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Home               About The Trail               Contact               Map & Directions               Links

  • Trail Highlights
  •  Trail History 
  • Trail Ownership
  • Trail Etiquette


Dedication platform located at the trailhead is surrounded by bricks with names of supporters etched in them.

An information kiosk located at the trailhead holds information about upcoming events as well as news about the trail, trail maps, and information about the Heritage Rail-Trail Coalition.

The warm up area at the trailhead is adjacent to the parking lot on Center Street.

The Heritage Rail-Trail is a 7 mile multipurpose trail which stretches between Hilliard, Ohio and Plain
City, Ohio in the central portion of the state. (See trail map for more information.) The trailhead is
located in the "Old Hilliard" historic district of Hilliard which contains many shops and
eateries as well as the Northwest Historical Village located in Weaver Park.


"Old Hilliard" historic district located in downtown Hilliard, Ohio.

Hilliard's Station built in 1899 is now located in Weaver Park.

Log cabin built in Weaver Park is fashioned after one built in the area around 1850.

Colwell Church built in 1876 is located in Weaver Park.


The Northwest Historical Village run by the Northwest Franklin County Historical Society, is a portrayal
of realpioneer living from 1850 to 1900. Inside the village stands the train station built in 1899 that
once stood on the north side of the railroad tracks west of Main Street in Hilliard, Ohio.


The bluebird boxes located along
the trail are enjoyed by all.

Water fort and play area at Homestead Park.

Shelter house at Homestead Park.

Two and a half miles northwest of Hilliard along the trail you will find The Homestead, a public park operated by Washington Township. This park contains many special play areas for children such
as a water fort and toddler play area, as well as basketball and sand volleyball for those
interested in active recreation. Don't forget to tour the the three quarter mile
picturesque path around the park.


A thank-you from the riders and their horses.

Horse trailer parking and a corral are available at the Hayden Run Trailhead.

A large crowd of walkers and riders, prepares to use the new Hayden Run trail.

Opened in July of 2002 the Hayden Run Road Trailhead is where the Franklin County Metro Parks has developed a staging area with an additional 4 miles of the trail. This is also where the 4 mile
parallel trail for horses begins. Parking is provided for cars along with an area for
horse trailer parking and a corral for horses.


"The Past"

1817 - John Hilliard born in Piqua

1849  - Nine men unite to build Columbus, Piqua, and Indiana Railroads

1850 - Work Starts

1852- John Hilliard purchased land from High and Wendell

1853 - July 4 - first train went through Pleasant Valley (Plain City)

         - No ribbon cutting; no news items

         - Track gauge (Ohio) 4'10"

        - Fare: $ .28

1856  - Went into receivership

1859 - An Indiana company finished the line

1863- Columbus - Indianapolis

1864 - Columbus - Indianapolis Central Railroad

1867  - Columbus - Indiana

1869 - Panhandle Line leased the line

1893 - First Station Built - 3 box cars

1895- Second Station Built

1901 - John Hilliard Dies in Peoria, IL (age 84)

1921- Leased to Pennsylvania Railroad for 999 years

1968- Penn Central

1984- Rails abandoned


"The Present"

1992  - Heritage Rail-Trail Coalition formed

1993  - 501�(3) status granted

- Fundraising begins for purchase of Conrail property

- Coalition receives $20,000 grant from the Columbus Foundation

- City of Hilliard purchases first 1.2 miles from George Yokam, with assistance from Washington

and Norwich Townships

1994   - Heritage Rail-Trail Coalition completes a $60,000 fundraising drive for purchase and surveying of

Conrail property

1995  - Five miles of property is purchased from Conrail

- Ribbon Cutting and Dedication Ceremony for the first mile of the Heritage Trail (May 26, 1995)

1996  - Heritage Rail-Trail Coalition donates to Hilliard the portion of the trail from Cosgray Road to Hayden Run


1997 - Ribbon Cutting and Dedication Ceremony for the second mile of the Heritage Trail (June 28, 1997)

1999- Heritage Rail-Trail Coalition donates the portion of the trail from Hayden Run Road to Cemetary Pike to

the Franklin County Metro Parks.

2000 - Franklin County Metro Parks begins improvements to the trail.

2001- Franklin County Metro Parks begins construction of the staging area at Hayden Run Road.


(History compiled by the late Mary Miller and Tom Katzenmeyer)


The Heritage Rail-Trail has been a great success. So that all users continue to enjoy the trail, here are some guidelines:


  • The trail is only open during daylight hours.

  • Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

  • Use only non-motorized forms of transportation.

  • Persons having motorized wheelchairs have access to the trail.

  • Remember the trail is shared by many different users - hikers, bikers, skaters and walkers.

  • Bicyclists should yield to other users.

  • Keep right except to pass.

  • Announce passing to other users and pass with caution.

  • Move off paved trail when stopped.

  • Please yield to law enforcement, maintenance and emergency vehicles.

  • Respect private property.

  • Clean up after your pet.

  • Observe speed limit.

  • Heed all signs.

  • Don't litter.

  • Read and obey all rules and regulations posted at staging areas.



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c/o Homestead Park   4675 Cosgray Road   Hilliard, Ohio 43026   E-mail: