Trail benefits from Eagle Scouts’ elbow grease

Eagle Scout candidate Jakob Friend coordinated the construction of a small shelter house along the Prairie Grass trail, part of the Ohio To Erie Trail, at the Madison-Clark county line. The structure serves as a place for trail users to rest and get out of the weather.

(Posted Feb. 23, 2017)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

A miniature shelter house is one of many projects in the works along Madison County’s portion of the Ohio To Erie Trail.

Eagle Scout candidate Jakob Friend, a London resident and member of Boy Scout Troop 104, coordinated the construction of a roofed, open-sided shelter along the trail near the Madison-Clark county line.

“We have ‘Welcome to Madison County’ signs at the county line. The shelter serves as even more of a welcome,” said Wayne Roberts, executive director of the Friends of Madison County Parks and Trails (FMCPT), a non-profit group that helps with the trail’s maintenance and improvement.

Another Eagle Scout candidate from Troop 104 likely will pick up where Friend left off, adding more amenities to the shelter. Possibilities include a floor, picnic benches and a bike rack.

“It’s good for us and the trail system…for the Scouts to have projects to do. It helps them and us,” Roberts said.

Other Eagle Scout projects that stand along the trail include another small shelter house one-quarter mile from the Prairie Grass Trailhead behind the Madison County Senior Center in London, a bench with a roof one mile from Wilson Road, and a walled surround for the portable toilet at the Wilson Road trailhead and parking area.

Roberts said some of FMCPT’s adult volunteers have expressed interest in paying for and installing three benches along the Roberts-Pass portion of the trail between Maple Street and Wilson Road. A separate project will place a bench along the trail near the bridge over Deer Creek, one-half mile east of Spring Valley Road.

FMCPT is gearing up for the official opening of Ohio’s portion of United States Bike Route 50, which runs from New York to San Francisco. The event will take place at 11 a.m. April 8 somewhere along the trail in London. Details are being finalized.

“Ohio is one of the first to have the route done across the state. It’s neat that ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation) chose London for the official opening of Ohio’s portion of USBR 50,” Roberts said.

Another trail activity, the annual Prairie Appreciation Bike Ride, is set for 8 a.m. July 29 starting from the Prairie Grass Trailhead behind the Senior Center, 280 W. High St., London.

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