COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has announced more than $2.8 million for 21 recreational trail projects in Ohio through the Recreational Trails Program including two projects in Guernsey County.

The Village of Byesville will receive $59,889 for the Byesville Trail Connect Project estimated to cost $74,766 and the Guernsey County Community Development Corporation will receive $54,945 for a Great Guernsey Trail project totaling $68,681.25.

"These projects are exciting because they allow families to get outside and explore in their own communities," said ODNR Director Mary Mertz. "ODNR is proud to be a partner in creating these opportunities."

In Byesville, village officials will construct an eight-foot-wide, asphalt recreational trail within the Byesville Village Park north of the downtown business area. This trail represents the first phase of a trail project that will link Byesville Village Park with Jackson Park on the south end of the village.

The trail will be approximately 1.25 miles in total length and provide easy access to the main business areas of the village. The trail will give residents and visitors an opportunity to safely walk or bike to the parks, shop and eat in the village, or enjoy the loop trail inside the Byesville Village Park.

This Great Guernsey Trail project will consist of repaving one mile of the surface from the trailhead on Corduroy Road to the trail crossing on Reservoir Road.

Other counties with projects include Athens, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Delaware, Hamilton, Hancock, Highland, Hocking, Perry, Lawrence, Lucas, Madison, Medina, Ottawa, Pike, Perry, Jackson, Fulton, Portage, Summit and Wood.

RTP funding goes to projects that create and maintain trails and trail support facilities, improve access for people with disabilities, and improve education for trail safety and the environment.

Applications for funding are evaluated using criteria such as need for the trail, public participation during design and trail linkages.

ODNR administers the federal RTP grant program, which funds motorized and non-motorized trails. RTP is a reimbursement grant program that provides up to 80% of the project’s funding.

ODNR received 40 RTP grant applications, and the agency awarded funding to 21 projects statewide.

More than 375 local trail projects across the state have received more than $32 million in federal funds through ODNR since RTP began in 1993.