In the 1950’s, a foot-trail was conceived from the Ohio River to Lake Erie to encourage young people to slow down the pace of day-to-day life, and learn about their native land. An association was formed and a trail was built along scenic back roads and trails throughout Ohio’s most scenic and historic landmarks.
My family moved from Southern California to Ohio when I was 9-years old. My Dad’s job had changed and my parents were looking for a slower, more peaceful way of life. My siblings and I were home-schooled in California, which meant field trips were spent exploring California’s many national historic landmarks and parks of the likes of the Spanish colonial missions of San Juan Capistrano and San Luis Obispo, mountain mining ghost towns like Bodie, and the natural landscapes of Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia. Experiences like those gave me an appreciation for the place I called my home, for history, and a longing to be outside in natural places.
Upon moving to Ohio, I was entered into the private school system. Gone were the days of exploring historical landmarks and my understanding of Ohio’s beauty was limited. I thought Ohio was flat, full of cornfields, and naturally boring, until I started riding a bike. The bicycle gave me an opportunity to see Ohio’s natural beauty. To this day, I am constantly surprised by the quaint winding roads along its rolling hills and ridges, through its dense forests, gorges, caves, prairies and bogs.
While I was riding these roads I started noticing a correlation between some of the more scenic roads and the blue-blazes painted on trees along the side of the road. I did a bit more research and learned of the Buckeye Trail, a long-distance hiking trail along paved roads, dirt roads, and wooded trail through many of the most scenic locations and small historic towns Ohio has to offer, such as Serpent Mound, Hocking Hills, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and Wayne National Forest. Immediately, I became intrigued with the idea of a bicycle pilgrimage along the Buckeye Trail from the Ohio River to Lake Erie for those looking to enjoy Ohio’s beauty, whether they live here, moved away, or are simply curious about this intriguing state. My husband, a native of Ohio, Tom will be joining me, along with my sister Mary, who will be moving away from Ohio this summer. If this trip sounds intriguing to you, we encourage you to join us along this ride for as much or as little as you would like. Below you can view our route and general itinerary. For more questions, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The route that I developed follows the paved and dirt roads of the Buckeye Trail. Where the trail turns to a wooded footpath, I opted to direct the route along alternative back roads near by, then reconnect with the original route. While I have ridden a large portion of the roads included in this route, I have not ridden all of them consecutively. As a first time test of this route, we will set out to ride this route, documenting it, making improvements as needed, and collecting information for those wishing to experience it themselves.
Buckeye Trail Bicycle Route - Cincinnati to Lake Erie: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/8350930
Sunday, June 13: Loveland to Lynx.
Monday, June 14: Lynx to Pike State Forest
Tuesday, June 15: Pike State Forest to Wayne National Forest
Wednesday, June 16: Wayne National Forest to Caldwell
Thursday, June 17: Caldwell to Canton
Friday, June 18: Canton to Lake Erie