Southern Ohio is known for its majestic hills, historic riverfront towns and expansive state and national forests. However, many Ohioans may not know that this region also has a growing network of bike and multi-use trails, with over one hundred miles to explore.
The Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission (OVRDC), in partnership with regional trail groups, has launched a web portal to highlight these trails.
The Southern Ohio Trails portal gives users an overview of the wide variety of trails in the region, and serves as a landing page for those trails that may not have a presence on the web. The focal point of the portal is an interactive map with information and pictures from each trail along with links to regional parks. The portal focuses on facilities within the OVRDC Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RTPO) region, including Adams, Brown, Fayette, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross and Scioto Counties.
An interactive map from the Mountain Biking Project, a crowd-sourced repository for mountain bike trails, is also featured.
When asked why southern Ohio needs a dedicated trails portal, Wendi Waugh of Portsmouth Connex explained that “one of the primary objectives of Connex is to create and expand biking infrastructure. Without efforts to communicate trailways such as this portal, those efforts would be meaningless. Connex looks forward to growth of trailway usage and expansion of future trails.” She went on to describe the collaboration between CONNEX and OVRDC as “mutually beneficial to both organizations.”
Currently, the portal contains information on paved and shared-roadway bicycle trails, backpacking trails, state parks, state forests and national forests. Over time, data from the southeastern part of the state will be incorporated into the portal, as well as data on local parks throughout the region. OVRDC is currently reaching out to other agencies as well to enhance the information provided in the portal.
You can visit the portal now at www.southernohiotrails.org. For more information call Malcolm Meyer at the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission at (740) 947-2853 or Wendi Waugh with Connex at (740) 356-7557.