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Published: Thursday, July 07, 2016 @ 9:15 PM
Updated: Thursday, July 07, 2016 @ 10:43 PM
GREENE COUNTY — It’s popular, it’s a huge risk and it’s against park rules, but that doesn’t stop young people from cliff jumping — flinging themselves off a cliff to water below.
“People are doing this at an alarming rate,” said Chief Ranger Charles Frazier of Greene County Parks & Trails, who said social media, including Facebook, has spurred more people to jump.
Clifton Gorge is one location where young people are cliff jumping — flinging themselves off a cliff to water below.
Rangers have issued at least 75 warnings and 50 citations over the past two months to people who were cliff jumping or swimming at Greene County parks.
Popular jumping sites include Clifton Gorge Nature Preserve near Yellow Springs, and Indian Mound Reserve near Cedarville, where Frazier showed an area where many people have been caught cliff jumping.
“This is an area that’s dangerous and we have to protect the public,” he said. “Jumping into water that’s 6 to 8 feet deep — and you never know what’s at the bottom — is a dangerous act.”
There are signs posted warning visitors not to swim or jump off the cliffs. Near the sign was a beach towel, proof the warnings are not being heeded. The punishment for those caught is a ticket for a misdemeanor offense with a fine of about $200.
But new signs will be installed Friday. New signs aren’t all that’s going up — so is the penalty.
“We’re going to make this a restricted area to protect the public, and then it will be criminal trespassing,” Frazier said, “which could put you in the $400 to $500 range (for a fine).