State Funding for Trail Projects in Ohio

This blog post includes complete details for each of the 9 projects that you can help support state funding for. You can sign our petition in under a minute to help support state funding for trails!



The Ohio Trails Partnership is proposing a statewide investment of $15M from the One Time Strategic Community Investments Fund (SCIF) Fund SAY1 to jumpstart a future sustained funding line item within the next Biennial ODNR Operating Budget for implementation of the 2019 Ohio Trails Vision. Below are recommendations that are mentioned in that document.

  • Economic Impact Study for Trails.

  • Consistent funding for trail maintenance on both terrestrial and water trails.

  • Provide required match money for underserved/distressed urban and rural communities to better access existing funding streams.

  • Provide technical assistance funding and pre-design work for critical connecting projects and opportunities called for in the 2019 Ohio Trails Vision, which are supported specifically by the Partners of the Ohio Trails Partnership. 

The American Canoe Association, the Buckeye Trail Association, the Ohio Horseman's Council, The Ohio Mountain Bike Alliance, The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy all support this effort to improve and maintain our impactful trail assets.


Clermont County
Appalachian Community Grant – Real Rural Revitalized

The proposed mountain bike trail expansion would provide direct connectivity to the towns of Williamsburg via the existing, paved Williamsburg-Batavia Hike/Bike Trail. With access from multiple locations outside East Fork Lake State Park, this trail expansion on State of Ohio lands becomes an expansive addition to the municipal recreation offerings. 

The 7-mile trail project plan consists of several trails connecting to the campground loops and the Williamsburg-Batavia Trail, which will act as the system's spine. At the midpoint of the Williamsburg-Batavia, a progressive mountain bike park consisting of four beginner to expert downhill lines and an artistic starting hub will overlook the lake. The entire trail system expansion will be modern and progressive, ideally suited for all abilities, and peppered with mountain bike skills development features.

Adding to the existing backcountry-style hiking, equestrian, and mountain bike trails at East Fork, this expansion will directly serve towns and campers visiting the park and cement the area as a multi-use recreation destination.

These trails will bring a positive economic, health, and livability impact to Clermont County’s disadvantaged communities and strengthen the link between Greater Cincinnati and the Appalachian region for increased tourism and investment which will help to bolster the economy in the region.

Ross County
Appalachian Community Grant – Real Rural Revitalized

Specifically, the Great Seal Mountain Bike Park will provide a true destination for gravity enduro style, a feature that currently does not exist in Ohio. Bolstering the economy and place-making. This investment will fund a 5+ mile downhill flow experience with over 500 feet in elevation change, with camping, bathroom facilities, shuttle road access, and other supporting infrastructure. 

State Capital/SCIF Request

Newark Station is being developed as a community hub. It’s a public/private partnership including North Valley Bank and the Small Business Administration. This project is centered around the redevelopment of 120,000 sq ft of space including a restaurant/lounge, 18 apartments, an outdoor entertainment venue, volleyball courts, bike path access and much more to come. COMBO and the City Of Newark are working on the vision for the outdoor recreation portion of the project which will include rock climbing, bouldering, asphalt bike pump track, a mountain bike skills area, and a jump line.


This is an economic opportunity zone within Newark focused on revitalizing an area as a community hub. Spaces like this attract families & businesses alike. Having access to this type of outdoor recreation, dining and living are a key element to attracting professional talent in the region.


Anderson Park District, Hamilton County
State Capital/SCIF Request

The Clear Creek Bike Park will be connected to the abundance of bike trail assets from Great Parks of Hamilton County, Cincinnati Parks, Cincinnati Recreation Commission, Anderson Park District, Anderson Township, and the City of Newtown. Once established, the Clear Creek Bike Park will be the heart of Little Miami River Valley Outdoor Recreation Corridor, which connects to hundreds of miles of paved bike trails. This will create a transformative, dynamic, and accessible regional trail system in southwestern Ohio and establish a resource unparalleled anywhere else in the country. 

Bike Parks are fun and approachable planned areas where riders try different obstacles in a controlled environment to build better bike handling skills. This open, designed space is highly conducive to building confidence on a bike, especially for those who haven’t had many safe chances to try riding. Everyone can use bike parks, from tots on balance bikes, teens on BMX bikes, everyone on mountain bikes, scooters, unicycles, and other wheeled sports. 

With support from regional stakeholders, including The Harold C Schott Foundation and the Brad & Martha Lindner Family, CORA and nationally renowned Applied Trails Research have completed an initial natural surface trail feasibility assessment study that includes several opportunities in the valley. 

The Clear Creek Bike Park is one of these recreational vignettes. Clear Creek will have a large paved pump track and a small one for toddlers and young kids. There will also be progressive paved slopestyle, flow trails, and fun trail features lining the paved Little Miami Trail. 

The overall project aims to increase the amount and variety of recreation opportunities in the National and State Scenic Little Miami River valley. The paved greenway system throughout the valley will be used as a "spine" linking the Little Miami Trail, natural surface trails, and river access points. This will provide an entry point for families and newcomers to explore natural assets. Additionally, it will serve the under-represented and under-served population of Greater Cincinnati with bike-friendly access via the Little Miami Trail. 

Nagel Middle School, Anderson Township, Hamilton County
State Capital/SCIF Request

Utilizing 31 mountain bikes acquired through a Riding for Focus Grant from the Outride Foundation, Nagel Middle School Wellness Teacher Brian Weaver started a successful biking program for students on school grounds during Academic Flex Time. With Coach Weaver's guidance, Cincinnati Off-Road Alliance will add to this resource, creating an on-campus, kid focused skills area open to the public outside of school hours.

The Nighthawk Bike Skills Park will create a space for students to challenge themselves while learning skills to navigate the woods, rocks, and varying terrain on a bike. In addition, the Riding for Focus program provides a big step toward leading youth into a lifelong sport that will maintain health, mental well-being, and focus. Having these types of amenities in the region also helps retain talent for their parents and guardians in the workforce. Employees often cite that considering locations with resources like this nearby is a meaningful perk of working in the area.

Special thanks to The Forest Hills Foundation for Education, Sutphin Family Foundation, Mercy Health, Total Quality Logistics, and The Ben Kimble Foundation, and over 100 individual donors for generous contributions to this project thus far, $51,000 is secured, leading to funding of Phase I. Wooden trail features for this phase are in production with American Bike Ramps, and due to arrive in Spring 2024. The second phase of this project will be made possible through state funding and will establish this as a regional hub for outdoor recreation. Similarly to the wildly successful Gator’s Bike Park in Columbus, this will be transformative for kids and teens to be active outdoors and build skills on a bike.  

East Westwood, Cincinnati
State Capital/SCIF Request

CORA has worked with nonprofit organization Groundwork Ohio River Valley and the East Westwood community of Cincinnati to break ground on trails at the Goltra Preserve, situated on Hillside Trust property. This project will interconnect the neighborhood of East Westwood with pedestrian and bike-friendly routes, and it will provide an exceptional space for outdoor recreation - something that has been severely lacking in the community. The trails at Goltra are proximal and will provide faster routes to Mt. Airy Forest, the largest of the Cincinnati Parks at over 1,400 acres, exponentially increasing access to thoughtful and sustainable outdoor recreation in the region.



Athens County

Appalachian Community Grant – Real Rural Revitalized

The proposed City of Nelsonville & Village of Chauncey Revitalization Project supports and leverages the existing assets like the Baileys Trail System in the Wayne National Forest and 25+mi-long Hockhocking Adena Bikeway. The Baileys is a 58-mile and growing professionally built mountain bike optimized trail system, one of the largest East of the Mississippi with year one economic impacts totaling $5.3MM in 2021.* This project provides direct Baileys and Hockhocking Adena Bikeway connections to the City of Nelsonville’s historic downtown Public Square, home to world-class Stuart’s Opera House.  This project also adds key infrastructure to the Baileys Trail System Chauncey-Dover Park Trailhead, a campground, the system’s first ADA accessible trail, an outdoor educational amphitheater, and connections to the planned Baileys Trail System Visitor Hub, planned ~5,000 square foot multipurpose commercial facility supported by a 2022 ODNR AMLER grant. 


The Baileys Trail System is an Ohio tourism asset and upon completion will be the longest continuous mountain bike trail system in the East. This trail system has 58 of the planned 88-mile complete and is gearing up for another year of construction. The Baileys is open to all forms of human powered use and one of the largest user groups are trail runners. This project capitalizes on the trails and planned development of the Baileys Trail System Visitor Hub, projected to contribute $4.6 MM to the local economy annually. * 


Completion of the City of Nelsonville and Village of Chauncey Revitalization projects ensure the quality of this trail system will not go unnoticed and route economic benefits to one of Ohio’s three of 88 counties experiencing persistent poverty and economic distress. The addition of an ADA trail, camping, and outdoor amphitheater enhance the quality of Ohio’s one-of-a-kind Baileys Trail System. Improvements at the Baileys Trail System Chauncey-Dover Park Trailhead equip communities and land managers with infrastructure that will generate long-term revenue to reinvest in maintenance and operation of the Baileys Trail System. 


*2021 Ohio University Voinovich School Economic Impact of The Baileys Trail System

*2022 Quantified Ventures, LLC Assessment: Economic Impact Analysis of the Proposed Baileys Trail System Visitor Hub 




Lawrence County, Wayne National Forest

Appalachian Community Grant – Real Rural Revitalized

This project enhances and preserves one of Ohio’s most accessible outdoor recreation areas, which also offers accessible: kayaking, archery, and fishing. This project reconstructs portions of the ADA accessible 1,436-ft Boardwalk Trail, enhances accessible outdoor recreation through the addition of amenities that provide shelter from the sun, and adds utilities for RV hookup and food truck parking. This project’s inclusive design provides essential temperature regulation opportunities for many individuals utilizing wheelchairs at the beach’s concrete trail to the water's edge. The addition of a pavilion, RV hook-up, and food truck area enhance this quality destination and add vibrancy to Ohio’s largest portion of Wayne National Forest, which represents 26% of Lawrence County’s landmass. 

Wayne National Forest will maintain this public infrastructure for continued use in perpetuity and has tried unsuccessfully for years to access federal investments for this project. This project stabilization and addition of infrastructure enhances the visitor experience by providing new visitor amenities like the opportunity to purchase lunch from a local food truck vendor and preserves the beloved accessible boardwalk, allowing the annual Wheelin’ Sportsmen Fishing Derby to resume after years of cancellation.


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