The Marion Tallgrass Trail reached the Hardin County line in late 2017, a distance of 12.44 miles from the eastern trailhead site at 2093 Holland Road West, just west of Marion. The trail follows the former Erie-Lackawanna railroad, which was abandoned in 1976.
In the first mile, visitors can find trumpeter swans, bald eagles, and a beaver lodge as the trail follows the shore of a 53-acre lake. The trail then crosses an open area before crossing OH-203 and entering the beautiful Big Island Wildlife area. After the small village of Espyville, the trail travels west through a peaceful wooded corridor, passing one mile north of the village of New Bloomington and entering the unincorporated village of DeCliff. Continuing west, the trail crosses OH-37. The trail passes through a beautiful tunnel under Riley Road, before continuing an additional 1.4 miles to the county line.
Parking is available at 4 locations:
Well-behaved dogs are permitted but must be on leashes and you must pick up and carry out their waste. The park closes at dusk (30 minutes after sunset). Horses and motor vehicles (except motorized wheelchairs) are not permitted on the trail. Smoking is prohibited on the Tallgrass Trail and all Marion County Parks.
The nature center hosts many interesting programs and includes an outdoor pavilion with 6 picnic tables.
An observation deck overlooks 53-acre Marion Community Foundation Lake near the midpoint of the first mile, and a playground is available at the Holland Road trailhead.
Hikes of varying distances are possible from trailheads on the Marion Tallgrass Trail.
Restrooms on site