YELLOW SPRINGS — Glen Helen celebrates a historic a partnership with the Buckeye Trail Association, encouraging hikers to step off of the paved bike path, continuing onto the earthen trails of the nature preserve.
The two organizations signed an agreement in late February agreeing to utilize established trails within the Glen as a scenic continuation of The Buckeye Trail. The organizations are working to select a route through the nature preserve that will highlight the geological features, waterfalls, and picturesque cliffs that make the Glen unique.
Ohio’s State Trail currently encompasses more than 1,400 miles of scenic landscape trails, reaching into every corner of the state. The first length of included trail will be announced during Glen Helen’s Earth Day Celebration, Green(E) Fest, on Saturday, April 24 at 2 p.m., as Glen Helen welcomes the Buckeye Trail to the nature preserve with a ribbon cutting event.
“We are thrilled to welcome Buckeye Trail hikers into Glen Helen. Centuries ago, Glen Helen was an important destination along the stagecoach routes across Ohio. Now, once again long-distance travelers will have the chance to explore Glen Helen as they make their way across the state,” said Glen Helen Executive Director, Nick Boutis.
Both, Glen Helen and the Buckeye Trail have spent decades encouraging visitors to take time to enjoy the landscape and to learn about and conserve native lands. The inclusion of the Buckeye Trail will uphold and advance this experience for hikers, offering an on-the-trail experience as well as opening doors for volunteerism and education for the membership of both organizations. Bringing the picturesque beauty of the Glen together with the long standing traditions of Ohio’s most renowned trail, strengthens Glen Helen’s mission to enrich the lives of hikers through unique ecological experiences and personal investment in protection of Ohio’s natural resources.
“At 1,400+ miles, Ohio’s Buckeye Trail is not the fastest route around the state – but we hope it’s the most interesting way for people to connect to Ohio’s unique natural history and cultural heritage,” said Andrew Bashaw, executive director of the Buckeye Trail Association. “We are excited to add Glen Helen Nature Preserve to the list of important destinations along the Buckeye Trail that help to tell Ohio’s story. Now, the Glen will be connected to the Headlands Dunes on Lake Erie, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Hocking Hills State Park, the banks of the Ohio River in Cincinnati, the Miami & Erie Canal Towpath in one long, continuous hiking experience! It is hard to imagine a Buckeye Trail without the beauty and the story of the Glen included. Buckeye Trail Association volunteers are looking forward to partnering with and supporting the mission of Glen Helen!”
Since the early 1920s, Glen Helen has served as a steward to more than 1,000 acres of flora and fauna, located in the heart of the Village of Yellow Springs. Supported by membership and visitor participation, the Glen champions native plant restoration and land conservation, ecological education, and raptor rehabilitation. Unifying two like-minded organizations will strengthen awareness throughout the state while offering Buckeye Trail hikers an opportunity to discover the many historical, geological, and environmental gems within the Glen.
Glen Helen is a private, nonprofit ecological organization dedicated to the preservation of the native ecosystem. The nature preserve offers the areas only raptor rehabilitation center, an outdoor education center, and more than 20 miles of publicly accessible hiking trails with spectacular views of wildflowers, 400 year old trees, limestone cliffs, waterfalls and overhangs, and the beautiful Yellow Spring, for which the Ohio village is named. Trails are open to the public from dawn to dusk, daily. Glen Helen is located at 405 Corry Street, Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387.