Confirmed programming. MORE TO COME! Schedule Subject to Change.

FRIDAY – May 1 • Programs


Friday Welcome • Craig Kenkel, Cuyahoga Valley National Park Superintendent

SATURDAY – May 2 • Programs


Saturday Keynote • Brian Zimmerman, Cleveland Metroparks CEO

In ten years as the leader of Cleveland Metroparks, Brian reached many goals for land acquisition and grant monies awarded, transformed and preserved land, and engaged partners. Read his Biography. Come to TrailFest to hear his presentation.


Family Fun Fest

Presented by the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Community Engagement. 


Making your Passion into your Business – Life on the Trails!

1 hour – Vince Rucci, Vertical Runner & Western Reserve Racing

Growing a business from the love of trail running! Sharing the passion and changing lives!


Group Run – Vertical Runner

1 hour – Vince Rucci, Vertical Runner & Western Reserve Racing


BT Adopter Training Workshop

2.5 hours – Buckeye Trail Crew Volunteers

This workshop is aimed at any potential volunteer or member thinking about becoming a Trail Adopter or someone who just wants to help maintain the trail. Experienced trail maintainers are encouraged to come to pass on their knowledge.
You’ll learn:
Roles and Responsibilities
Trail Maintenance Basics
Heavy Maintenance (for familiarity)
Trail Building Basics (for familiarity)
and proper Blazing


Common Herbs for Common Problems, in your Yard

1 hour – Rae Neal Herbalist, Integrative Nurse Practitioner

Learn what Herbs help with common problems that you can find in your yard or on the trail.


Dehydrated Meals for a Lighter Pack Weight

1 hour – Betsy Drennan

Learn to use a dehydrator to pack healthier lighter trail meals. Recipes and samples will be provided.


What’s the Difference between a Walk and a Hike?

1 hour – Diane Stresing, Copywriter and Author, 60 Hikes within 60 Miles of Cleveland

What’s the difference between a walk and a hike? Is that a trick question? Maybe. Diane Stresing wrote 60 Hikes within 60 Miles of Cleveland, and she’s been trying to come up with the answer for years… watch her squirm as she tries to explain to folks with way more hiking (and walking) experience than she has.


How to Section Hike the BT

1 hour – Don Pattison



Walking on Sunshine – A Thru Hike of the 1,100 mile Florida Trail 

1 hour – Andy “Captain Blue” Niekamp, Chief Adventure Officer of Outdoor Adventure Connection

The southernmost of the National Scenic Trails in America, the Florida Trail is unlike any other. Where else can you see an alligator, bear, and panther all in one day? Take an 1,100 mile journey from the Everglades to Pensacola through the interior of Florida. The Florida Trail ranges from remote and wild knee-deep swamps to bike paths through busy suburban Orlando to the white, sandy beaches of the Panhandle. See parts of Florida that most people never get to see. Learn how Andy endured sun, heat, rain, wind, cold, floods, hurricane damage, alligators and venomous snakes to complete this 2.5-month hike.


Sustainable Trails for All

1.5 hours – Ralph Protano, Cleveland Metroparks

A primer for trail maintenance and management: Learn about reading and understanding the terrain, reacting to user patterns and implementing construction techniques to shape sustainable trails that can be enjoyed by users at minimum


Trails and How Park Management Supports Them

1 hour – Jeremy Peppeard, Cleveland Metroparks

Park Managers are the stewards of public land. They are responsible for all aspects of maintenance from facility maintenance, picnic area maintenance, trash and restroom cleaning, snow removal, mowing, trails and much more. Here you will learn how park management plays an active role in supporting trails in how they are managed and maintained both past and present.


What in Blue Blazes is Going on Here!

1.5 hours – Andrew Bashaw, Executive Direction, Buckeye Trail Association

Join the Director of the BTA for an informal conversation on where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re headed. Pats on the back and rotten tomatoes are equally welcomed. Feel free to make suggestions, and be ready to be asked to volunteer for those same ideas. A great way to get to know how the BTA works as well as the challenges we face.


Knots to Know for the Outdoor Enthusiast

1 hour – Mike (Scallion) Fanelli, Boy Scout leader and Metro Park volunteer

There are about 10 basic knots that are key to being comfortable in the outdoors. Some knots form a locking loop, others an adjustable loop, others tie onto another rope and finally some tie on to an object that is not a rope. Come, have fun, and amaze your friends .


How to Start a Fire without Matches

1 hour – Mike (Scallion) Fanelli, Boy Scout leader and Metro Park volunteer

There are at least 20 ways to start a fire without a match (or lighter). You will be amazed at some of the methods used thousands of years ago, and those methods using modern materials readily available. Fire making allowed the ancient humans to stay warm, cook food, and gather in community. And this class could save your life in an emergency!


Native Plants, the Buckeye and your Yard

1 hour – Joe Carter, Volunteer Pollinator Specialist, OSU Extension

Create what your eyes see on the Buckeye Trail in your yard through the seed collection and propagation of native plants. Understand the importance of providing habitat for native wildlife pollinators, biodiversity and the environment.


Ride Cleveland Rocks – East Rim Mountain Bike Trails

1 hour – Kim Norley, National Park Service

Cleveland has become a Mountain Bike Destination. The building of the low maintenance bike-optimized East Rim Trail System had challenges and triumphs for the National Park. Learn how the National Park Service built the trail and its impact to Mountain Biking in Northeast Ohio.


The Goodyear blimp – Past, Present & Future

1 hour – Gerald Hissem, Chief Pilot, Goodyear Blimp, Goodyear Airship Operations

The Goodyear blimps are woven into the fabric of American history. From the military to the commercial, they are a beloved aerial icon.. Here’s their story – to date!


The Shepherd’s Calendar: Farming in the Cuyahoga Valley

1 hour – Laura DeYoung, The Spicy Lamb Farm

The Cuyahoga Valley’s history is steeped in agricultural traditions. Today, The Spicy Lamb Farm is one of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park farms that provides visitors with scenic rural vistas, but it is first a working farm. Join farmer Laura DeYoung for a view of a year in the life on the farm: the Shepherd’s Calendar.


What the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has to offer

1 hour – Eddie Svec, Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

This program will review a little of the history of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (CVSR) within the CVNP. It will also discuss the many events that are offered on the CVSR from simple Scenic Excursions though the CVNP to the opulent Dinner Trains in the evening on the weekends. There are well over 2 dozen different “event trains” offered to the public.


Kilimanjaro and Patagonia: Hiking Outside of Ohio

1 hour – Greg DeVor, DDS

The Buckeye Trail is a wonderful place to hike. But nothing can prepare you for hiking to the Top of Africa or at the Bottom of the World! Come and listen to a first hand account of hiking in some of the most remote places on the planet.

SUNDAY – May 3 • Programs


Buckeye Trail Association Annual Meeting