COLUMBUS, OH - More than 140 volunteers recently assisted the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in renovating nearly 2.5 miles of trails at Hocking State Forest in southeast Ohio.
The volunteers contributed more than 1,200 hours towards rehabilitating an eroding section of bridle trail; relocating a section of trail away from the top of a rock climbing area; and re-marking a section of Ohios Buckeye Trail.
This project has significantly improved some of our most popular trail sections at Hocking State Forest, said John Dorka, acting chief of the ODNR Division of Forestry. Such enthusiastic and generous help, from several different trail-user groups, shows the widespread support for the establishment and maintenance of our state forest trails. We greatly appreciate the assistance.
Volunteers for the project came from the Ohio Horseman's Council (OHC), the Buckeye Trail Association (BTA), the Ohio Trails Partnership (OTP), the Central Ohio Mountain Bike Organization (COMBO), Rappellers, and staff from ODNRs state parks and the Wayne National Forest.
The work, mostly done with hand tools, included: draining wet spots, building split-rail fence to protect sensitive areas from erosion, spreading mulch, and modifying trail surfaces to properly shed water.
We also owe a special thanks to the Ohio Trails Partnership for conducting a trail-building workshop at Alum Creek State Park this month, said Dorka. Giving project leaders that training was key to being able to organize and keep so many volunteers fully involved in the improvement effort.
Materials for the project were supplied by the ODNR Division of Forestry; Carr Concrete of Waverly, West Virginia; Luke Horn Construction; Palmerosa Horse Camp; the International Mountain Bike Association; the Ohio Trails Partnership; the Ohio Horseman's Council, and Wal-Mart, Kroger, McDonalds and Jack's Steak House of Logan.
The Buckeye Trail, which runs through Hocking State Forest, connects the four corners of Ohio and includes more than 1,200 miles of hiking and walking path in a continuous loop that encircles the state. As a statewide trail, it follows old canal towpaths, abandoned railroad rights of way, rivers, lakeshores, rural byways and primitive footpaths over forested public and private lands.
The 9,266-acre Hocking State Forest contains nearly 50 miles of trails, and a special 90-acre area for rock climbing.
State forest officials expect to host additional improvement projects at Hocking State Forest this year.