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ODNR Celebrates Baileys Trail System’s New Trailhead

CHAUNCEY, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) celebrated the opening of the Baileys Trail System’s new trailhead location with a ribbon cutting ceremony for the nearly $2.5 million project.

“We are proud to support this project in southeast Ohio and the positive experiences it will provide to the community and visitors,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “The improvements made to this trail and others in the Baileys Trail System will not only restore the health of abandoned mine lands but also improve recreation opportunities and provide an economic boost to the region.”

The scope of work included the installation of a fence around the abandoned mine-related buildings and construction of additional paved parking, plumbed restroom, pavilion, stage, basketball court, playground equipment, bike trails, stream crossing, and other improvements with some of the existing grassy areas maintained.

Other upgrades included sidewalk and street improvements, new sewer line from existing sanitary sewer to the park, and a paved bikeway connector to the Hockhocking Adena bikeway.

Due to the estimated increased economic and community development related to the trail system, the Baileys Trail System – Chauncey Trailhead AMLER project was created to reclaim high-priority abandoned coal mine features near the trails and to build a trailhead and related infrastructure in Chauncey. 

This project is just part of a larger investment ODNR has made in the area. That includes facilitating another $2 million from the state capital budget to help the Outdoor Recreation Council of Appalachia (ORCA) build more of the trail.

The trailhead location in the Village of Chauncey is part of communities that were once coal mining towns that thrived during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The trailhead falls in the Village of Chauncey, one of many local coal mining towns that thrived in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The trailhead is located at the Chauncey Community Park, an area that was once part of the Manhattan No. 25 underground mine site operated by the New York Coal Company that was abandoned in 1952.

The Baileys Trail System – Chauncey Trailhead project was implemented by the ODNR Division of Mineral Resources Management Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Program with funding from the Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization (AMLER) Program provided by the U. S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE).

The AMLER Program is an opportunity to return historic coal mining sites and areas impacted areas to productive reuse in cooperation with local communities, to achieve the economic and community development goals identified for the community and/or region.

Community involvement included the cooperation of the Village of Chauncey, Outdoor Recreation Council of Appalachia (ORCA), Wayne National Forest, and private landowners.  The construction contractor for the project was Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc.

The Division of Mineral Resources Management oversees the safe and environmentally sound development and restoration of mineral and fossil fuel extraction sites. The division also restores abandoned mine land, enforces mining safety laws, and ensures the protection of citizens, land, and water resources.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.