(Posted Sept. 24, 2015)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Bicyclists can ride hundreds of miles on the Ohio to Erie Trail, part of which runs through Madison County. Some who make long treks seek overnight camping options along the trail. The Madison County Park Board, with help from the Friends of Madison County Parks & Trails (FMCPT), is looking into the possibility of providing such accommodations in London.
The park board can apply for Clean Ohio Green Space Funds to purchase land for a campsite. The funds are administered by the state’s Natural Resource Assistance Council (NRAC).
Julia Cumming, who serves as a consultant to the park board and has served on the NRAC, said a total of $4 million is available for use by non-profits and government agencies in a multi-county region of the state in which Madison County lies. The next deadline to apply for funding is in October. Funding requests require a 25 percent match in local dollars.
According to Wayne Roberts, FMCPT executive director, there are three properties along the bike trail in London that would make good campsites. Paul Gross, who serves on the park board with his fellow county commissioners, David Dhume and Mark Forrest, said he has talked with one set of property owners whose land sits near the Prairie Grass Trailhead behind the Madison County Senior Center. Those property owners are unsure whether they want to sell their land at this time.
Because the effort to acquire land is in the early stages, the park board might not be ready to make an application for funding by the October deadline. Cumming said additional opportunities to apply likely will be available next year.
Full Eclipse/Full Moon Bike Ride
FMCPT hosts bike rides during full moons between April and October. The next ride, set for Sept. 27, coincides with not only a full harvest moon but also a full lunar eclipse.
The ride leaves at 8 p.m. from the Prairie Grass Trailhead behind the Madison County Senior Center, 280 W. High St., London. Riders have two distance options: a 20-mile round trip to South Charleston or a 10-mile round trip to Neil Road leaving at 8:15.
The ride is free and open to anyone. Registration is not required. Helmets, lights and light-colored clothing are recommended.
The last full moon bike ride of the season will be on Oct. 27 at 7:30.
Bike Rodeo wrap-up
FMCPT held a bike rodeo at the Madison County Emergency Management Agency’s annual Safety Expo. Roberts reported that 135 youngsters completed the bicycle safety course and many others watched. Thanks to a donation from the West Jefferson Police Department, FMCPT gave away 200 bike helmets at the rodeo.