UPDATE: The Hocking Valley Scenic Trail now [as of Feb 27, 2018] has an account with the Hocking Hills Chamber of Commerce Foundation and is accepting donations. Donations will be utilized for trail design/engineering, construction and maintenance. Donations can be made by writing your check to Hocking Hills Chamber of Commerce Foundation, with Hocking Valley Scenic Trail in the Memo Line. Let’s make this dream a reality!
Last month, the Hocking Valley Scenic Trail (HVST) Committee held a public meeting in Logan to present its plans to create a new rail trail that will connect to and extend the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway (HAB) from Nelsonville to Logan. Once complete, the project will add 11.6 miles of paved multi-purpose trail. The proposed route will mostly run side-by-side with the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway.
The HVST will bring the total trail length of the two connected trails to 33.5 miles, including the extension of the HAB that is currently underway along Route 50 east of Athens.
The HVST Committee convened to explore the feasibility of developing the trail. The committee is currently working on Phase 1 of the HVST, a paved trail that will begin near the intersection of US33 and SR595 in Haydenville and run 3.6 miles to the abandoned lock rest stop on Old 33, almost to Nelsonville. Estimated cost of Phase 1 is $1.2M, which would potentially be funded by two grants, a Clean Ohio Grant to acquire right-of-way, and an ODOT Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant to pay for construction. Grant applications were to be submitted this month (Feb 2018). Notice of initial grant awards are expected in late summer 2018. Local match of $63,750 will be required if grants are approved.
Sections of the trail will require bridge construction, bringing the estimated cost for the entire 11.6 miles of paved trail to just over $6M. For more information, contact Kelly Taulbee, HVST Committee Chair via email: ktaulbeehchd at gmail.com.
CORRECTION: The original post said that Phase 1 of the HVST will start in Nelsonville. It will actually not quite reach Nelsonville, but will begin near the intersection of US33 and SR595 in Haydenville and run 3.6 miles to the abandoned lock rest stop on Old 33. Thanks to Tracy Shoults of Stantec for the correction.