Buckeye Trail - Sinking Spring

Sinking Spring Section

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Trail Description


Fort Hill hike.
Darryl Smith

Supervisor: Fern Truitt

53.9 Total Miles / 22 Off Road Miles (40.8%)
Map Publication Date: September 2013

The Sinking Spring section offers some beautiful scenery and hiking as it's northern half passes through Pike State Forest. Almost 24 miles of the trail passes through the forest or adjoining Pike State Park, utilizing forest roads, abandon dirt roads and plain old trail. Plenty of facilities are available in the park. After crossing SR 41, the trail enters the Fort Hill historical area, site of a Hopewell Indian ceremonial mound built 2000 years ago. A side trail leads to the mound atop the hill. Nearby is Butler Springs Christian Center, site of several BTA Annual Meetings, including 1999. The Buckeye Trail continues through Fort Hill on trails before finally going on roads. After passing through Sinking Spring, the trail goes by another Indian mound at Serpent Mound. South of SR 32 are several miles of trail, over Tolle Hill, through Davis Memorial and near Mineral Springs Lake.

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Map Updates

  • (6/17/15) This update addresses two issues regarding the September 2013 Edition:
    1. A road on the map is named incorrectly. About midway between Pt 19 and 20 on the Sinking Spring Section Map, a road heading west is labeled "Louisville Rd C15". The correct label should read "May Hill Rd C15C". While the text did use the correct name for the road, the county designation is a shortened version. It should read "C15C".
    2. The owners of the campsite adjacent to Serpent Mound State Memorial request advance notification before its use. An updated version of CAMPING FACILITIES is shown below. Please substitute this copy for that shown in the present edition.

    CAMPING FACILITIES
    The location of all campsites, that are known to BTA and are within reasonable walking distance of the trail, are shown on the Section Maps.

    The Buckeye Trail Association oversees one campsite within Sinking Spring Section. It is on GoodSeed Farms located within 0.5 mi. of Pt 22. Notify about any problems. Camping, subject to rules imposed by the Owner/Manager, is also available at Pt 1 within Pike Lake State Park (fee) (740-493-2212), near Pt 3 0.5 mi W on Greenbriar Rd at LB Campground (fee and seasonal) (740-493-2470), near Pt 10 within Cave Lake Park (937-588-3252), near Pt 13 at Butler Springs Christian Camp (937-588-2305) and on private property that is located between Pt 18 and Serpent Mound State Memorial and owned by the McKenzies (937-587-3953). The McKenzies have requested that hikers call at least 24 hours before arrival at the site.

  • (12/17/11) The route between Points 16 and 17 has been changed. Since the route has been changed, this is a permanent Alert. Rather than dutifully following SR 41 S, BT is now privileged to follow footpath through property owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy (TNC). TNC refers to this property as Strait Creek Bluffs. As the name suggests, Strait Creek flows through the property. The bluffs are dolomite cliffs that have considerable scenic interest. Not suggested by the name are the restored prairies. BTA requests that all hikers respect the privilege accorded by TNC by staying on the trail.
CW CCW Pt
27.8
S
26.4
N
16 SR 41 at SR 124 in Village of Sinking Spring
Facilities: G, PO 45172, T, W. Restored octagonal building in the Village Park was a schoolhouse.
BT heads E on SR 124, after 1700' both leaving Sinking Spring and entering Pike Cty from Highland Cty. After 590', as SR 124 turns NE, BT turns SE onto Dogwood Lane (T202), after 1500' turning S just before a small gravel mine onto a private drive. In 1100' at end of drive, BT descends essentially S on wood road with many forks. After 900', wood road crosses an intermittent stream, after 480' going beneath a power line, after 900' turning abruptly E and soon entering woods. Following a long meander (2300'), BT emerges onto a high prairie, one of the highlights of this preserve, and heads generally S. After 1500', BT reaches the entry into a major ravine and begins a slow meandering descent through woods and wonderful dolomite cliffs, at first SE towards Strait Creek below. After 2100' of gradual descent, BT fords Strait Creek and ascends the far side of this ravine NW. BT meanders with moderate undulations generally S through woods above Strait Creek. As the ridge that the trail has been following ends, BT turns away from Strait Creek, descending to cross Smokey Corner Rd (T201) and a minor stream. BT climbs slowly W but soon begins its meandering ways with modest undulations once again. After 1600', BT reenters Highland Cty from Pike Cty. After 1900', BT crosses ditch and turns SW on SR 41.
31.7
SE
22.5
NW
17 SR 41 at Straight Creek Rd (T239)
Distance adjustment between Points 17 and end: Add 1.8 to CW distances; add 0.0 to CCW distances.
  • (7/17/11) A much improved footpath is now in service between Points 2 and 3 of the Sinking Spring Section. The trail length has been increased by about 1/2 mile. And the route is recognized no longer as bridle trail by Pike State Forest. Details are presented below.
CW CCW Pt
0.5
W
53.7
N
2 Pike Lake Rd. (C4) at Service Road
Horseman's Bypass Trail briefly rejoins BT from E. Horses are not permitted in Pike Lake State Park. Riders heading E must use the Bypass Trail that rejoins the Main Trail at Point 35 about 1/2 mile into the SCIOTO TRAIL SECTION 1 mile NE. BT between here and somewhat W of Greenbrier Rd is not bridle trail. The bridle trail is on the N side of the intermittent stream that parallels the service road. BT turns SW onto service road. In about 500', BT leaves service road SE climbing steadily on wooded footpath. After about 6000', BT rejoins the old trail and heads W on this eroded, steep service road for the final 750'.
2.0
W
52.2
N
3 Foot Path at Greenbrier Road (T237)
Distance adjustment between Points 3 and 7: Add 0.5 to CW distances; add 0.3 to CCW distances.

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