Burr Oak State Park is home to 12 of the best miles of Ohio's State Trail, the 1,444 mile Buckeye Trail, along with the co-located North Country National Scenic Trail and American Discovery Trail. The park also hosts miles of day hiking trails, equestrian trails, and the 20 mile Burr Oak Backpack Trail which connects to the Wildcat Hollow Trail in Wayne National Forest creating a 40+ mile backpacking destination.
All of these trails and hunting, fishing, wildlife watching, environmental education and other quiet low impact uses of the park will be heavily impacted by a proposal to develop the park to cater to target audience of ATV riders. We care about Burr Oak State Park and the Buckeye Trail, we would like to see:
A park management plan developed.
A published project proposal with a cost-benefit analysis.
An environmental study as required for Recreational Trails Program funding.
And open public commenting regarding the dramatic change proposed for Burr Oak State Park.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation is moving forward to develop a 25 mile ATV trail system in the park dramatically changing its character, using portions of, crossing, and within proximity of the BT. This would be the first time ATV’s would be allowed in any Ohio State Park.
It is well known that hiking and equestrian trails are not compatible with ATV use for safety, user experience, and trail sustainability. The development of ATV trails at Burr Oak could push the BT and other uses out all together in the interest of a single use. Investing in marketing, promotion and programming of all of Burr Oaks natural and recreational assets is a more economically and environmentally sustainable alternative to the costs of ATV’s as the dominant use of the state park.