(Posted Sept. 23, 2016)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The multi-purpose walking and biking path that runs through London recently earned a new designation.
Known locally as the Prairie Grass Trail and Roberts Pass Trail, the path has long been part of the Ohio To Erie Trail, a 330-mile trail that runs between Cleveland and Cincinnati.
Now, it’s also part of U.S. Bicycle Route 50, an east-west route that crosses the center of Ohio and is part of a national route that will eventually link Washington D.C. and San Francisco.
“If you traveled through London on the bike route the last couple of weeks, you may have noticed the new U.S. Bike Route 50 signs,” said Wayne Roberts, executive director of the Friends of Madison County Parks and Trails, a non-profit volunteer group that helps to maintain and enhance the local trail. “Ohio and Indiana are two of the early states that have completed their detail layout of this major route.”
According to the Ohio Department of Transportation, the U.S. Bicycle Routes System is a developing national network of bicycle routes that are numbered and signed and often integrate local and regional bike routes and trails. Eventually, the system will encompass 50,000 miles of routes in all 50 states.
To date, 11,243 miles of U.S. Bicycle Routes have been established in 24 states, according to the Adventure Cycling Association. In addition to Route 50, London’s path is slated to be part of another U.S. route running the north-south length of the country.
The purpose of the route designations is to enhance bicycle tourism and transportation opportunities. For details, visit www.adventurecycling.org/usbrs.
In other local trail news, Roberts reported that at least 50 bicyclists have used the primitive camping sites located behind the Madison County Senior Center at the Prairie Grass Trailhead. The sites were opened in mid-April and are available for use by donation. Roberts said he estimates the average donation to be $10 per night.
Guest card information reveals that individuals using the campsites are from all over Ohio, other states, and beyond. A 19-year-old from London, England, was among them.
“He started his bike tour in Los Angles and was heading to New York,” Roberts said. “Although it was not required, (he) signed his name on our guest card and further said he was 19 years old… A young lad with that determination and drive is going places!”
Go to www.fmcpt.com to learn more about the Friends of Madison County Parks and Trails.