Athens County will be responsible for construction and maintenance of the Torch Trail project. The ODNR NatureWorks Program will provide 75% of the construction cost on land donated by the Athens Conservancy, with local matching funds from The Athens Foundation, Quidel Corporation, and private donations.

This is a joint project with the Athens Conservancy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your donation is tax deductable and can help provide matching funds for this and other projects.

Torch Trail Project

A journey of one thousand miles begins with a single step
— Lao-tzu

One of the most scenic parts of the Athens-Belpre Rail Trail is the stretch between Frost Road near the Hocking river and Ferndale Park in Torch, Ohio. This project will include some of that stretch, from the first missing bridge site west of Torch, to Osborne Road, near Ferdale Park. The photo below was taken in this area.

Troll Corridor

This project is scheduled for completion within the 2015 construction season. In total, the project will clear and grade about three miles of trail. The project begins about 0.4 miles east of Ireland Road (CR 59). In Torch, the trail will pass along the southern boundary of Ferndal Park, where there will be a small crushed stone parking lot off North Torch Road. After a slight shared-use roadway diversion around a privately owned section of the railroad grade, the trail will continue under SR-7 through a large box culvert installed by ODOT in 2013 for that purpose. The project ends at the Couny line, about a half mile west of Collins Road. The Athens Conservancy is doing its best to acquire railroad right of way eastward into Washington County.

Google Earth View

When finished the trail will have a smooth unpaved surface open to walking, bicycling, horse riding and other muscle-powered modes of travel, including all terrain wheelchairs.