a mmap of the new trail

Sturbridge Trail Connects Hilliard Community

Posted August 28, 2019 in Development by Anna Subler

Hilliard’s newest multi-use trail might best be described as “small but mighty.”

At just 525 feet, the trail between Roger A. Reynolds Municipal Park and Hilliard United Methodist Church is expected to have a significant impact among those living at The Ashford at Sturbridge and the surrounding senior communities.

The Sturbridge Trail, which connects to the Hellbranch Trail, is the result of a partnership between The Ashford at Sturbridge, Hilliard United Methodist Church, and the City of Hilliard.

Built by the developer of The Ashford at Sturbridge, which opened in April, Sturbridge Trail is now open to pedestrians and bicyclists. Deputy City Engineer Letty Schamp said the project started as a zoning requirement and grew to be much more.

“Thanks to the partnership between the City, The Ashford at Sturbridge and Hilliard United Methodist Church, neighborhoods, seniors and businesses are now connected to parks, the Central Ohio Greenways trail system, and the Hilliard Farm Market,” Schamp said.

The connector takes pedestrians and bicyclists from Hellbranch Trail and Roger A. Reynolds Municipal Park to Old Hilliard on a path that runs through The Ashford at Sturbridge (a new senior living community) and Hilliard United Methodist Church.

“We see ourselves as a community-focused church, so we’re happy to have a trail that leads to so many things in our backyard,” said Hilliard United Methodist Church Lead Pastor April Blaine. “It provides those who don’t drive a car the opportunity to connect with us safely.”

Seniors living in communities like The Ashford at Sturbridge are still interested in fitness opportunities and active lifestyles, said Stephanie Hess, Vice President of Senior Living Operations for Wallick Communities, which owns The Ashford at Sturbridge.

“This generation of elderly clients is all about wellness,” Hess said. “The trail is inter-generational, which will allow residents to connect with families, younger adults, and even catch a soccer game. It’s a perfect set-up to keep them active in the community. The relationship between the church and the City has been phenomenal. They’ve supported us from the beginning and even attend our events. I haven’t seen a relationship like this in our other communities.”

Sturbridge Trail is now open to pedestrians and bicyclists. The City plans to finish striping it this fall.