No matter where you go in Ohio you are likely to run into the Buckeye Trail's blue blazes.
The longest single-state loop trail in the US, the Buckeye Trail is 1440 miles long. The NCT is concurrent with it for about 800 of those miles. "The trail follows dedicated gravel or dirt hiking paths, old canal towpaths or railroad rights of way, county roads and even a few city sidewalks. It cuts through vast forests, skirts industrial land and farm fields, passes museums and historical sites, descends into beautiful, steep valleys and traverses seemingly unending plains."
Gary Williams, board member of the Buckeye Trail Association, explained that there is very little public land in Ohio. But where the trail follows roads, the route is chosen to find roads that are very little used. "Sometimes, you can hike on these roads all day and never see a car, " Williams commented.
This year is the 50th Anniversary of the trail, and in addition to the many hikes that are planned, there will be a special celebration June 12-14 at Camp McPherson near Danville.
About 100 people have hiked the entire loop. One weekend a month there is a hike that works at the continuous loop, so that dedicated participants can complete the entire trail, given enough time.
To kick off the 50th anniversary of the trail, the Buckeye Trail Association will hold a special celebration May 16 at the Grandma Gatewood trail section in Hocking Hills. in the Hocking Hills. "Grandma" Emma Gatewood, at age 67, in 1955, became the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail.
Gatewood became one of the primary supporters of the Buckeye Trail project and reportedly donated the money to buy the first few pails of blue blaze paint, used on the trail through the Old Man's Cave area. The May 16 adventure will begin at 10 a.m. with a ribbon-cutting and a 6-mile round-trip commemorative hike.
See Buckeye Trail Association