Buckeye Trail 50+5 Challenge

2018 is the 50th Anniversary of the National Trails System Act, and Ohio is the first state to honor this moment by designating 2018 as Ohio’s Year of the Trails with Senate Concurrent Resolution 15! To celebrate both, we’re challenging ourselves to hike 50 miles on the BT and/or give back 5 hours of volunteer service to the trail we love.

Enjoy the BT! Give Back! Complete the Form! ... and we’ll send you either a patch for hiking or a patch for volunteering, or both patches and a certification of Completion for the 50+5 Challenge to commemorate your achievement!


Hike 50 Miles

Looking for some opportunities to log some miles on the Buckeye Trail? We have all kinds of chances coming up this year! With over 1400 miles of trail, at least 5 signature events, and dozens of group hikes, your very own Buckeye Trail adventure is waiting!

Hike into the 2018 TrailFest Celebration

This five day Hocking Hills adventure kicks off the start of our first ever combined annual Buckeye TrailFest & North Country Trail Association Celebration. The hike starts on Sunday, April 22 and will offer the ambitious hiker an opportunity to hike approximately 10 miles each day. We will set up base camp in Hocking Hills State Park, spot cars each day, and day-hike from one end of the Old Man’s Cave section map to the other. Interested in learning more? Get details here.

Buckeye Trail Association MorelFest 2018

Brought to you by the Muskingum Lakes Chapter of the BTA and Ohio Morel Hunters Tuscarawas County, MorelFest is bound to be a great time for new and experienced mushroom hunters alike! Join us April 20-22, 2018, for a weekend of hiking, music, food, and Morels! Three guided hunts are scheduled throughout the weekend, giving registrants a great opportunity to work towards that 50 mile goal. Want to register or learn more? Get more information here

The 9th Annual Emma Grandma Gatewood Solstice Hike (E.G.G.S. Hike)

This signature BTA event, held at Burr Oak State Park, honors Emma “Grandma” Gatewood, a founding member of the BTA and the first female to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. A tough-as-nails Ohio native and long time advocate of ultra-light backpacking, it’s only fitting that the event that bears her name is one of our most challenging! The hike is brought to you by the Little Cities of the Forest chapter of the BTA and features five challenges consisting of 20 (day and night), 40, 60, and 80 miles that need to be completed in 12, 24, 36, and 48 hours respectively. Join us June 21 through 24, 2018 to participate or volunteer for this awesome event! Want to register or learn more? More details coming soon!

Little Loop Challenge

Last year, our Crooked River Chapter had the crazy idea to hike the entire 250 mile Little Loop of the Buckeye Trail in one day. Anything is possible when you can count on the rest of the BTA family! By dividing the loop into 77 sections for folks to hike, they were able to collectively hike the entire Little Loop in one day. It was so much fun, we’re going to do it again! Want to join us on July 14, 2018 to hike one or more of the sections of the 2nd Annual Little Loop Challenge? More details coming soon!

Run for Blue Blazes Trail Run Marathon, Half, 10K, 5K

Brought to you by the Little Cities of the Forest Chapter of the BTA, this trail run goes through the rugged hills of Wayne National Forest. The race starts and ends in the historic village of Shawnee, home of the BTA headquarters. This challenging course is sure to be a blast! With a full marathon, half marathon, 10K, and 5K to choose from, this race is perfect for all types of trail runners. Mark your calendars for October 6, 2018 because you won’t want to miss event! Interested in learning more and registering? Check out our website.

Get Involved with Your Local Chapter

Our regional chapters organize and promote all types of hikes year round! Meetup.com (LINK?) is a great way to get more involved with local chapters and log some more miles on the trail. You can even help them organize or lead hikes! To learn more about the different chapters we have and connect with them on social media, visit our chapter page chapter page


Volunteer 5 Hours

Hello and welcome to Ohio’s Year of the Trails and the Buckeye Trail’s 50+5 Challenge! My name is Barry Unger and I am the volunteer coordinator for the Buckeye Trail Association. I am here to help you fill the 5 hour hour volunteer time requirement. To start off, if you have not already signed up in our Volunteer Portal, do so right now by clicking this link . This portal will help you to find volunteer opportunities outside of the Buckeye Trail Crew work schedule and you will also record your volunteer time in this portal to complete your eligibility for the 50+5 challenge! Once you have registered I will activate your account within a few days. You will be able to get in and see and sign up for opportunities during this time, the activation simply allows you to record custom hours, but you will learn more about that later.

Now that you have completed that first step let's talk about the actual volunteer process. Volunteering for the BTA is a very easy task, mainly because we need volunteers to do just about everything! If you have an idea or skill that you think we could use to fulfill your 5 hour requirement, please feel free to contact me to discuss it. Otherwise we have some fun opportunities already lined up for you!

Buckeye Trail Crew

Come out and join a Buckeye Trail Crew Work Party for a day or weekend of work! This is a great way to meet other nature enthusiasts, learn about building and maintaining the trail we all love, and make new friends. The schedule for these events is on the work parties page on our web site.

Work with a Buckeye Trail Adopter

Trail Adopters are volunteers who maintain 3+ mile stretches of trail for us. Contact me to see if there is an Adopter in your area that has set aside some time to work with volunteers like you and groups that you may be a part of!

Events and Public Outreach

The BTA hosts many events throughout the year and we set information booths up at events throughout the state. These types of opportunities can be found by logging into the Volunteer Portal and looking at the calendar listings on the right hand side of the screen. Events need help to plan and organize as well as all kinds of volunteers on site during events. Simply click on an opportunity to find out more about the opportunity or to sign up for a shift!

Create Your Own Outreach Event

Everyone has a library close by or a community organization that may be interested in hearing about the Buckeye Trail! We have powerpoint presentation ready to go that motivated volunteers can use to put on their own presentations. If you live close to the trail why not advertise to lead a hike or host a workshop on the trail? Let us know if YOU have any ideas for unique self lead volunteer opportunities!

Local BTA Chapters

The BTA has 5 growing local/regional Chapters and they can use volunteer help all year round for their own volunteer and outreach events as well as Chapter leadership. Check out our Chapter web page for descriptions and our Meetup.com site for the events that they have scheduled around the BT so far.




Any questions, great unique ideas, or struggles with registering as a BTA Volunteer? Don’t hesitate to contact me at