Trail Blazers

Published 11:58 am Monday, September 15, 2008

It now has a name and a growing reputation among outdoor enthusiasts.

Now the Wayne National Forest’s latest attraction needs some sponsors, one local sportsman’s group said.

Forest officials, in partnership with the members of National Wild Turkey Federation’s South Hills Longbeard Chapter, have named the forest’s new archery trail “Longbow Trail.”

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Why Longbow?

For those who are not archers, NWTF local chapter president Buddy Fry explained, “That’s a traditional bow. It’s an original bow like Robin Hood would have used. It’s the forerunner to the modern bow.”

The Longbow Trail is located across from the boat dock in the Vesuvius Recreation Area, just off County Road 29, 6.5 miles north of Ironton on State Route 93.

The trail allows archers to test their skills in a forested setting. Visitors to the half-mile archery trail will find field targets meant to simulate a realistic hunting experience. Some of the targets are three-dimensional.

The sportsman’s group contributed a $34,250 grant and has paid for some of the targets. The U.S. Forest Service has kicked in $65,000 to erect two prefabricated trail bridges, trail signs, and to fund additional trail maintenance.

The NWTF has also agreed to administer a “range fund” to continue upkeep of the trail and donations have been solicited from individuals, organizations, and businesses. So far, 14 entities have committed $500 each over a five- year period ($100 per year) to fund this project. Those who want to donate may call Fry at 867-3088.

Frye said a second trail is in the works that will be more accessible to people in wheelchairs.

“I’m excited about that one,” Frye said. “It is one disabled people will be able to go over easier.”

For more information about the trail, visit the Ironton Ranger District office in Pedro or call the office at (740) 534-6500.