Happy Trails to You . . .
Updated: Mar 19
To quote Robert Frost - " Two roads diverged in a wood and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." Belmont County has some of the most beautiful trails in the area. From trails with a view of the water at Barkcamp State Park, Piedmont Lake, Captina Creek, and Barnesville Memorial Park to serene wooded nature trails at Dysart Woods, Egypt Valley Wildlife Area, Raven Rocks, and Zion Christian Retreat & Nature Center. Belmont County also has the paved National Road Bikeway in St. Clairsville and a horse trail at Barkcamp State Park.
Piedmont Lake, 32281 Marina Rd., Freeport, OH 43973-9501. A portion of the 1,250 mile Buckeye Trail runs along one side of Piedmont Lake, which is located in portions of both Belmont and Harrison counties. The largest portion of the lake lies in Kirkwood and Flushing Townships of Belmont County, with a small segment in Moorefield Township of Harrison County. The lake is on State Route 22 midway between Cambridge and Cadiz and approximately 10 miles north of Interstate 70 off State Route 800. The views and the lake are serene and picturesque at Piedmont Lake. Anglers from around the state visit this lake for the excellent fishing and quiet waters.
National Road Bikeway, St. Clairsville, OH 43950, is a 2.5 mile asphalt paved trail that features a gazebo (as a centerpiece to the trail, not next to it) and a tunnel. You can get a bird's eye view of the trail by climbing a series of stairways that reach a viewing platform atop the National Road tunnel at its northern entrance. There is also a separate nearby nature trail.
Directions: At the I-70 Exit 215 travel east on Rt. 40 to St.Clairsville. Turn left at 2nd light onto N. Marietta St. Turn right at stop sign onto Newell Ave. Turn left at stop sign onto N. Market St. Follow N. Market St. to ball fields.
Newlin Falls Nature Trail, located in the northeast corner of St. Clairsville Memorial Park ( 200 Walnut Ave. St. Clairsville OH 43950) , is an approximately one mile long, wide, hilly, mulch-lined trail. Features of the trail include two small waterfalls, a new bridge, and plenty of wildlife. The trail is open dawn to dusk, and is not suitable for strollers.
To locate the trail enter the park and make a right at the flag pole. As you round the bend you will see the entrance to the trail on your right hand side. It is marked with a map. Parking is located by the trail entrance.
Egypt Valley Wildlife Area is situated in both Belmont and Guernsey counties. The primary access through the area is Interstate 70 and Stare Route 800. Morristown is located three miles east of the wildlife area. For directions and more information, visit http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/egyptvalley .
Zion Retreat & Nature Center, 334 E. High St., Flushing, OH 43977 (main office entrance). Zion is an 800 + acre retreat and nature center with a 27-acre lake, various small fishing ponds, rustic and luxury cabins, 1.85-mile trail around the lake, stand-up paddle board and kayak rental, swimming area, playground, aqua zip, beach, sand volley ball, and RV camping. Zion Trail is a very scenic, well maintained 1.85 miles around the lake. Several wildlife viewing areas are available for you to take pictures. This is all entwined within a cattle farm where calves and mothers can be seen grazing. The trail is open to the public year round from dawn to dusk.
Barkcamp State Park, 65330 Barkcamp Rd., Belmont, Ohio 43718, has four walking trails traversing the 1,005 acre park. A paved trail winds through the Pioneer Village, providing access to the historic barn. Interpretive signs highlighting the culture and history of the area can be found along the trail. The historic barn was built in the 1800s by Solomon Bentley, a noted apple producer in the area. The barn is now home to summer naturalist activities and historic displays. Seven bridle trails are located within the park. The 22-mile system is available to riders with their own mounts.
Captina Creek Birding Trail - There are five stops along the birding trail that include the marina at Powhatan Point, the Captina mainstream at Alledonia, Raven Rocks, the south fork of Captina Creek at Rainbow's End and Dysart Woods. See this website for more info or download a brochure at https://www.belmontswcd.org/BIRDING%20TRAIL%20BROCHURE%20PDF.pdf
Raven Rocks, 54167-54271 Crum Rd., Beallsville, OH 43716 - Raven Rocks was named after the many ravens that nested in the overhanging ledges of the unusual, yet astonishing rock formation. Indians of the Ohio and Captina Creek Valley had left evidence of repeated visits here for over a period of 200 years, where they had set up camp and hunted in the fall and winter months. This "hidden gem" is located at the border of Belmont and Monroe counties and is well worth the drive. For more information about the Raven Rocks community visit http://www.raven-rocks.org.
Dysart Woods, 61961 Dysart Woods Rd., Belmont, is the largest known remnant of the original forest of southeastern Ohio. There are two trails, red and blue. The blue trail is off the parking lot and the red trail is across the gravel drive from the parking lot. Visitors are asked to please stay on the trails to protect the forest.
Dysart Woods, an Ohio University land laboratory, is 455 acres in total and includes a central tract of 50 acres of old-growth white oak-beech-tulip tree forest surrounded by a mixture of second-growth forest, old-fields, and pastures. The oldest trees exceed four feet in diameter and have been dated to well over 400 years old.
This is the only known remaining remnant of the Mixed Mesophytic Forest type located in Ohio, and one of only several in the entire central Appalachians. The property is owned and managed by Ohio University, principally for long-term forest research.
Dysart Woods is now the 11th old-growth forest in Ohio inducted into the Old Growth Forest Network. Ohio currently has the greatest number of forests in the network in the United States.
Barnesville Memorial Park, 130 Fair St, Barnesville, OH 43713, features a mulched trail that leads you around the picturesque 12-acre lake and includes a covered bridge, foot bridge and several challenging hills. A separate trail, the Ray Palmer Nature Trail, also features a bridge over a creek. It is accessible near the main baseball dugouts and near the parking area down by the lake. A paved quarter mile trail is also available at the top of the park. The park includes a public swimming pool, playgrounds, picnic shelters, rustic cabins, picnic tables and swings, restrooms, horseshoe pit, basketball court, gazebo, outdoor amphitheater, and the Albert S. George Youth Center. The lake also has a fountain, fishing pier, boat dock, and kayak launch. A variety of wildlife is visible from the trail.