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 Read more ➜

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 Read more ➜

Harpersfield Covered Bridge MetroPark

Harpersfield Covered Bridge.
We recently visited Harpersfield Covered Bridge Metropark in Ashtabula County. The star attraction of the park is the aforementioned covered bridge. The 228 foot (69.5 m) covered bridge spans the Grand River and is the third longest covered bridge in Ohio. The bridge was built in 1868 replacing a prior bridge that was destroyed by a flood. In 1913, another flood washed away the ground on the northern side of the bridge. A 140-foot (42.7m) steel truss bridge was added on this end. The Read more ➜

Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Brandywine, Blue Hen, and Buttermilk Waterfalls

Stairs leading down to the observation deck for Brandywine Falls
Just prior to our birding trip to Magee Marsh in May, we visited three waterfalls in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We stopped at Brandywine Falls - one of the finest waterfalls in the state of Ohio. Brandywine Falls The falls is located on Brandywine Creek where it flows over a 65-foot (19.8m) sandstone and shale cliff. For information on the falls history, facilities, and travel directions, please see our prior article. Blue Hen Falls After a quick stop at Brandywine, Read more ➜

Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Beaver Marsh

Green Heron
Beaver Marsh is located in Cuyahoga Valley National Park near the Cuyahoga River. Years ago it used to be a junkyard with a small stream flowing through it. A local group cleaned up the junkyard in the mid '80's and then some beavers dammed the stream creating the marsh. The marsh is on a bike / hike towpath through Cuyahoga Valley National Park that extends 110 miles from Cleveland to Akron and beyond. At the marsh, the gravel towpath changes to a boardwalk with small observation areas Read more ➜

Pine Hill Park: Crall Woods

Trail
Crall Woods is a 97-acre woodland that's one of two tracts of land making up Pine Hill Park in Ashland County. It was named as a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service in 1974. According to a sign in the park's kiosk, there are three nature trails at Crall Wood with a total length of 2.45 miles. However, we saw two unlisted trails (one under construction and the other complete) that were not listed on the kiosk. All the trails were wide and well-maintained. In a recent comment Read more ➜

Fowler Woods State Nature Preserve

This part of the boardwalk is going through a wetland.
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 Read more ➜

Shreve Lake Wildlife Area

Shreve Lake view of shoreline toward road
Last fall, we stopped briefly at the Shreve Lake Wildlife Area on our way to Killbuck Marsh. The wildlife area is a 228 acre site in Wayne County that's named after its 63 acre lake. View of shoreline toward road at Shreve Lake The wildlife area features a parking area at the lake with a fishing pier and boat launch area (boats with electric motors only). A latrine is available in warm weather. Fishing pier at Shreve Lake Boat launch at Shreve Lake The lake is popular with Read more ➜

Headlands Dunes State Nature Preserve

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Headlands Dunes is a 25-acre preserve just to the east of Headlands Beach State Park. When I'm here I can hardly believe that I'm in Ohio... it's such a unique place. The sand dunes just off shore of Lake Erie are rare in Ohio because most of the area adjacent to the lake has been developed. Surprisingly a number of plants that originated on the Atlantic coast grow in this small nature preserve. It is thought that they reached this far into the continent thousands of years ago when the immense weight Read more ➜

Headlands Beach State Park – Ohio’s Largest Beach

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Headlands Beach State Park contains the largest natural sand beach in the state of Ohio. The beach located on Lake Erie in Lake County has a mile of beautiful sandy beach. The park is very popular with swimmers and sun bathers in the summer. The Beach at Headlands State Park. The park is located between two state nature preserves. Southwest of the park is Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve and to the east is Headlands Dunes State Nature Preserve. From the beach you can see a breakwater Read more ➜