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Monday, April 8, 2013

New edition reveals sights to see along rail trails [The Columbus Dispatch]


I had two big travel fantasies when I was a kid.
The first was putting a raft in the Big Darby Creek behind my house and floating — eventually — to New Orleans.
The second was even less likely: hopping on my bike and riding for hours — or even days — along scenic routes where I wouldn’t have to worry about dodging cars and trucks.
As it happens, Worthington resident Shawn Richardson had the same idea about bike trails when he was young.
“I remember as a 10-year-old kid biking along a short park trail on a Stingray with a friend, saying ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if these trails were miles long and you could go from town to town?’ ” Richardson recalls.
“And my friend said, ‘Woo, yeah, that would be cool!’ ”
Many years later, Richardson would help such dreams come true for many as a promoter and chronicler of “rail trails” — bicycle and multipurpose trails built on abandoned railroad right of ways and other routes. He was one of the founders of the effort to create the Heritage Rail Trail from Hilliard to Plain City, and, in 1996, he wrote Biking Ohio’s Rail-Trails, a guidebook and atlas of all the bicycle trails in the state.

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