New Belle Valley adopter Joe Phillips paints his first blaze.
The Belle Valley section is a mostly hilly, completely rural portion of the BT that runs through Guernsey and Noble Counties in southeast Ohio. The section runs from Winterset to the American Electric Power Recreation Lands. The trail here is mostly on rarely traveled dirt roads, with off-road portions located at Salt Fork Wildlife Area, Seneca Lake (the southernmost of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District Lakes), Wolf Run State Park and American Electric Power Recreation Lands. The trail passes through the villages of Old Washington, where the trail crosses I-70, and Belle Valley, where it crosses I-77, and Hoskinsville.
|27||C-20 at T-40 in Hoskinsville
Ragan's Chapel, located on knoll above NE corner of intersection, is the site of the 1863 Hoskinsville Rebellion that was started by a deserter from the Union Army, John Wesley McFerren. McFerren died October 30, 1909, and was buried in the church yard at Hoskinsville, where a G. A. R. flag flutters over his grave.
BT continues W on C-20. In 4900', as C-20 turns NW, BT leaves C-20 onto footpath that climbs rather steeply at first into woods in property owned by American Electric Power (AEP). AEP requires that all users have a free permit in their possession when on their property. A permit can be obtained from most local sporting goods store or on-line at http://www.aep.com/environmental/ recreation/recland/permit.aspx BT meanders and undulates over a ridge on a combination of new trail and old service routes through both mined and unmined lands.
After 6500', BT emerges onto a mowed path that heads N just outside of electrified fence. After 510' at gated entrance to pasture, BT joins service road heading N. After 940', service road ends and BT joins haul road that it follows SW another 960'.
|28||Haul Road at BTA Post and Mowed Path
As the Haul Road continues SW, BT heads W past BTA Post on mowed path into grasslands that has been planted to pine and ash trees. BT crosses creek and begins ascent through similar habitat. In about 4000', BT reaches road (C-11).
BT continues across road NW into narrow wooded area but soon enters early succession opening. BT turns W with views over reclaimed mining property. The trail continues a similar progression as it meanders around a reclaimed hollow with views from both gas and electric utility lines.