On Sunday, Sept. 8, you can enjoy Ohio’s best bike trail and help to pave several more miles of it at the same time. Bicyclists, walkers, runners and roller-bladers are invited to the 20th Annual Bike Ride. Registration is from 8 to 10 a.m. at 644 Miami St., Urbana.
This year’s tour honors the memory of Betsy Bohl, one of the founders of the Simon Kenton Pathfinders. Betsy held the treasurer position until 2015. An avid rider throughout her life, her dedication and ability to promote the trail project has made a lasting improvement in the quality of life for our community and others from around the state and nation.
The goal of Sunday’s tour is to make the Simon Kenton Trail even better. All proceeds will support trail maintenance and the chip-seal paving project of the trail from Lippincott Road in Champaign County to Township Road 199 in Logan County. This will complete the chip-seal of the entire compacted stone trail. Last year, the trail was chip-sealed from the city of Bellefontaine south to Logan County township Road 199 and state Route 296 to Lippincott Road in Champaign County.
The Sept. 8 bike tour is family-friendly with three ride lengths (Metric Century, Metric Half Century and 15 Mile Fun Ride) to match your fitness level. Registration for the event is at The Depot Coffeehouse in Urbana. Until Aug. 30 registration is $25 for adults, $15 for children ages 3-12, and free to kids under 3 years. The fee includes a continental breakfast, and drinks and snacks throughout the routes. Same-day registration is available. The cost will increase to $30.
The Simon Kenton Pathfinders is an all-volunteer group founded in 1997. The initial 17 members wanted to develop a shared-use path in Champaign County. The group has grown to 275 members, whose work has expanded the trail to Springfield in Clark County and Bellefontaine in Logan County.
We raised money to purchase the first portion of the trail by selling honorary deeds to “feet of the trail” at $5 a foot. We have been chasing this dream since then. Through generous private and business donations, and countless fundraisers, we have been able to complete 27 miles of trail from Bellefontaine to County Line Road in Champaign County. And our volunteers maintain the trail.
The Simon Kenton Trail runs through Champaign, Clark and Logan counties. The 27-mile shared path was voted Ohio’s best bike trail by “Ohio Magazine” readers in 2018. Besides being the best bike trail in Ohio, the Simon Kenton Trail holds another distinction. It continues to Springfield, Ohio, where it connects to Cincinnati, Ohio, for a total of 109 miles, making it the nation’s largest paved trail network!
Pathfinders Palooza celebrates 20th year
In celebration of the 20th year of the Simon Kenton Trail we are holding the first “Pathfinders Palooza.” It will be held 9 a.m.-6 p.m. at 644 Miami St., Urbana, in conjunction with the annual memorial bike tour. The event is a family-friendly day of celebration featuring live bands with local musicians, food trucks, a beer garden and local vendors. This community event is a fundraiser to PAVE THE TRAIL but is FREE to attend. Grab your family, friends and come join us in the “Celebration of the Simon Kenton Trail” connecting Urbana to Bellefontaine, West Liberty, Springfield, Yellow Springs, Dayton, Xenia, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Follow the Simon Kenton Pathfinders on Facebook, visit our website SimonKentonPathfinders.org, and on Instagram. Check back for updates often!
For more information, contact Nancy Lokai-Baldwin at [email protected] or 937-605-2434
The Simon Kenton Trail was the brainchild of Nancy Lokai-Baldwin, past president and vice president of SKP.