The Athens-Belpre Rail Trail Needs Your Support
|This stone culvert bridges Skunk Run, a tributary of the Hocking River, in Troy Township. It allowed the B&O Railroad to pass over this valley on a built-up causeway
Very exciting bicycling news from Southeast Ohio!
The Athens-Belpre Rail Trail is a future multi-use muscle powered trail to be constructed along the former B&O railroad grade in Athens and Washington counties. This trail will be an important piece of the regional rail trail system, eventually connecting the Moonville Rail Trail and Hockhocking-Adena bikeway to the west with the North Bend Rail Trail to the east.
The Athens-Belpre Rail Trail Steering Committee is a community organization working to acquire right-of-way along the B&O corridor and promote trail development in cooperation with Athens and Washington County officials.
I contacted James at ABRT to see if he could share a little information with us, and to find out how to become a member or donate. Here is his response:
Columbus Rides Bikes,
Great to hear that you are interested in promoting the ABRT on your blog. We have a bare bones website at http://athensbelprerailtrail.org/ that gives a cool interactive map of the planned route. We will be starting up workdays again in the spring, hopefully as soon as March. I will post info about these on the FB page, and we can use volunteers to help us continue to clear sections of the trail. Hopefully we will be able to open up some sections this year, maybe hold a couple events to get people out to see the trail and how much potential it has.
One of our biggest struggles for the moment is fundraising, there are a number of bridge crossings, culverts, and other improvements needed to make the trail continuous, so of course donations are welcome, and we can always use help searching for sources of grant funding. I recently found out about People for Bikes community grants, so we submitted a proposal to them and should find out soon about that.
Meetings of the Athens-Belpre Rail-Trail steering committee are the second Wednesday of the month, at 7 pm, in the meeting room at the Soil & Water Conservation Service office in The Plains, OH on 69 S Plains Rd (OH-682). The next meeting will be March 12, 2014. Anyone who really wants to get involved in the nitty gritty is welcome to attend those meetings, I will try to post reminders about that also on the FB page.
We do not have membership per se in the Athens-Belpre Rail-Trail Committee, but welcome interested participants. The financial agent for the Rail-Trail, and the organization behind it all, is the Athens Conservancy, which would welcome memberships and donations!
Please show your support and "like" the Athens-Belpre Rail Trail page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/athensbelprerailtrail
To become a member or donate to the Athens Conservancy, go to