October 17, 2011
Attending were about 50 people including the Ross and Fayette County Commissioners, members of the Ross County and Clinton County Park Districts, State Representative Bob Peterson, several Washington City Council Members, Eric Oberg, manager of trail development at Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's (RTC) Midwest Regional Office, officers and members of Tri-County Triangle Trail and trail users.
The event was to celebrate the recent completion of a 6 mile section of paved trail from Fairview Rd in Fayette County to Austin (SR 138) in Ross County that now connects Fayette County at the Robinson Rd. trail head to
City of Chillicothe a distance of over 31 miles. The trail, nowone of the longest in Ohio, represents 20 years of work by volunteers of Tri-County Triangle Trail, the Ross County Park District, Ross County and Fayette County Commissioners, Ross and Fayette County Engineers and many other groups and individuals working together.
Gary Mercamp, Park District Administrator opened the ceremony and thanked the many groups and individuals working together who made the paving of 6 miles connecting Ross and Fayette Counties possible. Gary introduced Jackie Doles, Tri-County Triangle Trail President who spoke about Tri-County Trails’ 20 year effort to make the project possible. She said the payback was to see the public out enjoying the trail. Tom White a member of the the Ross County Park District spoke about the history of the park district and how it has helped make projects like this possible by use of outside money from donations and grants. He talked about the opportunity that exists to be part of the statewide trail system and now to develop a plan for maintenance and security. He said there was no doubt that this can be accomplished. Eric Oberg, manager of trail development at Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's Midwest Regional Office, spoke about the great progress in completing a nationwide network of multi-use trails and praised the local groups for making this project come to reality. He cited Tri-County Triangle Trail is used an example everywhere to show what can be done and that connecting trails is an investment in economic growth as visitors come to the region to use the trail. He said he has recieved many calls to his office from around the region and country wanting to know if the trail has been finished. The project brings the region one step closer to connecting to a state and national system of multi-use trails.
Doris Hill, Tri-County Triangle Trail member, had the honor of driving a "golden" spike along the trail as was done in the hey day of railroad construction to celebrate completion of historic East meets West railroad in Promotory Point Utah on May 10, 1869. The railroad that the Tri-County Triangle Trail now rests was completed in October of 1879.
All attending enjoyed Hirsch Farms cider and homemade cookies baked by trail supporters.