Some folks hike on state park trails to relax, exercise, get close to nature, take in
fall colors or spring wildflowers, catch a glimpse of wildlife or reflect in solitude.
Steve Newman hiked East Fork State Park's perimeter trail on March 31, 1987 for a unique
reason. Steve, better known as the Worldwalker, was completing his solo four-year trek
around the world. His amazing odyssey took him to five continents, covering 15,000 miles.
Equipped with a few provisions in a backpack, a keen sense of adventure, and a heart as
big as the great outdoors, Steve set out on his journey on April 1, 1983. He relied on the
kindness of strangers for lodgings and many meals, sleeping in barns or under the stars
when no shelter was available. Some days he walked a few miles, others he covered twenty
or thirty. He crossed deserts, mountains, forests and cities. Although at times he felt
hungry, tired, lonely, achy or frightened by wild animals or the threat of bandits, he
pressed on. He got to know the world and its people in the simplest way possible. Details
of his adventures and heartwarming stories of the goodness and love of human beings the
world over have been recounted in his books Worldwalk and Letters from Steven.
We are proud to have named the 37-mile perimeter trail at East Fork State Park,
where Steve chose to hike the last leg of his journey, the "Steve Newman Worldwalker
Perimeter Trail." Steve's hometown of Bethel, Ohio is just a few miles from East
Fork. The park's extensive trail system was a childhood training ground that helped shape
Steve's path as an adult. His historic hike brought him full circle, from familiar boyhood
surroundings to exotic lands and back.
Steve now travels the lecture circuit, sharing his experiences and insights with folks
from diverse walks of life. One of his latest literary projects is a tribute to our
national parks and the people who protect them, entitled Guardians of Yellowstone.
Recently, Steve lent Ohio State Parks his skill as a public speaker and his stature as a
legendary figure in the realm of outdoor recreation. He serves as host and narrator for a
new video that describes the inner workings of Ohio State Parks as well as the
accomplishments of our innovative staff and volunteers.
Ohio State Parks could have no better friend or spokesperson than such a man whose love
of nature and appreciation of people drove him to experience both to the fullest. Steve
believes that people still love a good old-fashioned adventure, and long for an escape to
simplicity and natural beauty--that's why our state parks will always be popular. Steve's
story provides inspiration to follow our own dreams and attempt the seemingly impossible.
He still draws his own inspiration from the beautiful hills of southern Ohio, the one
place in all the world that the Worldwalker chooses to call home.