North Country Trail changes in Ohio

Hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians and the U.S. Forest Service are working together to make the North Country Trail in Wayne National Forest a bit safer this year as a proposed reroute project will help avoid public roads and skirt areas of erosion.

In a proposal released earlier this month, the U.S. Forest Service outlines three sections of the North Country Trail in Ohio that will be rerouted to avoid public roads and more effectively provide drainage and maintenance capabilities. Two sections of trail in the Marietta Wayne National Forest Unit (near the Lamping Homestead Recreation Area and near the Archer’s Fork trail) and one section of trail in the Athens Unit (near the Stone Church Trail) are proposed to be rerouted.

“We have been working with local user groups for some time now to develop the proposed route for this project and volunteers have put in thousands of hours of additional trail work on other parts of the trail as well,” said Jason Reed, Athens District ranger.

The Forest Service project is an answer to requests from local user groups for more scenic miles on the trail as well as safer trail access. The current sections of the trail that are recommended to be rerouted are along public roads and some users say these sections are not only less interesting but are not well suited for trail users.

The main goal of the proposed reroute in the Archer’s Fork area is to avoid slip-prone hillsides as some sections of the Archer’s Fork trail include a user-built trail system that currently does not meet Forest Service standards.

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