The Clinton County Trails Coalition has created trails that provide pathways that connect different areas of our community. The coalition believes that these recreational trails can improve the quality of life and create a better community for all of the residents of Clinton County.
The trails that weave through the county connect people to hospitals, schools, shops, and downtowns. They also connect people to different nature areas, including woods, prairies, parks, and gardens.
The growing trails even stretch out to the edge of Clinton County on Boreham Road and includes a 7-mile Clinton-Fayette Friendship Trail that runs from Melvin Road through Sabina to North Borum Road on the east end of Clinton County.
The current trails include the following sections:
• Luther Warren Peace Path, the original trail, turns 20 years old this year
• 4-C Bicentennial Trail is 15.
• Judy Gano Trail turns 12.
• Clinton-Fayette Friendship Trail is 5 years old
• Rombach trail was added during the reconstruction of Rombach Avenue over the past year.
And the group is excited to be opening a trail extension from Nelson Avenue to Ogden Road on September 24 that will grow the trails to a total length of 18 miles.
What is the coalition doing to celebrate all of this growth and hard work on the community trails, you ask? They are moving the “Trail Ends” signs and adding new signs, thanks in large part to a HealthFirst grant.
Moving trail signs
The Clinton County trails are growing, causing a shift in the starting point of the trails along with the ending point of the trails.
The coalition started their work 30 years ago, dreaming of how they could create longer trails that would connect east of Wilmington to Sabina and Washington Court House, and westward toward Clarksville, Morrow and the Little Miami Scenic Trail in Warren County.
These dreams are coming true!
In the early years of trail development, there were two signs; one posted at the end of the Judy Gano Trail by the Kroger parking lot and the other at the end of the Luther Warren Peace Path on Nelson Avenue. Both signs read “Trail Ends”. The trails don’t start and stop here anymore! They now extend east to Progress Way and Borum Road and west to Ogden Road.
When asked about the growth of the trail and these signs, Bruce Saunders, co-founder and chairperson of the Clinton County Trails Coalition said, “I’m very excited to be able to move those signs to a location much further away and say the trail ends here now. We are so grateful for our local funding organizations, HealthFirst, for funding our signs.”
One of these “Trail Ends” signs will be moved to the end of the Rombach Trail at Progress Way (Wal-Mart), and the other will be relocated at the end of the trail extension at Ogden Road.
“We’ve been working for many years to give more people in Clinton County access to our trails and moving these signs is a great symbol of our progress,” added Saunders.
Adding trail signs
The trails coalition has not only added miles to our trails, but they have also added signs guiding people to information that is intended to improve their experiences on the trail and their quality of life.
Thanks to two HealthFirst grants spanning the same number of years, the trails coalition was able to create and acquire new signs for the trail.
During the first year of the grant, a committee of trail coalition members worked together with a professional design company to gain professional guidance in the design and creation of the new signs.
During the second year of the HealthFirst grant the group worked with local fabricators to produce the signs created by the committee, along with the installation of the new signs.
The goal of these signs is to help people use the trails more effectively, encouraging residents to get out on the trails to walk, run, or bike. The trail coalition is adding signs to share those health goals with folks directly on the trails.
The signs explain to users how much they can improve their own health by physical activity. These messages relay information from the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society to people as they are using the trails.
This direct contact, sponsored by HealthFirst of Clinton County, can encourage and motivate people to set goals for their health.
Frequent users will see regular messages to remind them of their goals as they use the trail to strengthen their commitment to their own health.
The signs were designed by members of the local trails coalition to be inclusive, colorful, inviting, informative, and representational of our own community. The signs were installed in partnership with the Wilmington City Parks and the Clinton County Engineer’s Office.
When asked about how this work was possible, Saunders explained, “We are so grateful for community support, such as the Legacy Fund who funded our paving and healthy living projects, through the Clinton County Foundation. We are also grateful for the support of the National Rails-to-Trails organization.
”And a special thanks to the people who made the new trail going to Ogden Road possible: Cliff Rosenberger, former speaker of the Ohio House, The Larry and Terri Roberts Family, The City of Wilmington and The Clean Ohio Trails Fund.”
The Clinton County Trails Coalition and the City of Wilmington invite everyone to the grand opening of the trail extension from Nelson Avenue to Ogden Road, the newest trail measures 3.5 miles. It will take place on Saturday, September 24 at 9 a.m. in the Nelson Avenue Parking Lot.
Everyone is encouraged to bring their bike or walking shoes and join together on the trail for the first official opening and use of the trail.
Commemorative cookies will be served by Papsy’s Place along with hot drinks sold by Kava Haus.
Be sure to visit the Clinton County Trails Coalition booth that day and pick up SWAG, trail maps and complete a survey about how you use the trails.
Please feel free to invite friends and neighbors to come and celebrate this new trail and all of the trails in the community!