SMITHFIELD - County residents will see the first county trail in conjunction with the Jefferson County Trails and Greenways Plan come to life on Saturday with a day of activities.
Jefferson County Fairgrounds Trails will open to the public at 9 a.m. on Saturday, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony starting at 10 a.m.
One of the three trails located at the county fairgrounds consists of a Rehabilitation Trail sponsored by Rehab Plus Physical Therapy of Steubenville. The trail is designed to assist those who have recently had a surgical procedure, illness or injury and are beginning a therapy routine consisting of walking for better health. Dr. Rob Runkel of Rehab Plus said, "Walking is one of the most beneficial exercises you can do."
The other two trails vary in difficulty and consist of an inner loop and an outer loop. All trails will be open to the public throughout the year except the week prior to and the week of the county fair.
Sue Hershey, Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce president, said she is "absolutely delighted" the county fair board has opened the trails to the community.
"The rehabilitation trail is great for those looking for a health benefit. The other trails will offer hiking, biking and walking to the community at large," Hershey said.
She said the trails will attract visitors outside the county to Friendship Park.
"The opening of the trails is just the beginning of other trails opening in Jefferson County," she added.
Jefferson County Fair Board members stated the fairgrounds have been used by walkers for years, and they are excited to provide residents with a trail for hiking, biking, walking and physical rehabilitation.
A bulletin board-kiosk located at the Pugliese Pavilion will contain information on the trails and include sponsorship opportunities to continue improving the trails system at the fairgrounds and throughout the county.
Fair board members said they are proud to set the standard for the trails system in the county, with the assistance of the Trails and Greenways Task Force and are happy to announce the first trail under the county plan is ready for use.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday will include a commemorative T-shirt for the first 100 participants. Other events include a tractor show from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.; flea market, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.; bike rodeo, with bike decorating beginning at 9 a.m. and parade of bikes at 10:15 a.m. on Rehab Trail; bike rodeo, 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., with the first 50 participants receiving a free bicycle helmet; Youth Day of Play, 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.; and antiques road show and appraisals hosted by the Friends of Smithfield.
Food concessions will be available throughout the day by the county fair board.
To register for the tractor show, purchase a flea market spot or to sign up for the bike rodeo, contract the Ohio State University Extension Office at (740) 264-2212 or (800) 628-7460.
Admission to all events, as well as parking, is free.