During a recent hike to Trimmer Arch, I was startled when my peripheral vision caught sight of “smoke” rising up around my ankles. When I stopped and looked down, I realized that it wasn’t smoke, but instead clouds of spores.
Kicking up a cloud of spores.
Trimmer Arch is a classic, round-topped arch, the best such specimen in Ohio. It’s located in Ross County within the Paint Creek Wildlife Area. The interior opening of the arch spans 14 ft. (4.6 m) and rises 8.6 ft (2.6 m). Trimmer arch formed within a narrow outcropping that extends into a U-shaped ravine bounded by two streams. The rock itself is Greenfield Dolomite, a type of sedimentary rock that forms horizontal bedding planes one atop another like a stack of pancakes. Due the the thinness of these bedding planes and the narrowness of the outcropping, the rock eroded away creating the arch that we see today.
The trip to the arch was quite the adventure for Bob and myself. This was the first time that we tried to reach a specific point in a forest without relying on trails. Typical recreational use of Ohio’s wildlife areas includes hunting, fishing, and trapping, but not hiking, so trails are usually not present. To reach our destination we brought a variety of electronic gear, so we could locate the published GPS coordinates for the arch. As a backup, we also brought spare charging units for our GPS devices, plus a paper map and compass in case all of our technology failed us.
Trimmer Arch in the Paint Creek Wildlife Area
October is our favorite month for hiking. Below are some of our fall-color highlights for the month.
Mt. Gilead State Park
We just published our page on Thanksgiving Buffets at Ohio State Lodges for 2014.
Moonville Tunnel is located in Zaleski State Forest in Vinton County. During our initial visit to Moonville Tunnel, we found the place where the old rail line intersected with the Hope-Moonville Road, and followed the rail line to the tunnel. However this route required us to wade across Raccoon creek. After posting an article on our trip, a visitor to our website, firemanjoe, wrote a comment saying there was a different route that would allow us to visit Moonville Tunnel without wading. Below you’ll find photos and information about this dry route to the tunnel.
The dry route to Moonville Tunnel (pictured above) begins on the same side of Raccoon Creek as the tunnel, so there’s no need to cross the creek.
We spent the Fourth of July weekend at Burr Oak State Park Lodge. While there we hiked what I’m calling the “upper loop.” It is a 4.2 mile hike that begins at the parking lot where Mountville Road terminates at Burr Oak Lake. The terrain for this hike is hilly with a total elevation gain of 1,315.5 ft. During a portion of the hike there were glimpses of the lake through the trees.
Trail passing a yellow blaze.
See TrekOhio’s Halloween Page for a list of seasonal events being held at Ohio State Parks. Activities include campsite decorating, costumes, trick-or-treating, bonfires, hayrides, pumpkin carving, haunted trails, etc. Hueston Woods State Park starts celebrating the season this weekend, but there are activities throughout the month of October.
The Stone House Museum is located in Salt Fork State Park in southeastern Ohio. It was built circa 1840 in the Federal style, and it housed three generations of Benjamin Kennedy’s family. In 1975 it was listed on the National Register of Historical Places, and in 1999 a charitable organization was launched to raise funds and to oversee the house’s restoration. In 2003 the stone house was officially dedicated as a museum.
From left to right you see the root cellar, the Stone House, the Veterans Memorial Courtyard, the connected summer kitchen, and the Amos Bell.
Miller Nature Sanctuary is a well-hidden, Highland County nature preserve offering three miles of spectacular trails with unusual geological features. It’s named after Eugene and Henrietta Miller, the couple that donated the land. The preserve is located on Rocky Fork Gorge just upstream from Highlands Nature Sanctuary. The preserve’s trails take you from the top of dolomite cliffs to the edge of the Rocky Fork Creek and back. In addition to cliffs and large slump blocks, the preserve includes three natural stone arches and several seasonal waterfalls. If that’s not enough, its also a great destination for viewing spring wildflowers.
One of the preserve’s three, natural arches.
Daughmer Prairie Savannah is a 34 acre state nature preserve in Crawford County. It features a gravel parking lot, a kiosk, and 0.5 mile mown loop trail. And it is a very unusual place.
Mown path crossing field toward trees.