The Hocking Hills is one of the most scenic areas in the state of Ohio. It is also a hiker’s paradise with trails varying in difficulty from relatively easy ones (appropriate for young children) to more challenging trails that cover steep terrain or follow gorge rims.
Old Man’s Cave
While we were hiking at Caesar Creek Gorge State Nature Preserve, I happened across this frothy, little mess.
Caesar Creek Gorge State Nature Preserve is located in Oregonia, Ohio just west of Caesar Creek State Park and Caesar Creek Wilderness Area. The nature preserve is downstream from the dam located within the state park. We decided to hike the 2.25-mile trail at Caesar Creek Gorge State Nature Preserve because the preserve’s official site stated that the cliff walls making up the gorge rise some 180 feet (54.9 m) above Caesar Creek. The cliffs were formed when huge volumes of torrential, meltwater eroded the limestone bedrock at the end of the last ice age. Now a gently flowing creek traverses this scenic, forested gorge.
Limestone cliffs in Caesar Creek Gorge
The TrekOhio Guide is designed to help you find interesting, natural sites in Ohio. We wanted to create a place online where you could learn about sites that were in the same geographical region regardless of whether the park, nature preserve or trail was managed by the federal government, the state government, a county government, or a non-governmental agency. In addition we wanted the information to be accessible via your cellphone or other mobile device, so it would be easy to adjust your trip plans, or find additional information while away from home. With that in mind, we made sure that the TrekOhio Guide has an easy-to-navigate, mobile-friendly layout.
Boyer Nature Preserve is wonderful, mini-wetland that sits in the middle of suburban Westerville, Ohio. The site’s main feature is its stream-fed pond. Although it may look like an ordinary pond, it’s actually very special due to the way that it was formed. During the last ice age, Westerville was beneath approximately one thousand feet of ice (305 m). As the climate warmed, a large fracture formed near the edge of the melting glacier. Once that fracture became large enough, a huge slab of ice separated from the main body of the glacier and landed with a great thud in what is now known as Boyer Nature Preserve. When huge chunks of ice break off a glacier like this, it’s called calving.
It turns out that the immense glacier over Ohio had eroded great quantities of land as it moved south from Canada, and this eroded material became frozen inside the glacier while it was still growing in size. However as the glacier melted and shrank, it released the sand and gravel that it had carried with it. Together this sand and gravel is called glacial sediment. So much glacial sediment was deposited in what’s now Westerville that it buried the calved-off chunk of ice under a thick layer of sediment, and this sediment kind of insulated the calved ice. When that calved chunk of ice eventually melted, the layer of glacial sediments that used to be on top of the ice sank lower and lower as the ice melted. This created a low area that filled with water from the melting ice. A body of water that’s formed in this way is called a glacial kettle.
The glacial kettle in Boyer Nature Preserve
Posted in Central Ohio, Geology, Nature
Tagged "Boyer Nature Preserve", "dog friendly", "Franklin County", "glacial kettle", "Ice Age", birds, Park Review, vocabulary, waterfowl
Kate Beebe just left a note on my About page informing me that the Nature Conservancy is running a contest. It starts today and runs through August 8th of this year. Here’s the general idea. The Nature Conservancy has chosen 30 sites in Ohio that they describe as Natural Treasures. To enter their sweepstakes:
- Go to one or more of these sites,
- Take a photo of yourself next to the landmark the Nature Conservancy has designated for that particular site,
- Submit the photo and a form to the Nature Conservancy.
I found this fossil after ten minutes of searching.
This past weekend, Bob and I went to Caesar Creek State Park to do a little hiking. However once we got there, we happened upon this amazing spillway that was just full of fossils.
Parking lot at entrance to the spillway
Knox Woods is a State Nature Preserve and Wolf Run Regional Park is a Knox County Park. Because there are connector trails between the two parks, together they make for a great hike. I’m going to recommend starting at Wolf Run, passing through Knox Woods, and then returning to Wolf Run via a different trail. I recorded my hike and uploaded it to Google Maps; it’s at the bottom of this post if you’re interested.
Bridge on one of the meadow trails at Wolf Run
I have had the good fortune of vacationing in Canada on a couple of occasions, and one thing that became immediately clear to me is that Ohio has way more Canada Geese than Canada has. It’s possible to go an entire day in Canada and not even see a Canada Goose. Let’s see you manage that in Ohio!
Given that Ohio appears to be the center of the Canada Geese population, I suggest that we rename them Ohio Geese, or since Ohioans go by the nickname, “Buckeyes,” maybe we could call them Buckeye Geese.
I loved all the ferns. Nearly 30 species of fern can be found here.
Wahkeena Nature Preserve is a hidden gem located in the SE corner of Fairfield County. The preserve lies just beyond the farthest point of glacial advance at the peak of the ice age. The word, “Wahkeena” is an Indian word meaning, “most beautiful.” Given the variety of flowering shrubs and plants (including eight varieties of native orchids), this seems a very fitting name. You will see a brown sign for Wahkeena on US 33 as you head into the Hocking Hills. Wahkeena is well worth a detour.