Ten More Great Hikes in Ohio

A while back I wrote an article entitled Ten Great Hikes in Ohio. As a follow-up I’d like to recommend another ten great hikes. Some may be familiar, some more obscure, but if you like spending time in the outdoors amidst interesting scenery, you’ll enjoy these excursions.

Two Loop Hikes at Burr Oak State Park

Burr Oak State Park straddles Athens and Morgan County. It has camp sites, cottages to rent, and a recently renovated lodge. It has 30 miles of hiking trails and even more hiking in the surrounding Wayne National Forest.

Bob on the trail on a steep hillside.

Hiking along a hillside on the upper loop trail.

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Dennis Profant: 1956 – 2015

I was saddened to learn that Dennis Profant has passed away. Dennis Profant was a well respected natural resources professor at Hocking College. He was also part of the community of Ohio nature bloggers. He authored the blog, Field Biology in Southwest Ohio.

Some of his fellow, Ohio nature bloggers have published their own tributes:

He will be greatly missed. “The life of the dead is retained in the memory of the living” – Cicero

Fallsville Wildlife Area – Waterfall

This past weekend we visited the Fallsville Wildlife Area in Highland County. The wildlife area contains a stream valley with a large waterfall. After recent rains it was running quite well. The wildlife area and the falls are named after the town of Fallsville, OH. The town is long gone, but the name lives on.

Fallsville Falls

Fallsville Falls in the Fallsville Wildlife Area

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Fowler Woods State Nature Preserve

Fowler Woods is a 187-acre, state nature preserve located in Richland Coundy in northeast Ohio. Originally the preserve featured a handicap-accessible, 1 ¼-mile boardwalk, but in 2014 much of the boardwalk was closed to the public due to safety concerns.  The boardwalk passes through mature forest, buttonbush swamps, and an area that was once farmland, but is now reverting to forest. Sadly the lower, wetland region within this area that is now barred to the public.  The preserve used to be one of the best sites in Ohio for viewing spring wildflowers, but since only a fraction of the boardwalk is now accessible to the public, many species of wildflower are no longer within sight.

This part of the boardwalk passes through a buttonbush swamp.

This part of the boardwalk passes through a buttonbush swamp; this area is now off-limits.

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The Hocking Hills at Winter’s End

Like a lot of other people, I’m totally ready to leave winter behind at this point. However Bob convinced me to open myself to winter’s beauty once more by hiking in the Hocking Hills this past Friday. It was sunny, but cold (around 20° F, -6.7° C), so we had to bundle up. We visited two attractions in the Hocking Hills State Park: Ash Cave and Cedar Falls. Then we hiked the Gorge Trail in the Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve. To make things easier for ourselves, we reduced our hiking by parking in the nearest parking lot associated with each of our three destinations.

During our visit every little twig had its own layer of snow. As snow melted there were periodic episodes of clouds of snow falling off tree branches or cliff edges from far above our heads.

Ash Cave

Snow falling off the edge of the cliff at Ash Cave.

Snow falling off the edge of the cliff at Ash Cave.

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The American Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)

“What are these flower petals?” I asked Deb. They were all over the trail; large petals striped with white, green, and orange. It was mid-May and we were spending a week at Pipestem Resort State Park in West Virginia. It was a hikers paradise. We spent every day on a different trail and that day we were following a trail from the lodge on the rim of Bluestone Gorge all the way down to the river. The striped flower petals were everywhere. Deb didn’t know what they were. We kept a lookout for a flower or bush with matching petals but never found one.

Deb holding a fallen blossom and leaf from a Tuliptree.

Deb holding a fallen blossom and leaf from a Tuliptree.

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