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Buckeye Trail Association Building New Hiking And Backpacking Trail

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Ravenna - The Buckeye Trail is a hiking trail that circles the whole state of Ohio and is 1,444 miles long. It is built and maintained by the Buckeye Trail Association (BTA) and numerous volunteers.As a non-profit organization, they strive to provide outdoor recreation through hiking and backpacking to all four corners of Ohio. Now the BTA wants to expand the backpacking opportunities in the northeastern part of the state. Through co-operation with the Army Corps of Engineers and West Branch State Park they have started construction on a backpacking trail that will extend the Buckeye Trail around the Michael J.Kirwan reservoir and will be 25 plus miles long when completed. There will also  be two overnight shelters for camping along the trail.Matthew Funk,the Mogadore section supervisor, says that right now there is  nowhere in this corner of the state to actually backpack and he’s out to change this. “Right now if a person wants an overnight experience while hiking, they either have to go across the state line into Pennsylvania or down into southern Ohio to find backpacking opportunities. We are hoping to give hikers in this area something right in their back yards.”What is needed is to get as much community support for this project as possible. It will take multiple years to complete this project and we need all the help we can get. Volunteer opportunities abound, from actually building the trail to having people adopt small segments of it, to maintaining it  once it’s in place.We have work parties planned for different weekends through the spring,summer and fall seasons.So if anyone wants to come out and help us build trail,it would be greatly appreciated.All tools will be provided,so all someone needs is a lunch, drinks,gloves,and a good attitude.People with carpentry skills are also a plus for there  will be numerous bridges that need to be built. Boaters can also help by ferrying people and tools to the spot where we’re working to save long walks by the volunteers.If you are a hiker living in the surrounding area, come out and help us make this dream a reality. To volunteer please contact Matthew Funk at trailblazermatt@yahoo.com or call (330)310 9022 to get on the list.When the next trail building event comes up you will be notified.