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Marion County Park District

Marion Tallgrass Trail

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 SR 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 SR 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:

Mile 0: A paved parking area is available at the Holland Road trailhead.
Mile 1.75: A grassy ODNR parking lot just south of the trail on SR 203.
Mile 3.7: The members of the Espyville Baptist allow trail users to park in their lot as long as church is not in session, reminding visitors that they are not responsible for vehicles left there.

Mile 8.4: A 19 car paved lot in DeCliff, where the trail crosses DeCliff Rd. Since DeCliff is an unincorporated village, the parking lot has a LaRue address:  7932 South St., LaRue, OH    43332


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 (see calendar for hours) hosts many interesting programs, and includes an outdoor pavilion with 6 picnic tables. The outdoor pavilion is available for rental for a $50 donation to the Prairie Parks Foundation when the park district does not have programming.


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 Rd. trailhead.

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

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Leaves cover the Tallgrass Trail at mile 5.5 on an autumn day.