With summer upon us a hiking and/or camping excursion might be in order. Many can save the expense of tanks full of gasoline by taking advantage of the Wayne National Forest that exists in so much of Grandview Township, especially considering that the Matietta unit of Wayne encompasses 45,000 acres.
The entire forest has over 175,000 acres.
Our national forest here has contributed to the recreation and culture of southeast Ohio. We all know it is a facility for escape to people who live in large cities such as Columbus, Akron,Canton, and Youngstown.
There are quite a number of people who have become landowners with their primary residence some distance from here. People of the area take much for granted in the forest while city dwellers travel hundreds of miles to enjoy it. The forest received its name from “Mad Anthony” Wayne, whose military campaigns against the Indians are part of Ohio’s history. Most residents will be surprised to know that the Wayne Forest was established 88 years ago in 1934 with another national forest called Hoosier, located in southern Indiana, being established in 1935. In 1941 the first tract of Wayne land in Grandview Township was purchased. It was in the
Jackson Run area where a farm of about 40 acres was sold by James Fulmer.
Trails popular in the forest that begin on State Route 7 include the River Trail which runs four miles over the ridge to County Road 9. Across the highway opposite the start of River Trail is an easy hike to reach the Ohio River itself. Once there the trail winds with the riverbank to reach the camping site at Leith Run. There is also the Ohio View Trail which begins just above
Beavertown and first follows the ridge then turns at an angle to finally reach the Yellow House on State Route 260. This trail is seven miles. And another trail begins south of Grandview and comes out on State Route 7 just north of Beavertown. A particulaly interesting site within Wayne National Forest will be presented next week.
John Miller is president of the Matamoras Area Historical Society. Membership dues are $15 per year single/couple. Life membership is $150. Contact the society at P.O. Box 1846, New Matamoras, Ohio 45767.
Much of this column is built on the work Matamoras historian, the late Diana McMahan.