50-MILER AWARD The Buckeye Trail (BT) is the only long-distance hiking trail entirely within Ohio. The BT traverses 1,444 miles linking the four corners of Ohio through 49 counties. The Trail follows wooded footpaths, country roads, within both rural and urban settings. The Trail provides public access to Ohio’s scenic and historic diversity. The BT is open to all, made possible through the permission and cooperation of federal, state, local agencies, private landowners and the tireless work of volunteers. The Buckeye Trail is proud to host large portions of the 4,600 mile North Country National Scenic Trail and the 6,500 mile American Discovery Trail along its route.
- Make plans for the trip
- Hike not less than 50 consecutive miles
- Take a minimum of five consecutive days
- Perform a minimum of 10 hours of service
NATIONAL OUTDOOR AWARD Camp under the stars along the Buckeye Trail for 25 nights, then hit the trail afoot for 100 miles of the 1444-mile trail that loops around the state. Can you pitch a tent, find your way, and bandage an ankle using only materials in your pack? Are you prepared to do any of these in rain, snow, sleet, or heat?
National Outdoor Badge for Camping
- Earn the First Class rank
- Camping merit badge
- Two of the following three merit badges: Cooking, First Aid, Pioneering
- Complete 25 days and nights of camping
National Outdoor Badge for Hiking
- Earn the First Class rank
- Earn the Hiking and Orienteering merit badges
- Complete 100 miles of hiking or backpacking
HISTORIC TRAIL AWARD In 1958, Merrill Gilfillan wrote an article for the Columbus Dispatch proposing a trail from Cincinnati to Lake Erie. One of his hopes was that the trail would serve as an encouragement to young people to slow down and learn about their native land. Spurred on by the article, several people, including Merrill, met in Columbus in February, 1959 to discuss building such a trail. In June, they formed a non-profit organization – The Buckeye Trail Association.
The first 20 miles were dedicated on September 19, 1959 in Hocking County. Several of the founders and early leaders were among the 34 people making that dedication hike, including the BTA's most famous grandma, Emma Gatewood. From that beginning, the trail grew to over 1,444 miles under the auspices of the BTA. It was completed near Deer Lick Cave in the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area in 1980.
Today, the Buckeye Trail Association is a large, strong body of volunteers who maintain and promote the trail. The trail itself cannot be used for the Historic Trails Award requirements. However, Scouts may locate and study an historic site near the trail and stage a public event, hike two days and one night along the nearby Buckeye Trail. and restore and mark all or part of this site/trail. Check with your local historical society for historic sites in your area then call your scout district or council for approval.
- Plan and participate in a historic activity
- Locate a historic trail or site
- Hike or camp two days and one night along the trail or in the vicinity of the site
- Cooperate with an adult group such as a historic society to restore and mark all or part of this trail or site or plan and stage a historic pageant, ceremony, or other public event
TRAIL REQUIREMENTS Check with your local council for additional requirements to earn the award.