trail, making it more accessible and inviting to all trail users. It will also connect the currently paved trail in Lucas County to multiple northwest Ohio communities, including the Wauseon, Swanton, Delta, West Unity and Montpelier.
The Wabash Cannonball Trail also has a south leg that stretches for 17 miles from Maumee to Liberty Center, with the first 10 miles paved.