Sam Bonifas, left, Joe Schetter, Bob Ebbeskotte of the Canal Commission Museum, and Buckeye Trail Town Program Coordinator Kim Love-Ottobre and Beth Keuneke celebrate Delphos being designated as a Buckeye Trail Town. (DHI Media/Sam Shriver)
Sam Bonifas, left, Joe Schetter, Bob Ebbeskotte of the Canal Commission Museum, and Buckeye Trail Town Program Coordinator Kim Love-Ottobre and Beth Keuneke celebrate Delphos being designated as a Buckeye Trail Town. (DHI Media/Sam Shriver)

DELPHOS — The Buckeye Trail Association on Saturday, Sept. 17, designated Delphos as a Trail Town.

A dedication ceremony was held at the Delphos Canal Museum to mark the occasion.

“Delphos is our 18th Trail Town,” said Kim Love-Ottobre, Buckeye Trail Town Program Coordinator. “Delphos reached out to us. They’re on the Miami and Erie towpath trail and they recognize the economic draw that hikers and outdoor enthusiasts can bring into a town.”

The Buckeye Trail encompasses more than 1,450 miles linking the four corners of Ohio. It follows wooded footpaths, abandoned railroad corridors, historic canal towpaths, rivers, lake shores and country roads in rural and urban settings.

“There is no end to the Buckeye Trail. It was conceived in 1959 as a hike from the Ohio River to Lake Erie and the loop was created in 1980. It goes from Cincinnati up the western side of the state through Waterville, up around Medina up to Ashtabula on the lake and then it comes down the western side of the state back down to the Cincinnati area. So it is an endless loop you can hop on at any time and just keep walking and you’ll end up back where you started,” Love-Ottobre said.

Eco-tourism is on the rise and people walking the trail can provide an economic boost.

“We have what are called circuit hikers and they will come in and take 10 or 12 miles on a Saturday or Sunday. An out-of-town user of the trail will spend up to four times the amount that a local Delphos trail user would. So you’re coming into the town of Delphos, you know, there’s a place called the Creamery — you’re already set for some ice cream. You’re going to sit down and have lunch there and spend a little money there,” Love-Ottobre said.

Other cities designated as Buckeye Trail Towns include St. Marys, Defiance and Napoleon.

Signs designating Delphos as a Trail Town will go up along the Miami and Erie Canal.

The effort was spearheaded by members of the Delphos Canal Commission.

“I think it was last summer that St. Marys became a Trail Town and I thought we could do that as well,” said Bob Ebbeskotte, Delphos Canal Commission trustee. “I contacted the Buckeye Trail people and said ‘How do we do this?’ and they gave me the application. We filled it out and here we are today.”

There are efforts underway to put a new walk path through town along the trail.

“It’s all part of a great big puzzle that’s starting to finally come together. It’s going to be on the towpath side of the canal, which is the west side here in town. It’s going to be just like the one that Johnny Appleseed put in from Delphos to Spencerville a few years ago, a 10-foot wide crushed limestone path and we’re going to connect our two miles in town to the part that goes to Spencerville and the rest of the trail that goes on the Buckeye Trail all around Ohio,” Ebbeskotte said.