Notice: I've taken a part-time job, and it's definitely affecting my blogging time. I'll continue to add content here as often as possible. Pertinent guest posts are always welcome.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Attendee Report- Dayton Conference

Clifton Gorge
Clifton Gorge (photo by jhy)

by John Heiam, from the Sept 2011 issue of the Grand Traverse Hiking Club Newsletter

In August Dick Naperala, Rick Halbert, Arlen and Arlene Matson, and Lois Goldstein and I attended the 2011 North Country Trail conference in Dayton Ohio. As many of you know, the NCTA has a conference every August at a different location along the trail. This year it was in Dayton, Ohio. One of the things I enjoy about going to the conference is seeing the beauty that exists in unexpected areas. Two years ago the conference was in North Dakota, and I thought the area wouldn’t have much to offer.

I was really surprised by the beauty in the area. Much of North Dakota consists of rolling green hills, with areas of forest. This year I wondered what an urban area like Dayton could offer. One day we were led on a hike to Clifton Gorge, where a small stream has carved a channel through a hundred feet of rock. While I was at a Board meeting, Lois went on a kayak paddle along the Mad River. On another day, we were led on a thirty-five mile bike ride on a beautiful tree lined paved trail, topped off with a lunch stop at a local restaurant that made its own ice cream.

In Xenia, Ohio just south of Dayton, four long paved bike trails intersect. Downtown Dayton has been transformed from an industrial center to a city laced with parks and an absolutely beautiful river front. One night after the conference presentation by Andrew Skurka, we listened to a free open air concert of a local big band, playing music from the forties and fifties. They played in an ultra-modern open air pavilion along the river. Next to the pavilion is a new bicycling hub, which includes a new building with showers and a bicycle storage area for people who want to commute downtown by bicycle.

The number of paved bicycle trails in the area is astounding.

This segment is on Buckeye Trail map Caesar Creek

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