Marblehead downtownGuest post sponsored by Park District of Ottawa County, written by Sara Hill, Administrative Specialist

Thanks to a Destination Development grant from Shores & Islands Ohio, a year-long study exploring connectivity needs throughout the Marblehead Peninsula is well underway for the Park District of Ottawa County.

The Marblehead Peninsula Trail Feasibility Study, being performed by OHM Advisors, is exploring trail route options, assessing safety data, gathering public feedback and providing the Park District of Ottawa County and other local public entities with guidance for future trail development in making Marblehead safely traversable by foot, bicycle and other non-motorized modes of transportation for today’s – and the next generation’s – connectivity needs.

The Village of Marblehead, which encompasses approximately 2.5-square miles, is home to several iconic locations that East Harbor State Park signattract large numbers of tourists and weekenders each year, including the Marblehead Lighthouse State Park that draws more than 1 million visitors yearly and is ranked as one of Ohio’s most popular state parks. The Village of Marblehead, nestled in the heart of the Shores & Islands Ohio region, is home to specialty shops, locally owned eateries, ferry connection, marinas, beachfront along the Lake Erie coastline, museums, historic sites, nature preserves, community parks, rental properties and more. The Marblehead Peninsula Trail Feasibility Study encompasses the whole peninsular region and includes a thorough analysis of Lakeside and Danbury Township.

A public planning process will include two online surveys, two open houses and a steering committee to determine next steps. The first steering meeting recently took place and OHM Advisors is working to hold meetings with local special interest groups like the Marblehead Lighthouse Historical Society, the Danbury Parent Teacher Community Marblehead LighthouseOrganization, the Lakeside Chautauqua Foundation, the Friends of Ottawa County Parks, housing developments in the region, and more. OHM Advisors will be hosting the first public open house this spring, with a date and location to be determined. A project website is also being developed. Billed as the “community advancement firm,” OHM Advisors has a resume that includes projects for Metroparks Toledo, Outdoor Sylvania Community Parks, Cleveland Metroparks, and Geauga Park District.

“Developing a cohesive plan for multiuse trails throughout Ottawa County began with the inception of the Ottawa County Active Transportation Plan in 2018,” said Park District of Ottawa County Executive Director Jannah Wilson. “Since then, we’ve made significant progress with trail development through the west end of the County and look forward to developing feasible trail implementation plans in the eastern region. The Marblehead Peninsula Trail Feasibility Study Meadowbrook Marsh Signwill be community-focused as we work together to develop plans that will meet the needs of our residents and visitors.”

The goal of the Marblehead Peninsula Trail Feasibility Study is to better understand how a trail network and implementation strategy could be developed and provide for future grant applications.

Check out to learn more, and follow the Park District of Ottawa County on Facebook for updates and news on this and other initiatives.