Some folks hike on state park trails to relax, exercise, get close to nature, take in fall colors or spring wildflowers, catch a glimpse of wildlife or reflect in solitude. Steve Newman hiked East Fork State Park's perimeter trail on March 31, 1987 for a unique reason. Steve, better known as the Worldwalker, was completing his solo four-year trek around the world. His amazing odyssey took him to five continents, covering 15,000 miles.
Equipped with a few provisions in a backpack, a keen sense of adventure, and a heart as big as the great outdoors, Steve set out on his journey on April 1, 1983. He relied on the kindness of strangers for lodgings and many meals, sleeping in barns or under the stars when no shelter was available. Some days he walked a few miles, others he covered twenty or thirty. He crossed deserts, mountains, forests and cities. Although at times he felt hungry, tired, lonely, achy or frightened by wild animals or the threat of bandits, he pressed on. He got to know the world and its people in the simplest way possible. Details of his adventures and heartwarming stories of the goodness and love of human beings the world over have been recounted in his books Worldwalk and Letters from Steven.
The 37-mile perimeter trail at East Fork State Park, where Steve chose to hike the last leg of his journey, is named the "Steve Newman Worldwalker Perimeter Trail." Steve's hometown of Bethel, Ohio is just a few miles from East Fork. The park's extensive trail system was a childhood training ground that helped shape Steve's path as an adult. His historic hike brought him full circle, from familiar boyhood surroundings to exotic lands and back.
The trail can be used for both a day and overnight hike. The Steve Newman Worldwalker Perimeter Trail winds through diverse landscape including forested hills, rocky cascades, abandoned farmlands, grasslands and swamp forests. Camping is provided along the trail offering fire rings and pit latrines. Drinking water is also available on the trail. Permits for campsites are available through the park office.
Directions: From Batavia, OH, Travel State Route 32 east about 4 miles. Turn off at Half Acre Road. Travel south 1 mile making a left (east) turn on Old SR 32. East Fork State Park will be on the right. About 0.4-mile from entrance, follow signs to campground area. A parking lot is located adjacent to the check-in office. Horse trailers accommodated.
Elevation: 800 feet
Distance: 37 miles
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East Fork State Park, Ohio
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