National Trails Day 2022: Buckeye Trail Association's Biggest Day Hike

Blog Date
Stuart O. Smith, Jr.

National Trails Day 2022: Buckeye Trail Association's Biggest Day Hike
Enlarge Image

It feels appropriate that the first blog post I am writing since my Continental Divide Trail backpacking adventure in April 2022 is about a National Trails Day® event -- the Buckeye Trail Association's Biggest Day Hike, which took place on Saturday, June 4, 2022.

It is great that the Buckeye Trail Association (@HikeTheBT) invited everyone to participate in celebrating Ohio's long trail by pledging to travel a segment of this over 1,400-mile trail for National Trails Day® 2022. This is the third year for the Buckeye Trail Association's Biggest Day Hike, which had the goal of having hikers/biker/horseback riders collectively complete the ENTIRE Buckeye Trail in one day.

The Biggest Day Hike event was built on the experience of the Buckeye Trail Association's leadership in running the Little Loop Challenge, which had the goal of collectively completing the "Little Loop" section of the Buckeye Trail in one day. (The "Little Loop" is the over-250-mile part of the Buckeye Trail in Northeast Ohio that goes through the following counties: Lake, Cuyahoga, Summit, Stark, Portage, and Geauga.) Learn more about the "Little Loop" and my participation in the 4th Annual Little Loop Challenge in my blog posts:



Before The Big Day

Ohio's Buckeye Trail is the longest trail within one state in the USA!!
Enlarge Image

Feeling a little stir crazy at home? You need a break! Thanks to our dedicated volunteers, the Buckeye Trail is there for you. Please join us on National Trails Day, June 4th for The Buckeye Trail's Biggest Day Hike! Our goal is to collectively hike the ENTIRE Buckeye Trail in one day!

National Trails Day recognizes federal, state and local trails that provide recreation and access to nature. Not a hiker? Come out and celebrate how you'd like! We encourage folks to hike, bike, horseback ride, or kayak/canoe sections of the trail that permit such activities. . . .

Choose a segment that you plan to pledge based on current section points corresponding to Buckeye Trail Section Maps.

Did you know that Ohio's Buckeye Trail is the longest trail within one state in the USA? Be sure to read the web pages to learn more about Ohio's long trail.

The following are tweets about Buckeye Trail Association's Biggest Day Hike that were shared before the National Trails Day® event:


One of the @HikeTheBT tweets about their Biggest Day Hike included the exciting news about the NEW designation for the Buckeye Trail as a State Recreational Trail by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (@OhioDNR). Learn more in this article:

Please retweet the following tweets, so more people will learn about this new state designation!


I created the following tweet with a link to the @OhioDNR article while I was writing this blog post -- please retweet to share this exciting new with all your followers!





American Hiking Society's 30th Annual National Trails Day®

American Hiking Society's 30th Annual National Trails Day®
Enlarge Image

. . . National Trails Day® is the perfect opportunity to get out there with the people you love, give back to the trails that bring us together, and make sure no one is left out.

Connect with the people near you who share your love of being outside. Build your local community and join the nationwide movement to give back to the trails and make sure everyone can enjoy the outdoors.

Thank you, American Hiking Society and their sponsors/partners, for National Trails Day®!! It is a great way to bring awareness of all the great trails we have in our country.



US Trail Organizations Celebrate National Trails Day®

National Trails System Act celebrated its 50th year in 2018! 11 national scenic trails, 19 national historic trails.
Enlarge Image

It was great to see so many US trail organizations participate in National Trails Day® 2022 (see all the #NationalTrailsDay tweets). In addition to being a member of the Buckeye Trail Association (@HikeTheBT), I am a member of several other trail organizations. Be sure to visit their websites, and follow them on Twitter to learn more about them as we celebrate their great work on National Trails Day®:


It is very important to me that I mention that I am a member of the trail organizations listed above (except for the ATC which I joined earlier) as a direct result of my life membership of ALDHA (Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association) (@ALDHAeast). 

I joined Rails-to-Trails Conservancy because they had a booth at an ALDHA Gathering weekend in 1989. I have attended workshops on how to hike the CDT, PCT, and many other trails all over the world at ALDHA Gatherings over the years. It was the Gatherings that I attended workshops presented by some of the very first Buckeye Trail thru-hikers (a couple who I think were the 3rd and 4th people to hike all 1,400 miles in one year), and in 2012, the first woman, solo, Buckeye Trail thru-hiker (I think she was the 9th thru-hiker). The Gathering is where I first learned about the opening of the A.T. Museum.

At ALDHA, I also learned about ALDHA-West (American Long-Distance Hiking Association-West) (@ALDHAWest), which I joined in 2021 when they started doing online events (ALDHA-West Gathering and Ruck) during the pandemic. I was very lucky to be the BIG winner of prizes at two of the ALDHA-West online events, and used the prizes while backpacking on the Continental Divide Trail in April of this year.

I highly recommend joining ALDHA and ALDHA-West so that you can learn from their members about long-distance trails at their annual Gatherings. Learn more about them in my blog post and tweets:



Saturday, June 4, 2022: My Biggest Day Bike/Hike

Stuart began his day by bike riding north from the Cleveland Metroparks Polo Field in the South Chagrin Reservation.
Enlarge Image

Note that I am wearing my ALDHA shirt from the 2018 Gathering weekend where they put on a special program celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the National Trails System Act.

I was impressed by how easy it was to sign up for the Buckeye Trail Association's Biggest Day Hike -- thank you to the leadership of the Buckeye Trail Association for being so organized in planning this event that covered over 1,400 miles in Ohio.

I decided to bike the sections of the Buckeye Trail from the Cleveland Metroparks Polo Field in the South Chagrin Reservation to the park's North Chagrin Reservation. Then, I hiked with my wife and co-blogger, Julie, the entire part of the Buckeye Trail that goes through the Cleveland Metroparks North Chagrin Reservation. This route included the Buckeye Trail's Bedford Sections 16, 17, 18, and 19.

Stuart completed the Buckeye Trail's Bedford Sections 16, 17, 18, and 19.
Enlarge Image


(Note: This embedded Google Map might not show the exact route of the Buckeye Trail,
but Google Maps on your smartphone will show the trails that follow the path of the Buckeye Trail.)

Learn about the Bedford section of the Buckeye Trail:



The Buckeye Trail Association offers both electronic and printed maps & guides.

The Buckeye Trail FarOut App:

  • Most popular smartphone app for long distance hikers
  • Pinpoints your location on the trail
  • Contains maps, elevation profile and points of interest
  • List of campsites, trailheads, parking lots, water sources, restrooms and section points
  • You choose the base map type: topo, satellite, terrain or Google map.
  • Automatically calculates mileage to all points on the trail
  • Clockwise or counter-clockwise trail navigation
  • Works completely offline with your device's internal GPS

During my ride/hike, I used the Buckeye Trail FarOut map app, which I highly recommend for use on long-distance trails. I regularly use the map app for the Buckeye Trail and Appalachian Trail. I also used on a 600-mile section of the Pacific Crest Trail in 2019, and on a section of the Continental Divide Trail this year.

Note that "FarOut" is the apps new name as of October 19, 2021 (see Outside Business Journal article). I found that most backpackers on the Appalachian Trail and Continental Divide Trail still actively use the old name of Guthook, so if someone on the trail mentions Guthook, you know that they are talking about "FarOut".

A second map app that I highly recommend is the Gaia GPS (@GaiaGPS) app, since it complements the strengths of  "FarOut" (Guthook). It is a great, FREE app, but I purchased its annual membership at the old rate in 2021, since it has additional features that I need in the back country. (Unfortunately, when they became part of Outside Interactive, Inc (@OutsideCorp), they doubled the annual membership for new customers. Wait! -- as I am writing this blog, I see that they recently lowered the rate, but ONLY for the first year.)  Gaia GPS is really great when you leave the main trails that "FarOut" (Guthook) features.

The next time you see me with my iPhone, ask me to show you how I use these two great map apps.


Here are some tweets that show how the maps on the @GaiaGPS app look and how I use the app on the Buckeye Trail and other trails. (See more by searching "@GaiaGPS @sos_jr" on Twitter.)



While hiking the Buckeye Trail "Little Loop" in 2019/2020, I learned that there is a Tremaine Nature Preserve on Chagrin River Road. Biking by Tremaine Nature Preserve this year made me want to learn more about the preserve, but I have not been able to find anything online. Let me know if anyone reading this blog knows more about this nature preserve in Hunting Valley.



Sights as I bike...



While on the trail, be sure to stop at the Cuyahoga County Public Library Gates Mills Branch (@CuyahogaLib) to see their beautiful reading area with a fireplace. I have a very fond memory of the first time stopping here on Day #4 (Tuesday, December 10, 2019) of my journey to complete the Buckeye Trail "Little Loop." It was 39 degrees that December day as I was walking the path of the Buckeye Trail, so the fireplace was a very nice sight!

As I was leaving the library, I talked to two women who had just attended a board meeting of supporters of the library. The told me how they were raising money for the library, and we joked about how you can never raise enough money. Talking to them reminded me of my days as a director of development (i.e., a fundraiser) for social service organizations in my first career. Learn more about library fundraising groups for the local library branches on the Friends of Cuyahoga County Public Library web page at:


Retweet the following tweet so more people learn about Friends of Cuyahoga County Public Library:



Finished bike section . . .



Since the 1920s, North Chagrin Reservation has been a special combination of outdoor recreation areas and wildlife sanctuaries. North Chagrin trails and picnic areas feature woodlands and wetlands as important characteristics of this large reservation. Located in Mayfield Village, Willoughby Hills and Gates Mills . . .

As I finished my bike ride, my wife and co-blogger, Julie, joined me. We enjoyed a picnic lunch together, and then proceeded to hike the Buckeye Trail where it goes through the Cleveland Metroparks North Chagrin Reservation.



Wander through a dense maze of giant trees in this stunning example of an old growth beech-maple forest. A.B. Williams, Cleveland Metroparks first naturalist, embraced these woods as he conducted his doctoral studies and established the first Trailside Museum in the 1930s. This forest is home to 300 and 400 year-old beech trees, sugar maples, a rare stand of hemlocks, and a variety of other native forest species. It is a National Natural Landmark and member of the Old Growth Forest Network.

North Chagrin Reservation
Mayfield, OH



Thank you, Buckeye Trail Association!!

Hiking on the Buckeye Trail was a great way to participate in the 30th Annual American Hiking Society's National Trails Day®. I am very grateful to the leaders of the Buckeye Trail Association for planning their Biggest Day Hike, and for the work they do all year round to improve the Buckeye Trail. The video I embedded above does a good job of showing some of the Buckeye Trail Association's activities during the year. You can sign up to attend their events at:


I was glad to help the Buckeye Trail Association when they asked to use my photos in their future promotional endeavors:


Related Blog Posts

I always like to end my blog posts with a list of related blog posts, but I have written 20 past blog posts about the Buckeye Trail, so rather than listing them all here, it is best that you just see them all by pulling up all the posts tagged with:

More tags for related blog posts:

I hope you find the resources I shared in this blog post useful as you find our own trail adventures. Happy Trails to you!


Submitted by Stuart Smith on Thu, 06/23/2022 - 20:33


I want to thank again the Buckeye Trail Association for their Biggest Day Hike 2022!

I will be sure to watch for more events on their website.

Here are @HikeTheBT's Jun 18, 2022, tweets with information about the day:

Twitter name