Deer park bridge

This path and bridge at Deer Park along Home Road on Mansfield's southwest side connects the park to the B&O Bike Trail, north of Lexington.

MANSFIELD -- Next month marks the 25th anniversary for the Richland B&O Bike Trail.

Planning for the Richland B&O Trail originally started in 1986, and was the second in the nation to use the Rails-to-Trail Act to develop new trails. After several years of planning and construction, the Trail opened on Oct. 7, 1995 and was the 700th rail trail in the USA.

The Richland County Park District is commemorating the 25 years of operation in several ways.

People can take a virtual ride on the entire Trail by watching a short video on the Destination Mansfield Richland County B&O web page at this link. Starting on Sept 12, and leading up to the Anniversary date, a series of 25 daily posts will be available on the Richland County Park District Facebook page noting information about various Trail locations and Trail History.

An information table will be available on the following dates and locations where commemorative stickers, posters and Trail maps will be available on a first come first serve basis.

Millsboro Road parking on Wednesday, Sept. 16 from 7 a.m. to noon.

Lexington Trail parking area on Saturday, Sept 26 from 8 a.m. to noon.

Bellville Bike Depot on Wednesday, Sept 30 from 4 to 6 p.m.

Butler Hitchman Park on Sunday, Oct. 4 from 8 a.m. to noon.

Special commemorative signage is also being placed at each Trailhead.

Questions can be directed to Gorman Nature Center 419-884-3764 or gormannaturecenter@gmail.com.

About the B&O Trail

The Richland County B&O Trail is operated by the Richland County Park District along with the Gorman Nature Center, Fleming Falls Reserve and other natural areas in Richland County. The B&O Trail traverses 18.4 miles of a former Baltimore & Ohio rail corridor from Butler to Mansfield, Ohio. Key stops along the trail include: North Lake Park in Mansfield; Lexington Community Park; Bellville Train Depot; and the Hitchman Park in Butler.

Funding for trail operations and maintenance is provided by the Richland County Commissioners on a year-by-year basis. A majority of trail maintenance activities are provided by a wonderful group of volunteers who are committed to keeping the trail open and usable by walkers, runners and cyclists. More information about the trail and nearby amenities is found at this link.

Support Our Journalism

If you've ever experienced the joy of creativity and culture, then you know the value of the arts. Your support of our reporting enhances that. Become a Source member today.