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Marion County Park District

Marion Tallgrass Trail

The Marion Tallgrass Trail will eventually stretch 12 miles, from the trailhead site at 2093 Holland Road, just west of Marion, to the Hardin County line. The trail follows the former Erie-Lackawanna railroad.


In the first mile, visitors can find trumpeter swans, bald eagles, and a beaver lodge. As the sun set one recent evening at the trail, the air was full of the sounds of trumpeting swans, and an owl soared overhead.


Thus far, two old railroad bridges have been converted for trail use, the first quarter mile has been paved, and the trail is cleared and easily walkable for almost a mile, to Herr Road. There's also a paved parking lot, and a beautiful trailhead building. Volunteers are working to extend a primitive hiking trail, which now goes to Agosta-Meeker Road, a distance of about 6 miles.


Well-behaved dogs are permitted if on leashes, but we ask that you pick up their waste. The park closes at dusk (30 minutes after sunset). Horses and motor vehicles are not permitted on the trail.


The trail passes through the Big Island Wildlife area, and the entire trail will have a delightful mix of shade and open areas.


We are actively raising matching funds to extend the trail. Phase 2, to be built in 2014, should extend the paved surface of the trail by about 3 miles, thanks to a Clean Ohio Trails Fund grant and our generous donors. We’ve applied for another Clean Ohio Trails Fund grant in the hopes of adding three more miles of pavement in 2015. The Marion Community Foundation’s very generous contribution put us over the top and allowed us to pursue the grant for 2015. Donations are very much needed.


We also have received a Clean Ohio Green Space Fund grant to purchase an 83 acre parcel containing a 53 acre lake that abuts the Tallgrass Trail. We plan to complete this purchase in 2014 and provide access with a walking trail along the lake shore.


We're excited about this trail, and are looking forward to being great neighbors to those who live near the trail.

Above: Location of eastern terminus of Marion Tallgrass Trail.

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Naturally wild, naturally fun!

Marion County Park District
222 West Center St, Marion, OH 43302


Phone: (740) 223-4161

Below: Blue line shows the eventual route of the Tall Grass Prairie trail. Trail will initially be developed at eastern end (near Marion).

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Below: Map showing Marion Tallgrass Trail as of Jan, 2011. Click on each marker for pictures and more information.

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Elgin High School students, together with teacher Levi Pasma, clean the trail corridor for Earth Day.

Above: Graphic designer Sara Teynor (left) designed the sign for the Tallgrass Trail, using a trail logo designed by Diane Watson (center). The Marion Rotary Foundation, represented by incoming president Howie Smith (right), donated the cost of the sign.


Below: Tree swallows enjoy the wonderful birdhouses donated by local scouts.