Rotarians hear Buckeye Trail stories

TROY — Trying to count your steps every day? Andy Niekamp, professional hiking guide and Chief Adventure Officer for the Outdoor Adventure Connection, might have some ideas for you.

Niekamp shared his 2011 hiking experience of Ohio’s 1,400-mile-long Buckeye Trail with Troy Rotarians during their weekly meeting on Aug. 28.

The Buckeye Trail is divided in 26 sections and is the longest loop trail in the nation. It is marked by 2 by 6 inch blue blazes on recreational paths that ring the outer edge of the state. It is located on federal, state, county and, in some cases, city land, and it has the designation as a North Country national scenic trail, which is 4,600 miles long through 11 states.

Known as “Captain Blue” on the trail, Niekamp hiked the trail beginning on March 20, 2011 in Deeds Park in downtown Dayton and finished 88 days later, on June 16, 2011. Along the way, he traveled through many parks, lake land areas, and near many state and local parks.

He was sought out several times by trail observers, maintainers, and hospitable trail supporters. He slept in tents, garages, shelters, and with friends and supporters along the way. His diet included soup and other food he could prepare on his portable alcohol stove.

Having hiked both the Appalachian and Buckeye Trails, he finds the one in Ohio to be the best one he’s completed, thanks to the scenery and the people he met along the way. For more information, visit

Troy Rotarians and the Troy Rotary Foundation support several community projects annually. During the 2016-17 Rotary year, over $16,000 in scholarships and community aid was distributed from the fund, including support for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program, Rotary’s annual Shoe Project, academic and community service scholarships, and sponsorships to summer camps at Brukner Nature Center and WACO Air Museum.

In addition to the financial support, Rotarians volunteered nearly 400 hours to several service projects. The Troy Rotary Club is a member-involved, goal-oriented service club focused on socio/economic issues that have an impact both locally and internationally. Follow the club’s activities on Facebook at Troy Rotary Club. To learn more about Rotary and membership in the club, please visit

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provided photo Professional hiking guide Andy Neikamp shared tails of his Buckeye Trail adventure with the Rotarians at their Aug. 28 meeting. photo Professional hiking guide Andy Neikamp shared tails of his Buckeye Trail adventure with the Rotarians at their Aug. 28 meeting.