This month marks the 20th anniversary of the Simon Kenton Pathfinders being founded. The group started with 17 members who were interested in developing a shared-use path in Champaign County. The efforts of the group have now lead to a 32 mile path which extends into Clark and Logan Counties. Nick Walton | Urbana Daily Citizen
What started as an idea to have a shared-use path in Champaign County two decades ago has grown to a 32-mile path which now extends to Springfield and Bellefontaine.
The organization started in 1997 with 17 members and now has over 300 members from surrounding areas outside the county and outside the state.
On Sept. 10, the Pathfinders will hold their annual fundraiser bike ride to support the pavement of the northern extension and maintenance of the Simon Kenton Trail.
This year’s ride will be sponsored by the family of Rita A. Larson.
Early registration is available online at simonkentonpathfinders.org, through registration forms at the Depot Coffeehouse, 644 Miami St., or from any member of the Pathfinders.
Registration on the day of the ride will be from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Depot.
Trail history The idea of a local bike path started with Pathfinders President Nancy Lokai-Baldwin.
“I used to ride my bike to Yellow Springs,” Lokai-Baldwin said. “I drove up to Yellow Springs and by the time you got off work and you went to Yellow Springs and came back it was dark. I thought ‘man we should get one of these things in our community’ because there wasn’t anything that just anybody could do in our community – you either had to have a membership for something or you had to go out of town and I just felt like this could cover recreation, transportation, health benefits for everybody.”