Rails to Trails
The Barnesville Area Rails to Trails Committee has been formed to promote the conversion of the Barnesville area abandoned railroad rights-of-way into recreational pathways and to create multipurpose recreational trails in the area. The purposes and objectives of this organization shall be to develop, maintain, regulate and promote the abandoned railway corridor in the Barnesville area as a public use multipurpose recreational area; and to enhance and promote opportunities for recreation, economic development, historic and environmental conservation, tourism and alternate transportation opportunities through development of a regional trail system.
The purpose of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) is to enrich America’s communities and countryside by creating a nationwide network of public trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors.
RTC is a 501©(3) nonprofit organization with more than 100,000 members and supporters. Founded in 1986, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is located in Washington, D.C. and has offices in California, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The purpose of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) is to enrich America’s communities and countryside by creating a nationwide network of public trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors.
The proposed trail will initially be within town and will run from the B & O Depot to the corporation limits on the west side of town. Plans call for the eventual extension of the trail to the east side of the village toward Bailey’s Mills. A simultaneous effort in Guernsey County to extend a trail through Quaker City may join the Barnesville trail in that area. The proposed trails are consistent with other recreational trail programs existing throughout the State of Ohio and endorsed by the Ohio Governor Bob Taft and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
The proposed trails would also provide recreational and healthy activities for citizens of all ages within the village. Grant funding for recreation trial programs is available though various sources. One major contribution to the project could come from the Clean Ohio Fund. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources will administer the $25 million CORF over the next four years to acquire property for land acquisition and the construction of recreational trails.
The BARTC has been raising funds for the project and is actively welcoming membership. “Membership could mean anything from active participation to quiet support, all equally important,” said Membership Chairman Sharon Hanse. “In these times when our small town needs the encouragement of all who love it, we hope to provide another reason for people to visit and a benefit for those dwelling in Barnesville and the surrounding area.
Membership is open to any individual or organization which supports the purpose of the Barnesville Area Rails to Trails Committee. Membership categories include individual, family, senior and student, contributing, sustaining, organizations and businesses and life membership.
For more information about the project or to become a member, contact BARTC c/o Barnesville Community Foundation P.O. Box 472 Barnesville, Ohio 43713.