Chapter 1519: RECREATIONAL TRAILS

1519.01 Plan and administration of state system of recreational trails.

The director of natural resources shall plan and administer a state system of recreational trails for hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, ski touring, canoeing, and other nonmotorized forms of recreational travel. The system may interconnect state parks, forests, wildlife areas, nature preserves, scenic rivers, and other places of scenic or historic interest to the maximum practicable extent. It shall provide circuit trails for day use and access trails wherever possible. The director may, by the adoption of rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, restrict uses of the trails to insure user safety, prevent damage to the trail routes, and prevent conflicting uses. As used in this chapter, "state trail" means any trail acquired by the director, or trail established or maintained pursuant to an agreement, under section 1519.02 of the Revised Code, and any other trail on lands under his jurisdiction that he designates as a state trail by entry in his journal. Any person who owns land along a state trail may use or authorize use of motorized vehicles across the trail for purposes incident to ownership and management of his land.

Cite as R.C. § 1519.01

Effective Date: 02-11-1988

1519.02 Acquisition and maintenance of property for trails.

The director of natural resources may acquire real property or any estate, right, or interest therein for the purpose of establishing, protecting, and maintaining any state recreational trail. The director may appropriate real property or any estate, right, or interest therein for trail purposes only along a canal, watercourse, stream, existing or abandoned road, highway, street, logging road, railroad, or ridge or other landform or topographic feature particularly suited for nonmotorized vehicular recreational use, and may not appropriate more than twenty-five acres including land purchased with or without appropriation proceedings along any mile of trail. Any state department or agency or any political subdivision may transfer real property or any estate right, or interest therein to the director for such purpose, or may enter into an agreement with the director for the establishment, protection, and maintenance of a trail. The director may transfer real property or any estate, right, or interest therein to any political subdivision pursuant to an agreement whereby the political subdivision maintains and protects a trail. The director may enter into agreements with private organizations or with agencies of the United States to provide for maintenance of any trail or section thereof. The director shall provide campsites, shelters, footbridges, water, sanitary [sanitation], watercraft launching, and other facilities for recreational use, nature and historical interpretation, and administration of the state trails system. The director may cooperate with the director of highways in providing appropriate means for trails to cross highways. The director may restore historical sites along a trail. The director shall publish and distribute maps, guides, pamphlets, and other interpretative literature on the state trails system and on individual trails which the director considers suitable for extensive public use.

Any instrument by which real property is acquired pursuant to this section shall identify the agency of the state that has the use and benefit of the real property as specified in section 5301.012 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 1519.02

Effective Date: 10-26-1999

1519.03 Comprehensive plan for development of statewide trails system.

The director of natural resources, through the chief of the division of parks and recreation, shall prepare and maintain a current inventory of trails, abandoned or unmaintained roads, streets, and highways, abandoned railroad rights-of-way, utility easements, canals, and other scenic or historic corridors or rights-of-way that are suitable for recreational use. The director shall prepare and publish a comprehensive plan for development of a statewide trails system to serve present and future trail recreation needs of the state. Any state department, agency, political subdivision, or planning commission shall furnish available maps, descriptions, and other pertinent information to the director or provide access to the director's representatives for inspection and duplication, upon request by the director, for trail inventory and planning purposes.

Cite as R.C. § 1519.03

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 7/17/2009.

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

1519.04 Rule violations - enforcement.

No person shall violate any rule adopted by the director of natural resources under this chapter.

Every sheriff, deputy sheriff, marshal, deputy marshal, member of the organized police department of any municipal corporation, police constable of any township, wildlife officer, park officer, forest officer, preserve officer, conservancy district police officer, and other law enforcement officer, within the area of his authority, may enforce this chapter and rules adopted under it.

Cite as R.C. § 1519.04

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

1519.05 Clean Ohio trail fund.

(A) As used in this section, "local political subdivision" and "nonprofit organization" have the same meanings as in section 164.20 of the Revised Code.

(B) There is hereby created in the state treasury the clean Ohio trail fund. Twelve and one-half per cent of the net proceeds of obligations issued and sold pursuant to sections 151.01 and 151.09 of the Revised Code shall be deposited into the fund.

Investment earnings of the fund shall be credited to the fund and may be used to pay costs incurred by the director of natural resources in administering this section.

Money in the clean Ohio trail fund shall not be used for the appropriation of land, rights, rights-of-way, franchises, easements, or other property through the exercise of the right of eminent domain.

The director shall use moneys in the fund exclusively to provide matching grants to nonprofit organizations and to local political subdivisions for the purposes of purchasing land or interests in land for recreational trails and for the construction of such trails. A matching grant may provide up to seventy-five per cent of the cost of a recreational trail project, and the recipient of the matching grant shall provide not less than twenty-five per cent of that cost.

(C) The director shall establish policies for the purposes of this section. The policies shall establish all of the following:

(1) Procedures for providing matching grants to nonprofit organizations and local political subdivisions for the purposes of purchasing land or interests in land for recreational trails and for the construction of such trails, including, without limitation, procedures for both of the following:

(a) Developing a grant application form and soliciting, accepting, and approving grant applications;

(b) Participation by nonprofit organizations and local political subdivisions in the application process.

(2) A requirement that an application for a matching grant for a recreational trail project include a copy of a resolution supporting the project from each county in which the proposed project is to be conducted and whichever of the following is applicable:

(a) If the proposed project is to be conducted wholly within the geographical boundaries of one township, a copy of a resolution supporting the project from the township;

(b) If the proposed project is to be conducted wholly within the geographical boundaries of one municipal corporation, a copy of a resolution supporting the project from the municipal corporation;

(c) If the proposed project is to be conducted in more than one, but fewer than five townships or municipal corporations, a copy of a resolution supporting the project from at least one-half of the total number of townships and municipal corporations in which the proposed project is to be conducted;

(d) If the proposed project is to be conducted in five or more municipal corporations, a copy of a resolution supporting the project from at least three-fifths of the total number of townships and municipal corporations in which the proposed project is to be conducted.

(3) Eligibility criteria that must be satisfied by an applicant in order to receive a matching grant and that emphasize the following:

(a) Synchronization with the statewide trail plan;

(b) Complete regional systems and links to the statewide trail system;

(c) A combination of funds from various state agencies;

(d) The provision of links in urban areas that support commuter access and show economic impact on local communities;

(e) The linkage of population centers with public outdoor recreation areas and facilities;

(f) The purchase of rail lines that are linked to the statewide trail plan;

(g) The preservation of natural corridors.

(4) Items of value, such as in-kind contributions of land, easements or other interests in land, labor, or materials, that may be considered as contributing toward the percentage of the cost of a recreational trails project that must be provided by a matching grant recipient.

Cite as R.C. § 1519.05

Effective Date: 09-26-2003

1519.06 Clean Ohio trail advisory board.

(A) There is hereby created the clean Ohio trail advisory board consisting of nine voting members. Not later than sixty days after the effective date of this section, the director of natural resources shall appoint all of the following members to the board:

(1) One member who is a county commissioner and who is recommended by a statewide organization that represents county commissioners;

(2) One member who is a township trustee and who is recommended by a statewide organization that represents township trustees;

(3) One member who is a member of the legislative authority of a municipal corporation and who is recommended by a statewide organization that represents municipal corporations;

(4) Three representatives of statewide nonprofit organizations dedicated to the creation of recreational trails;

(5) One representative each of development, environmental, and planning interests.

Of the initial appointments to the board, three shall serve for a one-year term, three shall serve for a two-year term, and three shall serve for a three-year term. Thereafter, terms of office shall be for three years, with each term ending on the same day of the same month as did the term that it succeeds. Each member shall hold office from the date of appointment until the end of the term for which the member was appointed, except that the term of any member who is a county commissioner, a township trustee, or a member of the legislative authority of a municipal corporation shall end when the member ceases to serve as a county commissioner, a township trustee, or a member of the legislative authority of a municipal corporation.

Members may be reappointed. Vacancies shall be filled in the manner provided for original appointments. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration date of the term for which the member was appointed shall serve for the remainder of that term. A member shall continue to serve subsequent to the expiration date of the member's term until the member's successor takes office or until a period of sixty days has elapsed, whichever occurs first. Members shall serve at the pleasure of the director.

The director or another employee who is designated by the director shall serve as the nonvoting chairperson of the board. The director annually shall designate one member of the board to serve as its vice-chairperson. The board may adopt bylaws governing its operation and shall meet at a time when the director, or the director's designee, considers it appropriate in order for the board to provide advice as required under division (B) of this section.

(B) The board shall provide advice to the director regarding the selection of applications that will be awarded matching grants under section 1519.05 of the Revised Code.

(C) Serving as a member of the board does not constitute holding a public office or position of employment under the laws of this state and does not constitute grounds for removal of public officers or employees from their offices or positions of employment.

(D) A board member shall be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the discharge of duties as a board member.

Cite as R.C. § 1519.06

Effective Date: 07-26-2001

1519.07 No duty or liability to user of recreational trail.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "Intentional tort" means an injury to person or property that the tortfeasor intentionally caused, to which the tortfeasor intentionally contributed, or that the tortfeasor knew or believed was substantially certain to result from the tortfeasor's conduct.

(2) "Premises" means a parcel of land together with any waters, buildings, or structures on it that is privately owned and that is directly adjacent to a recreational trail.

(3) "Recreational trail" means a public trail that is used for hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, ski touring, canoeing, or other nonmotorized forms of recreational travel and that interconnects state parks, forests, wildlife areas, nature preserves, scenic rivers, or other places of scenic or historic interest.

(4) "User of a recreational trail" means a person who, in the course of using a recreational trail, enters on premises without first obtaining express permission to be there from the owner, lessee, or occupant of the premises.

(B)

(1) An owner, lessee, or occupant of premises does not owe any duty to a user of a recreational trail to keep the premises safe for entry or use by a user of a recreational trail.

(2) An owner, lessee, or occupant of premises does not assume, has no responsibility for, does not incur liability for, and is not liable for any injury to person or property caused by any act of a user of a recreational trail.

(C) This section does not apply to intentional torts.

Cite as R.C. § 1519.07

Effective Date: 04-07-2005

1519.99 Penalty.

Whoever violates section 1519.04 of the Revised Code, or any rule or regulation adopted by the director of natural resources pursuant to Chapter 1519. of the Revised Code, shall be fined not less than ten nor more than one hundred dollars.

Cite as R.C. § 1519.99

Effective Date: 10-20-1972