2000 : 2001 : 2002


Under the capable leadership of John Lane the boating program has significantly expanded this year.  There were impromptu Kayak Schools, winter roll sessions, new Columbus Outdoor Pursuits boating T-shirt, a trip south to warmer climes in March, many of the usual boating schools, a boating film festival in March, a cleanup of the Hocking River, and trips nearly every weekend.

2000 GOBA
There are so many great bicycling events that accommodate hundred of participants that it is easy to think that bicycling is the dominate activity of Columbus Outdoor Pursuits. The boating program which by its nature is going to have fewer participants.  It would be a strange boating event indeed to have 3000 people on the river at the same time.  Year after year great Ohio Bicycle Adventure has been filled to capacity of 3000 with many more turned away. This the twelfth year is no different with the seven day tour visiting Fremont, Tiffin, Marion, Bellefontaine, Bluffton and Bowling Green.  A few of the high notes of the week included: lunch stop and tour of Seneca Caverns; lunch stop in Harrod (pop. 700) in the outstanding veterans park; lunch stop in Upper Sandusky (where they really know how to take care of Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure); snack stop in Beaverdam (pop. 500) with helicopter rides; a beautiful orchestrated bike parade in Fremont jump-started by a cannon boom and ending up at the fabulous Hayes Presidential grounds; the portajohn fire in Tiffin; the Marion Community Band; and the swing sounds of Stan Sterner Band.

The third XOBA started at Fort Recovery on the Indiana line and wandered through the center of Ohio visiting Wapakoneta, Kenton, Bucyrus, Loundonville, Dalton, Urichsville and ending at the Ohio River at Connerville.  One hundred twenty five participants had a great time under the leadership of tour director Randy Bennett.

Hiking trips included Dawes Arboretum, New Albany County Club, Buck Creek State Park, Glen Helen Nature Preserve, Lobdell Reserve, Great Seal State Park, Zaleski State Park, John Bryan State Park, Wakeena Nature Preserve, Stages Pond, Highland Nature Sanctuary, Malabar Farm, The Wilds, Taft Reserve Park, Oak Openings Park, Wildcat Hollow, Mohican State Forest, Tar Hollow State Park, Alum Creek State Park, Black Hand Gorge, Old Worthington, and Old Man’s Cave.

And then there is backpacking.  Trips included were Pacific Crest Trail Borrego Mexico to Springs area in Colorado, C & O Towpath Maryland, Great Smokey Mountains, Oregon,  Cascades, Virginia Appalachian Trail, Maine Appalachian Trail, Quebec Run Pennsylvania, and Red River Gorge Kentucky.

The hiking and backpacking program provided an enjoyable time.  This is what Columbus Outdoor Pursuits stands for, recreational opportunities while living and traveling simply.

July 14, 15 & 16 brought many of the activities together with a three day outing for hiking, boating, cycling, rock climbing, swimming and most importantly, food.  This year the location was the 4-H Camp Clifton Main Camp next to John Bryan State Park.  After participating in their own activity the group came together each evening for a party in the park.

In the two years since Columbus Outdoor Pursuits became a separate organization the memberships has grown to nearly 2000, a 15% increase.  Assets have doubled in this time.

This year more than 3500 participants enjoyed the annual bicycle trip to Portsmouth and back on Mothers Day weekend.

In 1990 Tom Barlow came up with the idea for across Ohio Rails-to-Trails project.  He presented the plan to Governor Richard Celeste’s Ohio Bicycle Advisory Committee. With the help of Tom Barlow and Ed Honton the committee determined that a route using the existing Little Miami Scenic Trail in Southwest Ohio to connect to the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area in the Akron-Cleveland area would benefit many Ohioans.  A “Feasibility Study” for The Ohio to Erie Trail was written and presented to the State of Ohio.  It was approved in 1991.  Funds were needed to organize this nonprofit and Columbus Outdoor Pursuits stepped forward to help with start-up cost.  Columbus Outdoor Pursuits helped in other ways by allowing the first brochures to list their post office box and phone number as the contact.

The Ohio to Erie Trail needed money to purchase right-of-way so that local political subdivisions would step forward to build and maintain the paved trail.  The idea of using excess income from the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure was also a natural as the Board of Columbus Outdoor Pursuits had agreed from the beginning that excess of income over expenses would be used to benefit the bicycling community within Ohio.  Ten miles of right-of-way were purchased from the railroads in Tuscarawas County, 3 miles in Madison County , 6 miles in Greene County and in 2001 3 more miles in Madison County.

Columbus Outdoor Pursuits has helped other organizations with the proceeds of the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure: repairing th T. J. Evans Trail in 1993, and purchasing bicycles to start police on bikes in several Central Oho Communities.

Ed Honton, President of The Ohio to Erie Trail stated “without Columbus Outdoor Pursuits support the Trail would never have happened.  The The Ohio to Erie Trail Fund Directors are extremely grateful for the continued support of Columbus Outdoor Pursuits.”

COP recently lost one of its favorite sons, Jerry was a zealous canoeist and member who led his life looking and traveling forward.  He helped make AYH a very special 20-25 years ago.  He was a trip leader, canoe instructor, and friend to many.  His influence and example can still be seen in Columbus Outdoor Pursuits.

A $20,000 contribution was made from COP’s general fund to the Highland Nature Sanctuary in Highland County. This is to secure a parcel known as Elders Landing to extend and preserve from either commercial or residential development land along Paint Creek.  While the total cost was in the $75,000 range, this contribution was very important to securing the land.


Information from an article written by Elizabeth Adamczak in February 2001 Columbus Outdoors.

Nestled in the heart of Laurel Highlands, on a southern Pennsylvania mountainside is a peaceful, 2.5 acre piece of wooded heaven.  It is well hidden and only the pure-of-heart can find it.  Just 2 miles southwest of the sleepy borough of Confluence, a gravel lane winds its way up the slope and into the quiet trees.  The little plot is perched high above the bustling town of Ohiopyle, home of the mighty Youghiogheny River.

Clinging to the incline is a well-loved, pole barn style building.  The lower level is open to the outdoors affording a 360-degree view of the surrounding woods.  Two picnic tables run end-to-end along the length of the first floor.  They sit in dreamy contemplation of the meals, games, educational lectures and general conversation that have taken place here.  A counter top runs along the back, home to an ancient microwave and coffee maker.  A battered oven/stove convenes, waiting for a meal to be prepared.  A dented clothes dryer lists proudly, trying to blend in with the kitchen appliances.  An open stairway leads to the closed-in loft above.  Mattresses are piled high along one wall, waiting for sleepy outdoors folk to pull them down and dream on them.  Several shelves offer kitchen and cooking amenities.  A gravel parking area sits empty on the slope below the barn.  At the lower end perch two shiny, new port-a-johns.  To one side, the ashes in the fire circle are a reminder of the tall tales and good times that have been shared there.  Behind the barn and up the hill are several semi-level and clear tent sites for campers seeking more privacy.  This is the Yough Stop.

In the summer of 1973, while their spouses and friends went paddling without them, Jann Ichida and Ralph Rosenfield went in search of the perfect property that became the Yough Stop.  Ralph and Jann toured several sites with a realtor all day.  Land owned by Mr. Miller was the best locale (off-road and close to Middle Yough) and the right price.  It also was fairly close to put-in for Lower Section and close enough to the Cheat River in West Virginia.  The site was recommended to the AYH-Columbus Board and in the Fall 1973 the land was purchased for $2,000.  In March 1975 a bid was submitted by Umbaugh Pole Building Co of Delaware Ohio for a 20 by 30 feet Gambrel roof pole barn for $5,657.  The finishing of the structure with electricity, insulting and paneling of the loft was done with volunteers.

Columbus Outdoor Pursuits has its own climbing wall.  The “wall” has been around for many years.  Originally the wall was located in a small silo in a factory building off King Avenue in Columbus.  It was a crowded dirty and had poor lighting, but it was the social center of the climbing crowd.  Eventually the owner of the building found someone who would pay rent so the wall was dismantled and moved to Granville.

Tom Lester, the new climbing chair offered his farm as a location.  The group got together with a design and placed twenty tons of large gravel as a base, with four barrels of concrete to anchor the corners.  That was topped with another 20 tons of grit.  Then the structure was built and capped at 32 feet.  A roof was added and after a cold winter, a propane furnace was installed and lighting provided by a portable generator.

Westlake, Medina, Ashland, Mt. Vernon, Marysville, Xenia, Lebanon, Cincinnati where the overnights on this most successful XOBA.  There were nearly 200 participants.

The Board of Director instituted a training series consisting of Risk Management Module, Paperwork Module, activity specific safety guidelines. These are the most basic leader training requirements.  The remaining modules, trip planning, participant screening, and leadership are highly recommended.  These session are given through the year so that new leaders can come aboard during the year instead of only once a year.

A return to hilly Southeastern Ohio brought an unforgettable adventure for many.  Even with the prospect of a hilly tour there were the usual contingent of nearly 2900 bicyclists sharing the comradie of a tour though the best and most beautiful area of Ohio.  The thirteenth annual tour visited Gallipolis, Wellston, Nelsonville, Marietta (two nights), New Lexington, and McArthur.

26th Annual CFC
CFC returned to Athens, a destination for many years before switching to Marietta. Going from Lancaster to Athens allowed a new route to be used that was well received by the many participants.

There were two changes to the constitution voted on by the membership at the annual meeting in October.  The membership allowed the board to have nine meeting per year instead of twelve.  Secondly, the number of Directors will gradually be reduced from the current thirty-six to a maximum of twenty.


Columbus Outdoor Pursuits on the Web has had a presence on the web for some time.  This year the web site started being used for many of the routine tasks of the organization.  Application for activities are posted for downloading, training and schools, and the activity schedule are available along with the Annual Report.

As has been true for several years the beginning backpacking school was filled beyond capacity.  Intermediate Backpacking school had seven participants.  Several new trip leaders were recruited: Doug Kitchen, Keith Eblin, Gary Conkle, Lisa Drugan, Johanna Garber, Lynn Gause, Cathy Heberding, Susan Jewett and Diane Monroe.

Two extended trips were held to Pacific Crest Trail – one to Washington Cascades and the other to southern California.  Other trips included Isle Royal, the Smokies and Mt. Adams.

The bicycling program had the energies of dozens of ride leaders, many of them veteran leaders and several first time leaders.  There were many highlights and firsts worthy of celebration. Sadly, there was the first bicycling fatality with a rider being hit by an opposing truck.  The accident prompted renewed interest in the safety programs. 

There were three leadership workshops focusing on risk management, bicycle safety and handling and basic roadside repair.  There was also a series of pace line and cornering classes.

Tour director Charlie Pace reported that there were 3319 riders signed up.  The weather was unusually cooperative. Saturday was nearly windless and on Sunday there was a nice tailwind until about noon when the weather forecast called for 80 mile per hour winds out of the west.  For those who were out after the wind hit it was a memorable finish.

An increasing number of participants took advantage of the half TOSRV and rode from Chillicothe to Portsmouth on Saturday and back on Sunday.

The 14th Annual Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure route was in central Ohio with host towns of Delaware, Newark, Lancaster, Chillicothe, London, and Marysville.  There were 3,145 registered participants under tour director Julie Van Winkle.

The 5th Across Ohio Bicycle Adventure was a wonderful success with 170 people touring from Huron on Lake Erie to Marietta on the Ohio River.  Host towns in between were Tiffin, Bluffton, Urbana, Wilmington, Chillicothe, and Nelsonville.  The tour director was Randy Bennett who originated XOBA.


The training for leadership is offered either in several evening sessions or one all day training session.  It is broken up into 5 modules of Risk Management, Paperwork and Policies, Trip Planning, Participant Screening and Leadership. 

The New Albany High School Wellness Class was a sampler this year.  It included Kayak I class on Mondays, climbing wall on Wednesdays, and Canoe I on Fridays.  Two days of hiking where also included.  Except for the wall sessions, all classes where at Alum Creek Beach.  Ten girls thought the class worth going to summer school and had fun doing it.

Columbus School for Girls where added this year.  While the New Albany program is a for credit class, the CSG program is a summer enrichment program.  The CSG course included 14 enthusiast 6th graders.

A major hurdle had to be overcome this year as the insurance policy was not renewed.  After two months of many people searching, a new policy holder was found with the cost doubling.

Thirty seven individuals learned Red Cross training and also how to handle emergencies that occur farther away from a city where it takes more time to get an injured person to advanced medical care.

This committee reviews application for disbursement of funds generated by GOBA.  The Ohio to Erie Trail received $25,000 to purchase land for the trail in Delaware County.

In 2001 the committee allocated $50,000 to the Newark-Johnstown Bike Trail in Licking County to upgrade the trail. These funds would be available provided that the park district was able to match the $50,000 with $50,000 in donated funds and $50,000 from the county commissioners.  The Licking County Park district was unable to match this allocation.

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