Explore the 1,400-mile Buckeye Trail from Lake Erie to the Ohio River.
The Buckeye Trail (BT) is your long-distance trail adventure along wooded footpaths, historic towpaths, abandoned railroads, diverse communities, and more!
- Blue blazes mark the entire length of the 1,400-mile BT.
- Access to the trail is made possible by Buckeye Trail Association volunteers and the partnership of federal, state, and local agencies, as well as many private landowners.
- The BT also proudly hosts two other long distance national trails – the North Country National Scenic Trail, from New York to North Dakota; and the coast-to-coast American Discovery Trail.
Experiences Along the Buckeye Trail
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine spent time on a section of the 1,400-mile Buckeye Trail where it passes through Burr Oak State Park. During their hike, the DeWines—and several of their grandchildren—enjoyed scenic views along the Blue Blazes and learned about some of the trail’s diverse plant life.
Visit buckeyetrail.org to plan your own Buckeye Trail adventure!
Access The Buckeye Trail at these ODNR Properties
Chapin Forest Reserve
West Branch State Wildlife Area
Little Rocky Hollow State Nature Preserve*
Shawnee State Wildlife Area
Sheick Hollow State Nature Preserve*
*Denotes a permit-required nature preserve. Through hikers on the Buckeye Trail do not need a permit to hike along the trail at these locations.
Shawnee State Wildlife Area
Partners from the Start
The Buckeye Trail Association and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) have been on the same path for more than 60 years. In 1958, Merrill C. Gilfillan, an ODNR employee and wildlife biologist, had a newspaper article published in the Columbus Dispatch that envisioned a “Buckeye Trail” from Cincinnati to Lake Erie. Submitted under the pen name of Perry Cole, Gilfillan’s article was the genesis of the Buckeye Trail Association (BTA), which formed in June of 1959. That same year, members of the newly fledged BTA—including Gilfillan and Emma “Grandma” Gatewood—established the first 20 miles of the Buckeye Trail in Hocking County.
Thanks to the commitment of the BTA’s founders and those inspired to follow their footsteps, the Buckeye Trail is now a 1,400 mile-plus loop around the state of Ohio. Anyone following the “Blue Blazes” will discover that many sections are co-located on trails managed by ODNR, including the popular six-mile Grandma Gatewood Trail at Hocking Hills State Park.
The ODNR and BTA proudly work together each year to improve and extend the Blue Blazes. We encourage you, and people of all ages, to explore the beauty, diversity and wonder of Ohio’s natural world from the Buckeye Trail.
The Buckeye Trail - 101
Two by six inch blue blazes serve as simple beacons leading us for over 1,400 miles from Lake Erie to the Ohio River all around Ohio and back again.