A hiker taking a break at Big Lyons Falls in the Mohican State Park.
It’s almost summer, the weather is warm and sunny, it’s a great time to enjoy the outdoors. The following is a list of classic hikes we’ve always enjoyed and some new ones we’ve recently discovered.
There are three trails at Lake Katharine. When we visited mid-April we hiked Salt Creek Trial and then Calico Bush Trail, but we didn’t have time for the Pine Ridge Trail. The preserve struck us as being very scenic, and many spring flowers were in bloom during our visit. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) lists Lake Katharine as being one of the eight best preserves in the state for viewing spring wildflowers. The terrain is also interesting; it features many sandstone cliffs and outcroppings. If you look closely at the sandstone, you might notice round, quartz pebbles embedded within it. These pebbles were smoothed while rolling along the bottom of the ancient Teays River, a river system that was destroyed by glaciation some two million years ago.
I’m about to descend the stairs on the Salt Creek Trail adjacent to one of the many sandstone cliffs.
The dining lodge is one of the attractions of Lake Hope State Park. Originally built in 1950, the lodge burned to the ground in 2006. We visited Lake Hope State Parke several times after the lodge was destroyed, and it was a long drive to find a meal. Happily the lodge was rebuilt last year, and it has resumed serving those visiting and camping in the park as well as the local people of Vinton County. People can hire portions of the lodge for gatherings of all sorts, including conferences, weddings, and family reunions.
We decided to dine on the balcony to enjoy the beautiful view.
Charles Alley Nature Park is a 300 acre city park in Lancaster. The park features two lakes, a nature center, and six miles of hiking trails. Currently 20 acres are being developed for use as a primitive campsite.
This covered bridge is in Alley Park near the Nature Center.
The Scenic River Trail is a 3.4 mile hiking / mountain biking trail located in Wayne National Forest north of Marietta. One end of the trail is at the Leith Run Camp Site along the Ohio River. The other end is at a small dirt parking lot up in the surrounding hills off of County Road 9.
Young pawpaw trees under the canopy of larger trees.
Rock Stalls Natural Sanctuary is a private preserve that is owned and operated by Camp Akita, but the management of Camp Akita also allows access to the general public. So this past Sunday Bob and I decided to stop by and see what we had been missing.
Photo of Deb photographing the falls at Rock Stalls, Feb. 17, 2013.
A view of Dow Lake in late autumn.
Strouds Run State Park is located in scenic Athens County close to Ohio University. The park and several adjacent parks and preserves feature miles of trails for hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians.
We visited the park several times last year. The park consists of 2,606 acres of forested hills and a large man-made lake named Dow Lake. Adjacent to the park is the 22 acre Sells Park owned by the city of Athens, the 106 acre Riddle State Nature Preserve and the 75 acre Blair Preserve. The parks are interconnected with a network of trails and are very popular with local mountain bikers.
An eastern box turtle next to the trail at Lamping Homestead Recreation Area.
Lamping Homestead Recreation Area is located in the Marietta Unit of Wayne National Forest. It offers opportunities for camping, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and picnicking. A 4.5 mile loop trail is open to both hikers and mountain bikers.
We participated in the 48th Annual Hocking Hills Winter Hike today. This was our fourth time doing this winter hike which runs from Old Man’s Cave to Cedar Falls and on to Ash Cave, a distance of approximately 6 miles.
Smoke from a nearby campfire was catching sunbeams at Ash Cave.
We returned to Conkle’s Hollow in early January. Snow blanketed the hollow while icicles edged the cliff rim. When the slightest breeze stirred the fir boughs, snow wafted down catching the light as it fell.