Great Guernsey Trail Provides Variety of Activities
Spring is in the air! Take a leisurely walk or bike ride down the seven-mile Great Guernsey Trail that goes from East Cambridge to Lore City. It’s a smooth walk or ride as the trail is paved with asphalt and fairly level. So whether you’re a walker, runner, skateboarder, or cyclist, the trail provides a great place to exercise surrounded by the peacefulness of nature.
This all began as a rails to trails project along the old tracks of the CSX Railroad. Leatherwood Creek runs beside the trail for much of the way so you can expect to see waterfowl on your walk. You might also see rabbits, squirrels, bald eagles, deer, and other wildlife as well. You’ll be surprised at all you will discover as you explore the Great Guernsey Trail.
Ron Gombeda, Director of CDC which supervises the trail, explained, “The natural beauty along the trail makes it a great place to visit. The habitat assortment of wetlands, woodlands, and creek makes it a great place to view a variety of wildlife.” This trail has recently been given the honor of being designated a National Recreation Trail by the Department of the Interior.
At the Corduroy Road trailhead in East Cambridge, you will find the Guernsey County Archery Range with an elevated shooting platform and the Trailside Skate Park suitable for skateboarding and rollerblades. The Trailside Concession stand sells prepackaged snacks, drinks, and bicycle repair kits during hours of operation. They even have a charger for electric cars at a nominal fee!
Great Guernsey Trail Dog Parks can be found at the Corduroy and the Lore City Trailheads. Dogs like to play too and this gives them a fenced-in place to run freely.
The Lore City Trailhead has restrooms, drinking water, and a beautiful playground for the children. It’s also a historical site with a sign telling the story of Civil War General John Hunt Morgan stopping at what was then Campbell’s Station and causing havoc along the famous Morgan’s Raiders Trail.
A new trail has been added near the 1.5-mile marker that links the Great Guernsey Trail with Coal Ridge Park and Trails. While the trails here are still unimproved, you’ll find observation platforms and a large pond for fishing and kayaking.
Earth Science Education Stations have been created through the assistance of Karly Lyons. These have been placed at various spots along the trail and filled with rocks, fossils, minerals, and other earth-related materials. Learn a little more about our world as you travel the trail.
A Little Free Library has been added to the trail so people can pick up books and leave ones they have already read to share with others. Adult and children’s books are usually available in boxes at Cambridge, Kipling, and Lore City.
During the spring and summer months, enjoy the many wildflowers that grow along the trail. Stop by the Butterfly Garden which was started by Laura Dunlap. The Cambridge Rotary Club and Buckeye Trail students have helped with planting flowers there to attract the butterflies. It’s a nice stop along the trail.
There are frequent markers so you know how far you have gone. Benches also appear quite often so you have a place to rest if needed. They’ve thought about everyone when designing this trail.
For those using wheelchairs, the trail is accessible for a relaxing drive in the fresh air. Parking and restrooms are available at the beginning and end of the trail with a portable restroom located midway down the trail.
Three times during the year, the trail sponsors a 5K/10K/ Family Fun Walk with a half marathon, which attracts around 250 participants. The first one will be on May 21 followed by one in August and then December for those who enjoy the cold. All proceeds go to improvements at the trail.
In October, Treats on the Trail gathers at the Lore City Park. There may be close to a thousand people at this event. It is a free event and open to the public with costume contest, prizes, and raffles. Treats are given by many local businesses from Cambridge to Kipling and Lore City.
When it snows, there are a few cross-country skiers who get out early and use the trail before the maintenance crew clears the trail for walkers and bikers. It’s amazing how many different uses this trail has developed and they have plans for more. A five-mile obstacle trail course could be their next project.
Great Guernsey Trail has become a popular spot for outdoor exercise making it necessary to add extra parking at the Corduroy Trailhead. It’s the place where walkers, runners, bicyclists, cross-country skiers, and birdwatchers gather.
Make plans now to enjoy sunshine in nature as you travel the trail at any season of the year.