Dillon State Park
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.
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.
Gorge Metro Park
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.
TrekOhio Highlights of 2015
It’s time once again for our annual highlights article, so without further ado, the highlights of TrekOhio 2015:
Deb: I took the photo below while hiking in the Hocking Hills at Winter’s End.
Bob: My favorite photo for the year was a picture of Deb in front of Horseshoe Falls at Caesar Creek State Park.
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.
Shawnee State Forest: Fall Hike on the Changed 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.
Fort Hill in Autumn
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.
Fort Hill: Canby’s Mountain Lover Trail and Keyhole Arch
We really enjoy hiking at Fort Hill, but until recently we’ve never hiked the Canby’s Mountain Lover Trail. To access this trail, you have to wade across Baker Fork Creek. We thought that if we went toward the end of October the water might be low enough to wade across while wearing waterproof hiking boots, but we were wrong. The creek is too high for hiking boots. It’s also too cold at this time of year to just wade in and get your feet wet. We ended up returning on November 7th, each of us packing in a pair of Wellington boots, so we could cross the creek while keeping our feet dry. It was well worth the extra effort since the Canby’s Mountain Lover Trail passes right through the impressive Keyhole Arch.