Buckeye Trail - Pemberville

Pemberville Section

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Trail Description

Bridge over the Portage River
MD Edmonds

Supervisor: Charles Huth
• 419-448-0007

56.09 Total Miles / 24.16 Off Road Miles (43.1%)
Map Publication Date: March 2018

You've reached the flat farm land of Ohio where the major risk to hikers is falling into one of the deep drainage ditches along the road. The land here was shaped during the last ice age, leaving it flat and fertile. This section provides a pleasant, easy walk, ideal for lazy summer days or crisp autumn weekends. While following the many back roads you will experience the midwest country atmosphere close-up. The section begins in the small town of Waterville and passes north of Bowling Green before crossing I-75. From here, the trail turns northeast through farm land and alongside small streams and rivers, through the villages of Pemberville, Woodville and Elmore. At Elmore, the trail joins the North Coast Inland Trail (NCIT). The NCIT travels SE through more farm land and into the city of Fremont. Most notable in Freemont is the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center. Leaving Freemont, the NCIT continues SE to the village of Clyde. At Clyde the Pemberville Section ends and the Norwalk Section begins.

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Trail Alerts

  • (8/7/16) Pemberville Trail Alert

    The current edition of the Pemberville map is March 2012.

    Between Woodville and Elmore, Points 16 and 17, the trail across the Ohio Turnpike has been closed for 120 days effective since July 5, 2016.

    One solution is to follow the marked route to Schutt Rd (T49). Turn S (right) onto Schutt Rd to a Y-shaped junction among Schutt Rd, Sugar Creek Rd (T93) and Schumaker Rd (T62). Go SE (left) onto Schumaker Rd that soon turns S. At Dishinger Rd (T151), turn E (left). At SR-51, turn N (left) and continue into Elmore at Point 17.

    A second solution is to find SR-105 just across the Portage River from Point 16 in Woodville and continue all the way to the North Coast Inland Trail (NCIT) in Elmore. Turn SE onto the NCIT to reach Point 17 in Elmore.

    The first solution is longer but is on quieter roads. The second offers the chance to cross the Portage River on the Rail-Trail.

Map Updates

  • (2/6/2017) This update for the Pemberville Map Edition of March 2012 makes both a minor change to the descriptive material under Point 12 and announces a new campsite.

    • NEW TEXT UNDER POINT 12: The new descriptive material is necessary because the Portage River Trail no longer ends at Front St. It now continues further north. Please replace the current text under Point 12 with:

      Turn north onto the Portage River Trail, a paved walking/exercise trail that is owned and maintained by the Village of Pemberville. Continue north across Kesson Road (0.24 mile) into Pemberville and across the Portage River (0.24 mile). At Front Street (SR 105, 0.12 mile), leave the rail trail. Turn northeast onto the sidewalk along Front Street.
    • CAMPING: The new campsite is located off Sugar Ridge Road on property owned by the Black Swamp Conservancy. Specifically, it is behind their Office whose address is 4825 Sugar Ridge Road, Pemberville, OH 43450.

      To make camping arrangements, contact the Conservancy by phone at (419) 833-1025 or by email at bsc@blackswamp.org at least a day in advance of arrival.

      To reach the campsite from the west (clockwise), BTA recommends that you follow the marked trail to the intersection of Alexander Road with Kohring Road, 3.1 miles east of Point 11. Turn north onto Kohring Road until it ends at Scotch Ridge Road (0.35 miles). Turn west onto Scotch Ridge Road. At the first side road, Luckey Road, turn north. Continue north past Reese Road to Sugar Ridge Road (1.6 miles). At Sugar Ridge Road, turn east to the Office on the south side of the road (0.18 mile). The total distance from Alexander Road is 2.4 miles. While you may have been tempted to follow Sugar Ridge Road east from Point 6 because the distance to the campsite is much less (6.3 miles compared to 13.7 miles by the recommended route), know that traffic on Sugar Ridge Road is both moderately heavy and fast.

      From the east (counter clockwise), head southwest from Point 13, which is located in downtown Pemberville, to the Portage River Trail (0.35 miles). Turn north onto the Portage River Trail across Perry St to the end of the trail at Reese Road (Parking).Turn west onto Reese Road and continue to the first crossroad (0.4 mile). Follow this road, Lemoyne Road, north for 1.0 mile to Sugar Ridge Road. Follow Sugar Ridge Road west for 0.8 mile to the Office. The total distance between Front Street and the Portage River Trail to the Office is 2.2 miles. However you reach the Office of the Black Swamp Conservancy, camp behind the Office near the fire ring at [41.42693 N, 83.48934 W].

      To return to the trail, either retrace your steps or invert the routes to the Office that are described above.

  • (12/14/09) Through the efforts of Bill Jindra, Trail Adopter through this region, Sandusky County Park District granted official permission to BTA for BT to follow this beautiful route. The trail between Elmore and Fremont is essentially flat through agricultural lands. Sound dull? Hardly! The trail is bordered by narrow bands of either trees or brush providing excellent bird habitat.

    This update can be slipped in between Pt 16 and Pt 26 on the existing map, April 2005 Edition. Points 17 through Pt 25 are no longer on the trail. This relocation reduces the length of the Pemberville Section by 2.5 miles but increases the amount of trail off road from 2.2% to 31.2%.

    In the earlier Alert on this Section dated 5/7/2008, which was concerned primarily with the availability of two commercial campsites between Points 26 and 27 along the Sandusky R, also noted that the trail length of the Pemberville Section had been incorrectly calculated in the Section map, Edition of April 2005. In addition, a small but important relocation at the S end of S River Rd described off-road trail that had been moved from busy roads. As a result of the last change, Point 27 was moved. See the attached map. Combined in this Alert, the earlier Alert has been removed from the web site.

    To correct the distances on your 2005 map, subtract 2.5 miles from CW distances Pt 26 and greater. Do the same from CCW distances Pt 16 and below.

    s This character will be used as a shortcut for "seasonal" as Ws meaning that the object, in this case water, is available at the Agency's discretion.
    f This character will be used as a shortcut for "fee" meaning that the object referenced has cost.
16 North Coast Inland Trail (NCIT) at Schultz SE NW Portage Rd.
BT continues SE on this trail created from a discontinued rail line. In 2200', NCIT enters into Sandusky Cnty from Ottawa Cnty. A mile later, NCIT goes beneath Ohio Turnpike and across C-82. Note: Although road names are frequently seen on maps, Sandusky County uses only letters and numbers on road signs. We try to adhere to that policy.
In 4500', NCIT crosses Indian Creek and continues SE across C-92 (3100'), Knipp Rd (150') and Ninemile Creek (1500').
B1 North Coast Inland Trail at N Main St in Lindsey (P, R, W, WC)
BT continues SE across Muddy Creek (1300'), C-109 (1100') and C-106 (4800') where you will find the Wooded Acres Campground (C, E, G, PS, PT, T W, WC)f,s. BT remains joined to NCIT as it continues SE across C-81 (6200'), C-122 (990'), Little Muddy Creek (980'), C-128 (1300') and C-138 (3700'). Shortly (1500'), NCIT drops off the RR bed apparently because RR will be delivering coal to a power plant now under construction.
B2 North Coast Inland Trail at Walter Ave Trailhead (P, Pr, PS)
Here NCIT leaves the RR for a time to follow urban streets of Fremont and suburbs. BT remains joined with NCIT heading S on Walter Ave. In 1300', BT turns SE onto W State St (M). In 2300', BT turns S along N Brush St and joins sidewalk in 400'. In 4200', BT turns E along Napoleon Rd on sidewalk. Sidewalk ends briefly at N Lime St (Note: R at N Stone St) but resumes at N Taft St (1100'). In 1600' as Napoleon Rd continues E, BT turns S onto sidewalk along N Jefferson St.
B3 Birchard Park (P, Prs, PS, PT, S, Ws)
BT continues S on sidewalk along N Jefferson St. across Birchard Ave (460') which NCIT follows E. In 840', BT turns W onto sidewalk along Hayes Ave across street from Entrance into Hayes Memorial. If the Memorial is open, you should do the tourf of this beautiful site that is operated by the Ohio Historical Society. In 760', as Hayes Ave continues W, BT turns S onto sidewalk along Cleveland St. In 1400', as Cleveland St continues S, BT joins sidewalk that ends in 700' along Buckland Ave, heading SW past Siler St (R, 980').
26 Buckland Ave at Tucker Rd
BT now rejoins the former route of the BT on Buckland Ave, heading SW.

This section relates primarily to the material presented in the Trail Alert dated 5/7/2008.
BT continues SW on Buckland Ave. In 980' as Buckland Ave turns W, BT joins S River Rd (C 132) heading SW along Sandusky R. Rising from Palmer Spring in Richland Cty, this large river is only 80 miles long! BT soon passes a commercial camping area - Portage Trail Park (419-334-8100, Tent and Trailer camping between May 1 and Sep 30, P, Pr, PS, PT, T, W).
A second commercial site, a little further SW, has been reported closed. However, when this observer drove by the sites after the camping season had closed in 2009, neither appeared abandoned although nobody who could provide information was home. Our advice - if you want to use these sites, do your due diligence on the web to get current information.
BT continues SW on S River Rd past Gonawein Rd (T-43, 1700', exits W), Tyndal Bridge (1700', SE side of road), Havens Station Rd (C-39, 1100', exits W), Roth Rd (T-37, 2800', exits W) and Level Drive (630', T -627, exits W). Level Drive does not show on the section map.
27 S River Rd (C-132) at Hurdic Rd (C-201) (P just W)
BT continues SW across grassy ditch to a gate. From here, a service road leads W to parking. And BT joins paved remnants of S River Rd now operated as a park by Sandusky County Park District. In 2400' at end of pavement, BT continues onto grassy area. In 100', BT joins SR-53 opposite driveway and continues S across Wolf Creek (2300'). At S end of bridge, BT leaves SR-53 E over guard rail across roughly mown field to a footpath into Wolf Creek Park, a Sandusky Cty Park. At the NW corner of the northern most parking area in Wolf Creek Park (P, Pr, PS, PT), BT turns S on park road.
In 1400', BT turns into Canoe Access Parking Area on road and crosses to SW corner. BT leaves parking area on mown trail and then heads S along mown berm of SR-53 for 1000' before descending E into woods. BT goes W on trail leg farther from river. In 1300', BT rejoins the river leg and continues S past camping area w/20 primitive sites, PT, Pr, W.
BT heads SW along trail that lies closer to SR-53 across drive (1700') into camping area. BT continues S on maintained trail. In 70', BT diverges W from Nature Trail Loop (short but nice) and soon leaves the park S through Hill Cemetery.
54.5 2.2 28 SE Corner of Hill Cemetery at Gillmore Rd)

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