Trails around Marietta a path to summer fun

Photo by Peyton Neely Krystal Miller, 31, of Marietta, heads up the Rudolph Property trail near Colegate Drive during a trail run on Thursday afternoon.

MARIETTA — As the weather is heating up, area adventurers are gearing up to hit the hiking trails of Washington County.

Whether you’re mountain biking, trail running or just enjoying nature with a hike, there are several trails located within the city limits of Marietta — or close by — that outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of.

“All you need is a good pair of shoes and desire,” said Marietta resident Kyle Blair, 51, who’s been trail running and hiking for many years.

Just in Marietta city limits, there are 20 trails spread throughout the city. Starting closer to the center of town, you’ll find a 1.1-mile trek called the Old Walnut Trail which begins on Butler Street near the intersection of Seventh and Butler streets.

This trail will lead you to Greene Street, taking you through parts of an abandoned roadway. From this trail, you can access other trails such as the Moon Trail (0.8 miles) and the Ray Lang Trail (0.7 miles).

If you start on the Western Section of the North Hills Trail (0.7 miles) beginning near Clifton Street at the Frontier Shopping Center, hikers will overlap the Frontier Trail (0.7 miles) for a short distance before breaking away on the right and continuing to climb the hill. You can also access the Glendale Trail (0.5 miles) from this trail which takes you on a journey down Glendale Road.

The Western Section of the North Hills Trail can also connect you to the Cisler Trail (2.2 miles) which connects all the northern Marietta trails, including the Tiger Trail (1 mile) to the trails in the more downtown area. The Tiger Trail takes you on a short loop around Marietta High School and will connect you with the Ewing Trail (1 mile) and the Prospect Hill Loop Trail (1 mile).

Out Ohio 821, you’ll find a few more hiking trails at the Broughton Nature and Wildlife Education Area. The Red Trail (4.1 miles) can be accessed from the main parking lot of this area. The first intersection on this trail will lead you to the Green Trail (0.8 miles) or you can continue straight on the Red Trail. If you continue on the Red Trail, you’ll reach a pond where the Blue Trail (0.9 miles) will be found. From the Red Trail, you can also access the Cyan Trail (0.6 miles) or the Yellow Trail (0.4 miles).

If you’re looking for something shorter and a little wetter, the Kroger Wetlands Look Trail (0.5 miles) located directly behind Kroger will educate you with signage throughout the trail describing the importance of many native plants, animals and wildflowers. Also located off of this trail is the Drayer Spur Trail (0.2 miles) which winds through some more wetlands.

Up in the New Matamoras area, several Wayne National Forest trails can be found right off of Ohio 7. The Greenwood Scenic River Trail Classic is a 13.1-mile-long hike through parts of Wayne National Forest. There’s something for everyone here including steep climbs and descents, trekking past creeks and huge sandstone boulders, and through valleys of old and new growth forests.

The Pioneer Trail (7.7 miles) is a rugged section of trail that can be combined with other nearby trails and secondary roads to be longer. Near this trail you’ll find the 9 Bell Trail (2.3 miles) which is part of the Pioneer Trail. Also in Wayne National Forest you’ll find the Covered Bridge Trail (3.7 miles) starting at the Hune Bridge Campground just off of Ohio 26. This trail can be a connector to Archer’s Fork via the Shay Ridge Trail (1.8 miles).

Farther up Ohio 7, you’ll run into the Ohio View Trail (7 miles) which begins along the Ohio River then follows a winding path designated by yellow diamond-shaped tree markers. From this trail, hikers can venture onto the Jackson Run Trail (3.8 miles) which connects the otherwise isolated Ohio View Trail.

Marietta resident Krystal Miller, 31, said she’s been trail running for about a year after a friend got her into it.

“If you go with a buddy to hike, trail run or bike with it’s so much better,” she said. “You have that accountability and support from each other. When I’m on the trail, I’m not worried about life or stressing about really anything. You don’t have to worry about pace or any of that when you’re on the trails.”

Miller is a part of a group on Facebook called Marietta Trail Runners. This group meets every week on Thursday to run trails on the Rudolph Property including parts of the Eastern Part of the North Hills Trail (1.7 miles).

“A friend of mine started with me and I haven’t looked back at it,” said Devola resident Eric Dowler, 32. “Doing it with this group has been really nice.”

For more information about trails or events going on, Dowler said to join the Marietta Trail Runners on Facebook. There is also an App called Hiking Project which allows you to download trail maps for any state in the country.

“The trails are so much better than the road,” said Miller. “I’d advise anyone to get active with the trails we have available around here.”