Strouds trail

The Blackhaw Trail at Strouds Run State Park is seen in this file photo. A new project involving the Athens Conservancy will connect the existing Strouds Run trail system to the Baker Preserve.

Note: This story appears in the Friday, Nov. 8 newspaper on Page A3.

The Athens Conservancy announced this week it is making progress on a pair of trails thanks to a bit of grant funding.

The nonprofit was awarded two grants from the Ora E. Anderson Conservation Fund for Appalachian Ohio, totaling $7,955.

One part completes funding needed to buy a one-half mile stretch of former Baltimore and Ohio “rail corridor” for use of the Athens-Belpre Rail Trail. This land is located in western Washington County near Little Hocking. To the west is trail land owned by Athens County; to the east is more rail corridor land owned by CSX.

In a news release announcing the grants, the Athens Conservancy reported that it continues to work with the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Belpre Multi-Use Trail Committee to acquire this CSX-owned section.

The second part of the funding will pay for construction of trails in the Canaan Preserve, which was bought by the Conservancy this past summer. The goal is to connect the existing trail system in Strouds Run State Park with five miles of trails in the Conservancy’s nearby Baker Preserve. This work will be completed in partnership with the Buckeye Trail Association and is said to begin soon.

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