Wabash Cannonball Trail
Learn how governments work together to acquire land for and build a multi-use path.
Wabash Cannonball Trail
Twenty-six years ago, TMACOG worked with partners to acquire the railroad line right-of-way that became the Wabash Cannonball Trail, one of our region’s first rails-to-trails projects.
TMACOG acted as the coordinating partner between the entities that would own the trail. The trail owners are the City of Maumee, Lucas County, Metroparks Toledo, Village of Whitehouse, Northwest Ohio Rails-to-Trails Association (NORTA), and the City of Wauseon.
TMACOG was part of the negotiating team that finalized the deal to purchase the corridor from the Norfolk Southern Railroad (NS) that would become the Wabash Cannonball Trail. The purchase price was $220,000 for the 63-mile corridor totaling approximately 900 acres. After TMACOG made the purchase, each of the respective entities received ownership of their portions of the trail. The corridor consists of two segments: the North Fork stretching from the City of Maumee to the Village of Montpelier in Williams County, and the South Fork from the City of Maumee to the Village of Liberty Center in Henry County.
There is potential for the Toledo region to be in the middle
of a one of the largest multiuse trails in the country.
The Wabash Cannonball North Fork was paved between Jerome Road in Maumee and the Lucas/Fulton county line in 2001. The South Fork was paved between Jerome Road in Maumee and Neapolis in 2003. The city of Wauseon’s section of the trail is also paved from County Road 13 to just west of Krieger Street in the city of Wauseon. NORTA, through a partnership with Metroparks Toledo, has secured funding to pave an additional six miles of the Wabash Cannonball North Fork from the Lucas/Fulton county line to State Route 109. There is also momentum to improve sections in Williams County and in the village of Montpelier. NORTA currently owns that property, but there are discussions ongoing to transfer ownership.
The Wabash Cannonball Trail also serves as a key piece of the North Country Trail, which is a 4,600-mile trail that rolls from North Dakota to Vermont. The Wabash Cannonball is also part of the proposed U.S. and State bike route system in Ohio. The Wabash Cannonball North Fork will be part of State Bike Route 90. (See information about the State Bike Route here.) There are also a couple of trails on both the east and west sides of the Wabash Cannonball. To the west is the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail ending in Shipshewana, Indiana. There is potential to extend both trails sometime in the future to make them meet. To the east of the Wabash is the North Coast Inland Trail. It is in TMACOG’s long range plan to connect those two major trails. The North Coast Inland Trail currently goes from Elmore to Lorain. There is potential for the Toledo region to be in the middle of a one of the largest multiuse trails in the country if all of the connections are made.
By Lance Dasher, Transportation Planner, Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG)