Wayne National Forest approves mountain bike trail

ATHENS — The Wayne National Forest has approved a single track, sustainable trail system for mountain biking in Athens County.

The Baileys Mountain Bike Trail System consists of 88 miles of trail designed for mountain bike riders with varying degrees of skill. The new trails will link to communities through existing mountain bike trails at Sells City Park and Strouds Run State Park by way of the 21-mile Hockhocking Adena Bikeway.

The trail also will be available to foot traffic.

“This project was born by many voices of the local community who feel it will contribute to the economic, social, and physical wellbeing of the area. I was pleased to simply be a part of a collaborative community effort that will result in a wide range of benefits to many people,” said Athens District Ranger Jason Reed.

The trail is made possible through a partnership between the Wayne National Forest and individuals and groups throughout the region, including the Athens Bicycle Club, Ohio University and representatives of the Baileys Mountain Bike Trail collaborative working group. The working group completed much of the planning and raised funds to make this project a reality.

Project planning also received support from the Athens County Board of Commissioners, York Township, Village of Chauncey, Athens County Visitors Bureau and the Athens City-County Health Department.

“While approving this project is the first step, the Wayne National Forest looks forward to continuing the engagement with a wide range of interested stakeholders, especially local governments and landowners who are integral to a successful outcome,” Reed said.

The project area is located on the Athens Ranger District in the general area of the Baileys — West Bailey, Big Bailey and Carr Bailey Roads — near Athens, Nelsonville, Chauncey and Buchtel.

No date has been established when construction will begin.