April 29 - New Cumberland

Ohio's Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier.

Today I hiked 19 miles to New Cumberland. Not too bad for getting a late start at 1:00pm.

Soon after leaving Bolivar the Buckeye Trail goes by Fort Laurens. Fort Laurens was built in 1778 and is the site of the only battle of the Revolutionary War in Ohio. The battle was against British led Indians. In the year after the fort was built about 20 men died in various attacks and were buried there. In 1973 the remains of  soldiers were excavated. In 1976, the year of our nation's Bicentennial, one set of remains was placed in a special tomb and was dedicated as Ohio's Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier.

The trail continued on the Ohio Erie Canal Towpath to near the town of Zoar. Mary Hamilton, the Massillon, section supervisor, had emailed me earlier to inform me that the Tuscarawas River had flooded parts of the trail. She advised that I take an alternate route. I decided to press on instead. I soon came to the flooded area and decided it was not wise to attempt it. Luckily I was near a railroad bridge over the Tuscarawas River. I climbed up the embankment to tracks and crossed over the river on the railroad bridge and hiked SR-212 past the flooded area.

Soon after leaving the Zoar area the topography of the land changed. Gone were the straight, flat roads. There were now rolling hills and windy roads. I was out of northeast Ohio. I saw Trillium in bloom for the first time. I joined back up with the North Country Trail which comes from Pennsylvania.

The plan for the night was to hike until dark, sneak in the woods and find a camp site somewhere. Around 6:00pm I took a short break and checked my phone messages. Mary left a message and offered to pick me up and let me stay at her house for the night. She knew there were no camping areas where I would be. I accepted her offer. She picked me up around 7:30pm and took me to her house in Dover.

In addition to being the Massillon section supervisor Mary is a trail maintainer and caretaker for the Buckeye Trail Association Barn near Tappan Lake. Mary said that at times she gets help maintaining the Buckeye Trail from people who must perform community as part of their sentence for minor crimes they commit. What a novel way to help keep the trail maintained.