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by Diane Spicer
If you're in Ohio, great news.
"What's Buckeye Trail hiking like?" has a resounding answer:
The idea for a long trail in Ohio began in the mind of Merrill Gilfillan in 1958.
It only took one year for the idea to gather together a nucleus of people to form the Buckeye Trail Association (see below).
Emma Gatewood was among them.
The Buckeye Trail winds around and through Ohio for +1400 miles.
Lots of scenery is yours for the taking on this loop trail:
The trail is marked with blue blazes on trees and posts (contrast that to white blazes for the Appalachian Trail).
It's divided into 26 sections, with local place names for each section. Here's an overview map.
Camping along the trail can be a problem, as not every section has camping sites.
There are no shelters, as you'd find on many other long trails.
However, you won't be very far from civilization, because the trail passes many towns as it winds its way through Ohio. This can be a good thing if you're caught in bad weather, or a bad thing if you're looking for solitude.
If you're a hiking history buff, this trail allows you to combine both of your loves.
As always, it's important to do your homework and planning before setting foot on the trail.
This book, aptly entitled Follow The Blue Blazes, will help with your Buckeye Trail hiking plans.
In my experience, it's the volunteer organizations that get the most done.
They're focused, committed, and love their local trails.
The Buckeye Trail Association is a great example.
If you have a hankering to volunteer to maintain this amazing Ohio hiking trail, BTA will give you plenty of options for trail stewardship, outreach and professional services that you can donate.
It feels great, and preserves this trail for the next generation to enjoy.
And isn't that one of the wonderful thing about hikers? We always like to pay it forward.
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