Edge of Appalachia: Charles A. Eulett Wilderness Preserve Trail

Stairs leading uphill on The Wilderness Trail

Towards the end of last spring we visited the Wilderness Trail at the Edge of Appalachia Preserve in Adams County. Starting at the parking area, the trail is a 2.4 mile loop. The trail features hills, rock outcroppings, streams, forest with lush vegetation, and a small segment of prairie.

Stairs leading uphill on The Wilderness Trail

Stairs leading uphill on The Wilderness Trail

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Dillon State Park

Heading out on the Licking Bend Trail. Dillon Reservoir can be seen in the distance.

Dillon State Park is a 2,285-acre park located in Muskingum County. The parks has 9.6 miles of multi–use trails, 1.25 miles of trails used exclusively for hiking, 15 miles of bridle trails, and 12 miles mountain bike trails. For those in the Columbus area, the park is about an hour to an hour-and-a-half drive east of the capitol. We had never been to Dillon State Park before, so when we heard the park was hosting its first annual winter hike on January 9th, we decided to participate.

Heading out on the Licking Bend Trail. Dillon Reservoir can be seen in the distance.

Heading out on the Licking Bend Trail. Dillon Reservoir can be seen in the distance.

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51st Annual Hocking Hills Winter Hike, January 2016

We participated in the 51st Annual Hocking Hills Winter Hike on Saturday. This was our seventh time participating in this winter hike that runs from Old Man’s Cave to Rose Lake, Cedar Falls, and ends at Ash Cave for a total distance of 6.5 miles. A bus returns participants to the starting point.

Winter hikers at Old Man's Cave

Winter hikers at Old Man’s Cave

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The Return of the American Chestnut Tree

Hybrid blight-resistant American chestnut sapling

Over a hundred years ago, the American chestnut tree (Castanea dentata) was virtually wiped out. Now the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is working on returning this grand tree to Ohio forests.

Hybrid blight-resistant American chestnut sapling

Hybrid blight-resistant American chestnut sapling

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Gorge Metro Park

Mary Campbell Cave

Many of the places we hike are in forests, or rural parts of Ohio. Gorge Metro Park is right in the city of Akron and it’s spectacular. The park is 155 acres and is located on either side of the Cuyahoga River. There is a dam on the river near the park’s center. The dam was built at the former site of a cascade waterfall in 1911 to provide electric power. The power plant is gone, but there is a path to a series of observation decks to view the water cascading over the dam. Upstream of the dam is a dock for fisherman and a picnic area overlooking the lake formed by the dam.

Dam at Gorge Metropark

Dam at Gorge Metropark

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TrekOhio Highlights of 2015

On our way out of Ash Cave.

It’s time once again for our annual highlights article, so without further ado, the highlights of TrekOhio 2015:

Favorite Photo

Deb: I took the photo below while hiking in the Hocking Hills at Winter’s End.

On our way out of Ash Cave.

On our way out of Ash Cave.

Bob: My favorite photo for the year was a picture of Deb in front of Horseshoe Falls at Caesar Creek State Park.

Deb in front of Horseshoe Falls

Deb in front of Horseshoe Falls

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Thompson Ledges

Bob between cliffs and large rock outcroppings.

Thompson Ledges is a small park managed by the Thompson Township Park Commission; the township is located in Geauga County in northeast Ohio. To get to the geological formation that makes up the ledges, we entered the driveway of the Thompson Township Park Commission. The driveway ends in a parking area; there are restroom facilities and a trailhead nearby. We weren’t sure where the ledges were, so we just headed down the nearest woodland trail which soon lead us to the ledges. Our entire hike was just over a mile. Nonetheless, the cliffs and huge slump blocks that we viewed made this a very rewarding hike.

Bob between cliffs and large slump blocks.

Bob between cliffs and large slump blocks.

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Shawnee State Forest: Fall Hike on the Changed Day Hike Trail

Vista on the blue-blazed day hike trail

The Shawnee Day Hike Trail has changed since our 7.2 mile hike a year and a half ago. The suggested blue-blazed day hike trail is now a 4.2 mile hike. However by combining the white-blazed connector trail and a new segment of the blue-blazed day hike trail, we were able to do an 8.4 mile-loop hike. As an unexpected treat, the new segment of the blue-blazed day hike trail took us by a lovely overlook with a bench where we could take in what remained of fall color. Since we were hiking there this past Halloween, the colors were past peak.

Vista on the blue-blazed day hike trail

Vista on the blue-blazed day hike trail

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Zaleski State Forest: Lookout Rock

Bob on Lookout Rock

While staying at a cabin in Lake Hope State Park, we visited Lookout Rock and hiked on the nearby Moonville Rail Trail. It was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and the weather was sunny and cool.

Bob and Deb waving from on top of Lookout Rock.

Bob and Deb waving from on top of Lookout Rock.

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Fort Hill in Autumn

Baker Fork Creek

Fort Hill is one of our favorite places to visit. It has great hiking as well as many interesting geological, archaeological, and botanical features. It’s a bit of a drive from central Ohio, or we’d visit much more often. We visited Fort Hill twice this fall. Our most recent trip is documented in our post: “Fort Hill: Canby’s Mountain Lover Trail and Keyhole Arch”. We also visited two weeks earlier when fall foliage was near it’s peak. This post focuses mostly on our earlier trip.

We started on the Gorge Trail and then took the Deer trail back to the parking area. We scouted the two water crossings for Canby’s Mountain Lover Trail and noticed the Keyhole Arch, which we’d not seen before. We also got a better photograph of the arch near the intersection of the Deer Trail and Gorge Trail.

Baker Fork Creek

Baker Fork Creek

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