Posted in Hiking, Park visit

Hocking Hills State Park: Hemlock Bridge Trail

In this post we describe a hike that begins at the parking lot that used to service the dining lodge. Initially we follow the Hemlock Bridge Trail. There is an optional hike on a spur trail that leads to Whispering Cave. However, in this post we instead continue on until we reach Hemlock Bridge. After crossing the bridge we follow the Grandma Gatewood Trail to the Old Man's Cave region. After exploring this area, we retrace our steps back to where we parked. The round-trip hike is 4.2 miles. Getting Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park visit

Ice Column at Mohican State Park

I am reluctant to go hiking when the high temperature for the day is a single digit, so that's really put a crimp in our hiking plans for this winter. However we took advantage of a warm spell last week to book a couple nights at the lodge at Mohican State Park. Once there we did one of our favorite hikes that took us by Little Lyons Falls and Big Lyons Falls on the west side of Clear Fork with the return route following along the creek on the opposite side. As a reward for finally getting outside Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park visit

Viewing Wildlife from the Boardwalk at Maumee Bay State Park

The boardwalk at Maumee Bay State Park is one of my favorites in the state. When we are checking out various parks and preserves in the northwest corner of Ohio, we often stay at the lodge in Maumee Bay. And despite having hiked for much of day, about 40 to 45 minutes before dusk we will head out to the boardwalk for an evening stroll. More times than not, we will see wildlife not far from the boardwalk. It looks like the fawn above is a little buck; you can just make out the beginning Read more ➜
Posted in Birds, Current events, Park visit

An Osprey Sharing Its Catch… or Maybe Not

Earlier this week we stopped by the Hoover Mudflats Boardwalk to view the osprey nesting platforms. We had been checking the platforms on and off for a few weeks, and they had been completely bare. But to our delight when we went to the boardwalk this week, both platforms had nests. We weren't there long when the osprey on the nesting platform began calling to its mate. And soon after we spotted its mate flying back toward the nest with a fish in its talons. We watched with Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park visit

A.W. Marion State Park in Autumn

A.W. Marion State Park is a 309-acre park in Pickaway County that I described after a previous hike in the spring (see here for description and photos). On October 29th we returned to the park to hike the Hargus Lake Perimeter Trail. We thought that peak fall color had probably passed, but when we arrived we were pleasantly surprised at how colorful the park was. As it turns out there are many maple trees in the park, and many of these were a brilliant red. We made a GPS trace of our hike. Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park visit

Fort Hill: Fall Foliage and Hot Pretzels

Fort Hill is one of our favorite places to hike. It is a preserve in Highland County that we've discussed previously. Besides enjoying the fall foliage there in late October, we also visited nearby Seip Mound and an Amish bakery, too. Fort Hill Fort Hill has 11 miles of trails through forested hills. It features ancient Native American earthworks, a gorge valley, dramatic cliffs. and several natural arches. The Buckeye Trail winds through the site then continues into Pike State Forest. Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park visit

Early Summer Evening at Char-Mar Ridge Preserve

Yesterday we went on an early evening walk at Char-Mar Ridge Preserve. We were half-way around the loop trail when we heard a strange sound. It sounded like a fire-breathing dragon (if there were such things) and it was getting closer. I immediately recognized it and we started watching the sky. Deb was ready with her camera as the hot-air balloon flew over still fairly close to the ground. It drifted overhead, firing its burners to gain more altitude. Then it vanished over the tree line, the roar Read more ➜
Posted in Park visit

Cedar Bog in Late Spring

Cedar Bog is a State Nature Preserve located in Champaign County. We visited the preserve twice during the past several weeks to look at the spring wildflowers. Like many people our favorite bloom from this past weekend was the Showy Lady's Slipper. Other Early June Sights I was excited to catch sight of two species of carnivorous plants while visiting Cedar Bog. They are tiny plants, and they are often hidden by the grassy-looking sedges. The first is Round-leaved Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia). Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park visit

Great Seal State Park in Late Winter

My daughter doesn't like hiking this time of year when there's no snow on the ground and the forests are devoid of greenery. As she puts it, "The forests look like a nuclear wasteland." Although I see her point, there are some advantages to hiking now. If you are considering hiking to some destination where there is no trail (like Trimmer Arch in the Paint Creek Wildlife Area) then going at this time of year means that you will have to contend with the least amount of undergrowth of the year. Similarly Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park visit

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. The weather for the hike, like most of this winter, was warmer than usual. There were some small patches of snow here and there, and small icicles. But the temperature was above freezing and Read more ➜