Englewood Metro Park – Visiting Three Waterfalls

We visited the 1,900 acre Englewood Metropark in the Dayton area during the summer to hike and view three small waterfalls. Englewood is located just northwest of Dayton near Dayton Airport. It is part of Montgomery County’s Five Rivers MetroParks. The park is named for the Englewood dam on the Stillwater River which flows through the park. The lake created by the dam is known as the Englewood Recreation Reservoirm.

Field of purple cone flowers near park entrance

Field of purple cone flowers near park entrance

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Hocking Hills State Park: Old Man’s Cave / Cedar Falls Loop Hike

We are going to describe one of our favorite loop trails in the Hocking Hills State Park. The outbound portion of the the trail follows the Grandma Gatewood Trail, named after the famed Emma Gatewood. The Grandma Gatewood Trail is a segment of the 1,500 mile Buckeye Trail and is marked with blue blazes or blue marker posts.

Deb just passed through a gap between a cliff and a slump block. The stairs that were carved into living stone are probably the work of the Civilian Conservation Corp, a federal program used to create jobs during the Great Depression.

Deb just passed through a gap between a cliff and a slump block. The stairs that were carved into living stone are the work of the Civilian Conservation Corp, a works project of the Great Depression era.

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Deep Lock Quarry Metro Park

Deep Lock Quarry is part of the Summit County Metro Park system. The park has several historical features of interest: a canal lock, a sandstone quarry, and millstones that were created from the quarried sandstone. Hikers at Deep Lock Quarry can take advantage of two trails in the 73-acre park: the Quarry Trail and the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail (henceforth referred to as the “Towpath Trail”). Both the Cuyahoga Trail and the Buckeye Trail overlap the Towpath Trail and continue beyond the park boundaries. In addition the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic railroad passes through the park.

The quarry

The quarry

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West Virginia: Seneca Rocks

Previously our posts have focused entirely on hiking destinations within Ohio, but like a lot of our fellow hikers, we also go hiking in the states that share a border with Ohio. In this post we discuss a trip just beyond Ohio’s southeast border to West Virginia. After crossing the Ohio River into West Virginia, we headed toward Seneca Rocks located in the Monongahela National Forest. The site is a rock climber’s paradise with a variety of climbing routes available. Not being climbers ourselves, we followed a foot trail that ascended 1,000 feet (305m) to an observation deck.

Seneca Rocks.

Seneca Rocks.

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Chaparral Prairie State Nature Preserve

Chaparral Prairie is a 67-acres state nature preserve with a three-quarter mile loop trail. Located in Adams County, it preserves a rare prairie habitat. Prairies are defined by the type of vegetation that grows in them. In general these plants are drought-tolerant, fire-tolerant and shade-intolerant. They originated in America’s Great Plains and moved eastward thousands of years ago during a centuries-long drought when this area was warmer than now. However as the climate cooled and normal rain levels returned, the prairie vegetation started to be replaced with moisture-loving vegetation that is more typical of eastern North America. In fact many ecologists believe that Ohio’s prairies would have disappeared but for the intervention of Native Americans. American Indians preserved these prairies by setting them on fire at regular intervals. These fires prevented shrubs and saplings from moving into the openings. However after the Native Americans were displaced, the settlers having European roots did not continue the land practices of the Native Americans, and the disappearance of the prairies accelerated.

Deb following the trail through an open area

Deb following the Hawk Hill Loop Trail through an open area

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Publicize Your Ohio Hiking, Birding, or Outdoor Club

We are putting together a listing of hiking and nature-related clubs in Ohio. In particular, we’re looking for groups involved in hiking, backpacking, birding, canoeing, bicycling, camping, nature photography, and other outdoor pursuits. If you’d like your group to be listed, please fill out the form below.

We have already published our initial list which you can view here.

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Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Beaver Marsh

Beaver Marsh is located in Cuyahoga Valley National Park near the Cuyahoga River. Years ago it used to be a junkyard with a small stream flowing through it. A local group cleaned up the junkyard in the mid ’80’s and then some beavers dammed the stream creating the marsh.

Green Heron

A Green Heron at Beaver Marsh

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Magee Marsh during the “Biggest Week in American Birding” 2015

Last week we went to Magee Marsh to check out the action at the Biggest Week in American Birding. This was the second time we made an appearance (the first time is described here). This event is set up to celebrate and observe the migration of warblers in their colorful breeding plumage. Many species are on their way north, but their trip is delayed by Lake Erie. Before these small birds attempt to fly over the lake, they stop on Lake Erie’s southern shore to fatten up on bugs, so they’ll have the fuel they need to make it across.

A Canada warbler stopping by Magee Marsh before heading across the lake to Canada.

A Canada warbler on his way to Canada.

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