Posted in Hiking, Park visit

Viewing Wildlife from the Boardwalk at Maumee Bay State Park

The boardwalk at Maumee Bay State Park is one of my favorites in the state. When we are checking out various parks and preserves in the northwest corner of Ohio, we often stay at the lodge in Maumee Bay. And despite having hiked for much of day, about 40 to 45 minutes before dusk we will head out to the boardwalk for an evening stroll. More times than not, we will see wildlife not far from the boardwalk.

A fawn browsing near the boardwalk

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Posted in Hiking, Northeastern Ohio, Park review

Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Scenic Railroad

On August 19th we went on a train excursion via the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. The railroad line runs north-south through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The proprietors offer a variety of excursions. We chose the National Park Scenic Excursion, which is a three-hour, round-trip tour of the park.

Looking over the tops of train cars from the Upper Dome of the train in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

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Posted in TrekOhio News

The New, Shiny TrekOhio

Sadly the computer that hosted TrekOhio was no longer getting security updates because its operating system had exceeded its shelf life. So we needed to move TrekOhio to a computer with an up-to-date operating system. While we were at it, we switched from a 32-bit computer to a 64-bit computer, and we selected a faster programming language and database server with the hope that this will mean faster downloads for our visitors. By the way, Bob wants me to inform our more technically minded readers that when I say “computer” I’m really talking about a “virtual machine”.

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Posted in Hiking, Northeastern Ohio, Park review

Geneva State Park

Geneva State Park is in Ashtabula County, Ohio and occupies two miles of the Lake Erie shoreline. The park is 698 acres in size. Overnight accommodations provided at the park include the Lodge at Geneva, cottages, deluxe cedar cabins, and campsites (both electric, and non-electric). The marina has a deli, a canteen and a fueling station You can also buy fishing licenses, bait and tackle supplies, or arrange for boat and trailer storage. Other features of the park include a sandy beach, an archery range, and six miles of multi-use trails (two miles of which are paved). During the winter under proper weather conditions, visitors can use the snowmobiling trail, or enjoy cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or ice fishing.

Lake Erie viewed from Geneva State Park

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Posted in Flowers

Spring Wildflowers 2017

Here’s a sample of some of the wildflowers that have caught my eye while hiking this spring. I have organized them here into several groups based on what period in the spring then tend to bloom: Late March to Early April, Mid-April, and Late April to Early May. Flowers in the last (and largest) group are still blooming.

By clicking any of the photos below, you can look at a larger resolution of the photo. Once you are viewing a larger version, you can also use your arrow keys to move between photos.

Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica)

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Posted in Hiking, History, Native American, Northwestern Ohio, Park review

Howard Collier State Nature Preserve

Howard Collier is a 115-acre state nature preserve located in Seneca County in northwestern Ohio. The preserve is named after a former state budget director who was instrumental in allocating funds for the acquisition of park land. The Collier preserve features a loop trail with an impressive staircase/boardwalk that leads down into the flood plain. The Sandusky River can be viewed from a couple of short side trails off the loop. There is also one more extensive side trail that leads to a township road that crosses the Sandusky River at Heck’s Bridge. We traced our hike using GPS while visiting the park. The total mileage for our hike was 1.56 miles. The preserve is a good site for viewing spring wildflowers which are on display in April and May. We visited the preserve in mid-May during a previous year.

An elaborate stairway/boardwalk descends toward the Sandusky River flood plain

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Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southwestern Ohio

Chalet Nivale Preserve

Chalet Nivale Preseve is a 106-acre preserve in Adams County that is owned and managed by the non-profit organization, the Arc of Appalachia. The preserve contains two feeder streams that are part of the Scioto Brush Creek Watershed; these feeder streams are among the highest water quality streams in the state of Ohio. By protecting the woodlands around these feeder streams, their exceptional water quality goes on to enhance the water quality of Scioto Brush Creek.

Recreational hikers have three trails to choose from at the preserve. Two of these trails are located near the feeder streams, while the third passes through a meadow. I haven’t seen any report on total mileage, but we are estimating about three miles for the entire trail system. A large variety of spring wildflowers can be observed near the woodland trails. The trail system crosses the streams at various points, so some wading is required (note that the streams are relatively shallow).

Rock formation near the Early Buttercup Trail

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Posted in Birds, Current events, Park visit

An Osprey Sharing Its Catch… or Maybe Not

Earlier this week we stopped by the Hoover Mudflats Boardwalk to view the osprey nesting platforms. We had been checking the platforms on and off for a few weeks, and they had been completely bare. But to our delight when we went to the boardwalk this week, both platforms had nests.

Osprey perched on roost over nest (click on any photo to see a large version)

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