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Maps show Symmes Creek launches

CHESAPEAKE — It was a combined effort from individuals who want others to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors in their own backyard. That was a goal of the recent map project of Symmes Creek that shows the waterway’s six launch sites and will be distributed throughout Lawrence County and beyond.

“There are GPS coordinates and the mileage between each site so someone can know how far it is to each site,” said Hayward Chappell, a member of the Symmes Creek Restoration Committee.

The maps were unveiled on Monday during the committee’s regular meeting and was a project funded by a $2,121 grant from the Foundation for the Tri-State community.

Design work came from Chappell, Chapman Printing and the Institute for Local Government Administration and Rural Development or ILGARD from Ohio University at Athens.

“One side of the map has the entire creek with all the put-in sites with GPS and there’s an inset map for people not from this area who could look at it and figure out where it is and the roads to get to it,” Chappell said.

Producing the map is just one of the many projects that have come from the restoration committee that was started in 1977 as a non-profit.

The canoe trail is named for one of the committee founders, Arthur S. Ferguson, who was one of the more prominent volunteers in the county as well as onetime managing editor of The Tribune and mayor of South Point.

“Part of his vision was to have launch sites starting from Arabia,” Chappell said. “The purpose of the group among other things is to educate the community on sound stewardship of Symmes Creek and work to clean up the creek, clean out the log jams and provide launch sites and other activities so people in the Tri-State can enjoy the creek.”

The trail takes up 30 miles of the 60-mile Symmes Creek and is the segment that flows through Lawrence County starting at Arabia and ending with the creek going into the Ohio River at Chesapeake.

The six launch sites are at Arabia, Aid, Willow Wood, Getaway, the Sky Lake pay fishing pond and the Chesapeake boat ramp.

The maps will be available at the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, visitors and convention bureaus in the Tri-State, interstate rest stops, and bait and sporting good stores.