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By Billy Helfrich

[The 17-mile trail extension that extends the SKT from Urbana past West Liberty and on to Bellefontaine, was completed in November 2014. It's a rail-with-trail configuration. The surface is a packed crushed limestone that may have some soft spots or damaged areas, according to recent reports.]

Urbana to Bellefontaine

The Simon Kenton Trail northern extension to Bellefontaine is open.

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Rail with Trail   Photo by Billy Helfrich

According to the Simon Kenton Pathfinders, there will be an official dedication and ribbon cutting held this Spring, 2015.

There are some areas still damaged from quad runners and snow mobiles. Hopefully, the Simon Kenton Pathfinders will be able to raise the funds needed to pave this trail as it seems in the current condition, it will be unrideable if any more damage occurs.

There are interesting sights along the Trail with much farm land and a few streams to cross.

There are plenty of places to stop for refreshments in West Liberty and Bellefontaine.

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Photos by Billy Helfrich

Urbana to Springfield

The Simon Kenton Trail runs 18 miles from the YMCA in the east end of Urbana, Ohio, meandering west and then to the north, and eventually south to downtown Springfield, Ohio. Mostly flat, it's mainly a rail trail with lots of shady areas and wide open spots too. There are many wildflowers to see and lots of corn and soy bean fields.

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Boggles Run Bridge   Photo by Billy Helfrich

Cedar Bog Nature Preserve is conveniently located nearby on Woodburn Road.

Spurs branch off to the Melvin Miller Park in Urbana, the Urbana University, the Springfield Soccer Fields, the Splash Zone Water Park, and the Buck Creek Trail.

The Simon Kenton Trail, which has become known simply as the "SKT", crosses over the old 1916 Buck Creek Bridge and it has now been connected with newly constructed trail into downtown Springfield to Center Street. It connects via the downtown streets to the Little Miami Scenic Trail, south of Springfield.

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County Line Shelter   Photo by Billy Helfrich

Plans for new trail construction from downtown Springfield, to the existing Little Miami Scenic Trail, south of Springfield at the Interstate 70 area, have been put on hold. Originally, completion for this section was expected in 2010.

Possible future plans are for the Simon Kenton Trail to continue north towards North Lewisburg, Ohio. Or to go west, connecting with the Piqua Linear Trail in Piqua, Ohio. That would make it a looping trail through southwest Ohio.

The Simon Kenton Trail is part of Ohio's expanding multi-use & bike trail system and you can now ride or hike 94 miles from Urbana to Milford, Ohio. [Another 2.5 miles are now open to the south.] This mileage will change soon too, with the completion of the Little Miami Scenic Trail from Milford to Cincinnati, Ohio.

Plans are also progressing to carry the trail over the Ohio River and connect with the trail system in Kentucky.

If you like to go fast and enjoy long stretches of trail, then riding on the SKT is just where you want to be.

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Photos by Billy Helfrich

Trail Specs:

Class: A1+ & B1+

Length: 18.6 mi / asphalt & 17.2 mi crushed stone

Condition: Excellent; Unpaved section: Fair to Good

Facilities: There fortunately is a bike friendly shelter at the County Line Road staging area, with benches, a pop machine, and porta johns.

Food: There's the historic Crabill's Hamburger Shop 1/2 block from the Urbana Station on Miami Street. There's home cooking at the Family Table on Monument Square and there is fine dining at Roberts on Miami. Some people ride to Urbana from the Yellow Springs and Springfield area, just to eat at the Airport Café on the north end of Urbana. Actually, Urbana has a lot of good places to eat, with most of them in the east end on Scioto Street, near where the trail ends at the Champaign Family YMCA.

Here is the Chamber of Commerce site for dining in Urbana if you want to check out more.

Parking: There are staging areas at the Urbana Station on Miami Street in Urbana, Rt. 55, Woodburn Road, County Line Road, and Villa Road in Springfield.

Urbana to Springfield

Little-Miami-Trail Springfield Buck-Creek-Trail Urbana Urbana-YMCA
18.6mi 17.4mi 16.5mi 4.1mi 0mi

Urbana to Bellefontaine

Bellefontaine-Carter-Ave West-Liberty Urbana-Trail-Split
17.2mi 10.1mi 0mi
Trail Route

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