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First Grandma Emma Gatewood Day to be observed April 27
Grandma Emma Gatewood Day planned as a growing, annual event.
By: Weirick Communications, Inc.
On December 20, 2012 Ohio Governor John Kasich signed legislation establishing April 27 as Grandma Emma Gatewood Day. April 27 was selected as the day to honor the Buckeye Trail founder because it was on April 27, 1967 that then-Governor James A. Rhodes signed a bill establishing the Buckeye Trail as Ohio's official hiking trail. Legislation to establish Grandma Emma Gatewood Day was initially introduced by Senator Tim Schaffer then was added to HB 492, sponsored by Representative Anne Gonzales.
On September 19, 1959 the first 20 miles of the Buckeye Trail system were dedicated in Hocking County. Part of the Buckeye Trail the Grandma Gatewood Trail takes hikers from Old Man's Cave to Ash Cave in the Hocking Hills State Park. The Buckeye Trail was completed in 1980 and spans Ohio all the way from Lake Erie south to the Ohio River.
A Gallia County, Ohio native, Gatewood received national acclaim when at age 67, wearing a pair of keds, she became the first woman to hike the entire 2,168-mile (3,489 km) Appalachian Trail by herself in one trip. Grandma Emma Gatewood was featured in the August 15, 1955 issue of Sports Illustrated. She hiked Appalachian Trail again in 1960, then again at age 75 in 1963, making her the first person to hike the trail three times.
The Grandma Emma Gatewood Day Twilight Hike will be led by Hocking Hills State Park Naturalist Pat Quackenbush. Hikers will meet at the Ash Cave parking area at 6:30 pm. Once in the cave hikers will "meet" Grandma Gatewood.
The Ash Cave trail is handicap accessible. All are welcome, but hikers are asked to leave pets at home for safety reasons, as it will be getting dark as the hike concludes.
Ash Cave is located on State Route 56, just west of State Route 374 in South Bloomingville, OH.