Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

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 Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Southeastern Ohio

Raven Rock State Nature Preserve

This past Friday we visited Raven Rock State Nature Preserve. It was our first visit to a permit-only preserve. We'd planned a visit to Shawnee Lodge and had applied for a permit more than two weeks before our trip. It was a cool, overcast afternoon when we parked near the trailhead for Raven Rock. There were two parking spots, one of which was already occupied. The trail is 1.25 miles (one way) and ends at a cliff 550 ft above the start with a stunning view of the Ohio River and the hills of Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park visit

Shawnee Forest Day Hike Trail

This past weekend we decided to hike the 7.2-mile Day Hike Trail in Shawnee State Forest. The Shawnee State Forest is sometimes referred to as the "The Little Smokies of Ohio" because of its hilly terrain. Although much of the trail followed ridgelines along the top of hills, there was a lot of uphill/downhill hiking to get to those ridgelines. The trailhead for the Day Hike Trail is just off SR-125 on the opposite side of the road from the Nature Center in Shawnee State Park. There Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Wayne National Forest (Ironton Unit): Lake Vesuvius

This past September we visited Lake Vesuvius in Wayne National Forest. We followed the Lakeshore Trail counter-clockwise around the lake. This trail is supposed to be 8 miles long. The first mile had us traveling past a number of cliffs and outcroppings; if you were to just go a mile and then turn around, you'd have a very scenic hike of moderate difficulty. You'd even get to see the cliff and watery slump block pictured above. The Lakeshore Trail Once you go up the steps that lie Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Shawnee State Park

The forested hills of Shawnee State Park are located at Ohio's southernmost tip. The park is large at 1,095 acres, but it's dwarfed by the surrounding Shawnee State Forest. At 63,000 acres, Shawnee State Forest is Ohio's largest state forest. The combined park and forest have 72 miles of trails including the 60 mile Shawnee State Forest backpack trail. The area also features more than 75 miles of bridle trails. There are two lakes Roosevelt and Turkey Creek which offer fishing, boating, Read more ➜
Posted in Nature, Park visit

Nature Center at Shawnee State Park

While visiting Shawnee State Park, we decided to stop off at the park's nature center, and we're glad that we did. It turns out that this is the only nature center operated by our state government where the public can touch or hold the local wildlife. The wildlife that was present during our visit consisted of various reptiles and amphibians. In the topmost photo, the park's naturalist lifted an Eastern ratsnake from the terrarium and held it so that visitors could touch it's skin. If a guest was Read more ➜