Meet Byron Guy, a spark for Ohio State Parks!

Byron Guy wears many different hats regarding Ohio State Parks. His work includes the Buckeye Trail Association, E.G.G.S. Hike, OH/KY American Discovery Trail ™, and more. He recently used his birthday to create a Facebook Fundraiser for the Ohio State Parks Foundation, and we caught up with him to explain why and share his donor story.

“What is your favorite Ohio State Park?”

I can’t pick one park in particular as my favorite. They all have different settings, geologic history, anthropology, and recreational purposes. If I had to put my life savings on one, it would have to be Hocking Hills State Park. As a long-time member of the Buckeye Trail Association and section supervisor for the region, it has a different meaning to me. It was a part of the first 20 miles of the Buckeye Trail surveyed by founding member and namesake trail Emma Gatewood. As a long-time backpacker, she has always been an idol of mine. To walk in her footsteps is still gratifying to this day. The geologic history is overwhelming and its timeline in anthropology in Ohio is fascinating. 

“Why did you choose to support the Ohio State Parks Foundation in your recent birthday fundraiser on Facebook?”

It’s places like Hocking Hills State Park that need so much support to be able to have it around for the next 100+ years. Some trails are tired, as well as trail structures and signage… the OSPF has the necessary tools to help make sure the Park is enhanced and protected in the future.

“Share three Ohio State Parks that are on your list to visit this year.”

Three Ohio State Parks I would like to get to are all on Lake Erie. They’re actually the only State Parks I’ve never been to. You read that correctly, I’ve been to every State Park in Ohio except the parks on the Islands.

“What is your most memorable experience at an Ohio State Park?”

While I have many memories (40+ years) in the Ohio State Parks, the one that stands out the most is a winter campout we held for the Buckeye Trail Association at Hocking Hills State Park in 2009 when we received over 10 inches of snow during the day. We had the whole Park to ourselves and were temporarily snowed into the Park. The gorge was absolutely stunning that day with no footprints to be found but our own. Anytime I’m in the gorge by myself, it gives pause and reflection on the longevity and magnitude it holds. 

Thank you, Byron, for sharing your story, and for your continued support of the Ohio State Parks and OSPF. If you would like to support our mission to enhance visitors’ experiences and to support innovative projects that educate park visitors, increase inclusivity, support sustainability, and promote health and wellness, you may Donate Now on our website or create a Facebook fundraiser to invite your family, friends, and connections to support our organization just as Byron did.