Ernst Trail


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This trail crosses through a rich array of natural habitats. It is named for Calvin Ernst, who owned the Meadville-Linesville Railroad corridor and donated it to French Creek Recreational Trails in 1996 for trail development. Constructed from 1880 to 1892, the rail line changed ownership in 1891 and closed in 1934 due to increased automobile use. Traversing terrain with imprints of Ice Age glaciations, the trail follows the lush bottomlands of French Creek Valley, the state’s most biologically diverse body of water. From the creek the trail passes through meadow and marsh, hardwood stands and hemlock thickets. There are plans to extend the trail to Conneaut Lake and Bicentennial Park. The new segment will run along Conneaut Marsh, a stopping point for migrating waterfowl and home to bald eagles.

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Another new section!  
By vicki on Dec 20, 2017 trail review rating icon - 3 stars

Project in the making. From the Bean's Trailhead end of the trail... 6/10 of a mile runs along Route 322. Goes under the 322 Bridge and connects to Park Avenue Plaza that way. The plaza offers stores and eateries. This trail section is dirt and gravel. Being built in Fall, 2017.  
Gravel Section 1.8 miles  
By vicki on Nov 21, 2017 trail review rating icon - 4 stars

We parked at the Bailey Road lot and walked the newer gravel section from Bailey Road, across Johnson Road, and into near the trailer park. This gravel section was laid approx 2015. It is kinda rough for biking, but nice for walking. Most of this section is on the old railroad bed. Except for the section going through a cornfield which goes around the old railroad bed. Maybe due to some right-of-way issues. But it's a nice connection and very pretty. You can access the paved section of the trail if you continue through the trailer park and cross over Route 19.  

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Trail Counter - Total Trail Count: 650 * Total Mileage: 12,000
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