Trailapalooza event set for Saturday

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WESTERVILLE — Saturday’s Trailapalooza event for the Ohio to Erie Trail (OTET) will be marked by several communities in four counties.

In Genoa Township, a ribbon cutting will take place at 10 a.m. at the new Gateway Park trailhead along OTET on the southeast corner of state Route 3 and Mount Royal Avenue.

“This celebration is part of the Preservation Parks’ Trailapolooza celebrating the completion of the Ohio to Erie Trail through Delaware County,” said Genoa Township’s website.

In Sunbury, a Farmers Market takes place from 9 a.m.-noon at the city square, 51 E. Cherry St. Across the street, the Myers Inn Museum will be open from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. At dusk, Movies on the Square features the bicycle-riding-themed film “Breaking Away” (PG).

Just below the square, there will be a 45-minute Bikepacking Class at the Sunbury train depot building next to the Sandel Legacy Trail, 168 S. Vernon St., starting at 11 a.m. Public Lands will put on the presentation, which features a fully packed bike.

Further south in Westerville (Franklin County), a bike corral will be set up Hanby Park, 115 E. Park St. from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for those who want to visit the Farmers Market (9 a.m.-noon) or the Uptown shops and restaurants. There will be giveaway items available.

There are two morning bike rides going from Trek Westerville, 5985 Maxtown Road, to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Newell Recreation Preserve, 5866 N. County Line Road, Centerburg. Newell is a new 40-acre preserve of wetlands and a native plant prairie in the Licking Park District.

“In addition, the preserve will serve as a connection between Delaware and Knox counties on the Ohio-to-Erie Trail, a cross-state bikeway,” the district’s website said.

Other activities will take place at the Memorial Park midway welcome station of OTET in Centerburg from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Also in Mount Vernon, there will be food trucks, music and giveaway items from Knox County from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the CA&C Visitors Center, 501 S. Main St. (also known as the depot). The route from Mount Vernon to Centerburg is known as the Heart of Ohio Trail and is nearly 20 miles long. The Heart of Ohio Trail, along with two other Knox County rail-trails, the Kokosing Gap Trail and Mohican Valley Trail, are parts of the larger OTET.

“Walk, run, ride, and explore the Ohio to Erie Trail in Delaware, Knox, and Licking counties during an all-day celebration with special stops and events along this section of the trail,” said the Preservation Parks of Delaware County website regarding Trailapalooza. “Start from any point on the trail in Delaware County, ride in either direction or travel as far as you would like to. This year’s highlight celebrates the new trail head completed by Knox and Licking counties, just north of Delaware’s county line, as a new tri-county connection.”

If bicyclists were to ride from the Westerville Trek store to Danville, it would be 46.2 miles, said a chart on the Preservation Parks site.

The Heart of Ohio Trail connections are the latest update for the Ohio to Erie Trail, which runs from the Ohio River in Cincinnati to Lake Erie in Cleveland. Centerburg is considered the midway point for the 326-mile trail.

According to OTET’s website, “The newest segment linking Delaware, Licking and Knox Counties is NOW open! New Trail Guides will be printed this Fall …”

Maps of the route can be downloaded from the OTET website at www.ohiotoerietrail.org.

Finishing touches are made to the Genoa Township gateway sign as bicyclists ride the multi-use trail.

This map shows the OTET route from Sunbury to Centerburg.

Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.





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