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New Miles Added To Great American Rail-Trail, First In Ohio Since Route Was Announced In May

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and Rails-to-Trails of Wayne County announce new 2.4-mile segment of the Heartland Trail between Marshallville and Forrer Road

MARSHALLVILLE, Ohio, Sept. 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) joined Rails-to-Trails of Wayne County to celebrate the ribbon cutting for 2.4 miles of new trail on the Heartland Trail. This celebration marks the completion of the first phase of Trail Gap 6 along the Great American Rail-Trail, the Heartland Trail Extension from Clinton to Orrville.

The Great American Rail-Trail (greatamericanrailtrail.org) is the nation's first cross-country multiuse trail, spanning 3,700 miles over 12 states between Washington, D.C., and Washington state. The

"As we celebrate this new segment of the Heartland Trail for Marshallville and Wayne County, we're also celebrating an important milestone for the Great American Rail-Trail," said Eric Oberg, director of trail development in RTC's Midwest office. "We are all grateful for the local leadership that Rails-to-Trails of Wayne County brings to Ohio's trails and now the Great American Rail-Trail—every mile counts as we work to connect the nation by trail, bringing new opportunities for tourism, economic development and transportation to the communities these trails connect."

The new trail segment, between Marshallville and Forrer Road, is on the preferred route of the Great American Rail-Trail, marking the first new trail miles to be added to the "Great American" in Ohio since the project was announced in May of this year. This brings the total miles of existing trail along the Great American Rail-Trail in Ohio to 225.5.

Following the completion of the first phase of the Heartland Trail Extension, Rail-to-Trails of Wayne County will continue development of the trail in phases—the second  phase connecting Forrer Road to existing trail in downtown Orrville via 2.3 miles of trail, and the third phase connecting Clinton to Marshallville via 5.5 miles of trail.

The Heartland Trails is one of more than 130 host trails of the Great American Rail-Trail, the nation's first cross-country multiuse trail which stretches over 3,700 miles between Washington, D.C. and Washington State. RTC defined the preferred route of the Great American with input from the organization's GIS analysis of more than 34,000 miles of multiuse trails; review of state and local trail plans; and discussions with hundreds of local trail partners and state agencies representing the trails along the route—including in Ohio. The trail will connect nearly 335 miles in Ohio.

To learn more about the Great American Rail-Trail and to view the preferred route, visit greatamericanrailtrail.org and follow @greatamericanrailtrail and #GRTAmerican on Facebook and Instagram. Learn more about the Heartland Trail and the Rails-to-Trails of Wayne County at waynecountytrails.org.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is the nation's largest trails organization—with a grassroots community more than 1 million strong—dedicated to connecting people and communities by creating a nationwide network of public trails, many from former rail lines. Connect with RTC at railstotrails.org and @railstotrails on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

CONTACT: Brandi Horton, brandi@railstotrails.org, 202.974.5155

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