In 2016, Chuck and Beth Hewett completed a 1444-mile, 76-day hike on the Ohio Buckeye Trail, the longest loop trail in the nation and wrote a book, Wandering Ohio - A Buckeye Trail Thru-hike, about their adventure. Hear their compelling story when they come to Rodman Main Auditorium on Monday, April 30, at 7 p.m.
The trail was completed in 1980 and the first thru-hiker was in 2000. Chuck and Beth were the 10th and 11th persons to have thru-hiked it (which means hiking the entire length in one continuous effort). Their book, for both hiker and non-hiker, covers Ohio History, canals, Indian ceremonial grounds, museums, interesting B&Bs, and must see spots in Ohio. Since the trail goes through over half of the counties in Ohio, a person learns about the lay of the land, and what can be found in each of the counties.
The Hewetts have an extensive resume of long distance hiking, including a thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail as well as hiking the John Muir Trail, parts of the Pacific Crest Trail, and the 500-mile Colorado Trail, in addition to hikes in other countries. Chuck, born in Canton, Ohio, had an appreciation for the outdoors instilled in him as a boy. He was active in swimming and kayaking, and eventually received his Master of Environmental Compliance. His first goal upon retirement was to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail in 2011. Beth, whom he met in 2013, willingly joined him on future hikes. She grew up in Stow, Ohio, and lived with her first husband for 17 years in the Caribbean followed by 20 years in Lithuania where she worked as a Lithuania-English translator until the death of her husband. She met Chuck upon her return to the United States and with their mutual love of the outdoors began their hiking adventures. Together, they have logged 8,000 miles. They hike as a way to explore nature and stay fit in retirement.
The Ohio Buckeye Trail hike was partly a result of a volunteer project for the Buckeye Trail Association (BTA). The long distance trail does not have a databook. Such a book lets a hiker know what direction to go and where to find water or campsites and where various stores or motels are located in a town. Chuck and Beth spent two years compiling the information. The databook is in the hands of the BTA who is responsible for having the databook published (as yet, it is not available).
Beth and Chuck use their book Wandering Ohio - a Buckeye Trail Thru-hike as an opportunity to share their experiences and promote the Buckeye Trail. There is so much to see in Ohio and the book has provided many people with a fresh avenue for experiencing and dreaming of new weekend travels in Ohio. The book is available at www.amazon.com (paperback and kindle). Free and open to the public. For more information, call the Main Library at 330-821-2665, ext. 107.