Posted in Hiking

TrekOhio Highlights of 2015

It’s time once again for our annual highlights article, so without further ado, the highlights of TrekOhio 2015:

Favorite Photo

Deb: I took the photo below while hiking in the Hocking Hills at Winter’s End.

On our way out of Ash Cave.

Bob: My favorite photo for the year was a picture of Deb in front of Horseshoe Falls at Caesar Creek State Park.

Deb in front of Horseshoe Falls

Best Hike of the Year

Deb: My favorite hike was Canby’s Mountain Lover Trail and Keyhole Arch at Fort Hill. Passing through the keyhole was a great way to start the hike. We had no idea what lay ahead until we exited the arch.

Bob entering the Keyhole Arch.

Bob: I enjoyed our fall hike at Shawnee State Forest on the new segment of the day hike trail and the white connector trail. The prior hike at Shawnee had been very strenuous and I was barely able to complete it. After losing 40 lbs, I had more stamina and energy and found the hike much more enjoyable.

Vista on Shawnee Day Hike Trail

Best Critter

Deb: While hiking in Zaleski State Forest, I believe that I saw two cinnamon-colored black bears at a distance. Since they were departing the area, I only got to see their behinds. And no, I didn’t get to take a photo (which brings to mind the saying, “Pictures, or it didn’t happen!”) However, if it did happen, it would have looked a lot like the photo below.

I wasn’t fast enough to photograph the bears that I believe that I saw. So these cinnamon-colored black bears were photographed by Neal Herbert for the National Park Service.

Bob: The luna moth we photographed on a tree stump at Tar Hollow State Park.

Female Luna Moth (Actias luna)
Favorite Flower

Deb: Pink Lady Slipper photographed at Wahkeena Nature Preserve. Featured in Deb’s Spring Wildflowers 2015.

Pink lady’s slipper (Cypripedium acaule)

Bob: The flower of the Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)

As you can see the blossom is very similar in shape to that of the tulip.
Best Meal at a Park

Deb & Bob: Thanksgiving dinner at Lake Hope Dining Lodge. We also stayed at cabins at Lake Hope State Park for both July 4th weekend and Thanksgiving.

Lake Hope Dining Lodge

Honorable mention: Malabar Farm Restaurant at Malabar Farm State Park. We stopped for a meal after our hike at Crall Woods.

Most Hidden Preserve

Deb & Bob: Raven Rock State Nature Preserve – a permit-only preserve. We later learned that you can get a one day permit (and a map) at the Park Office of nearby Shawnee State Park.

Bob walking past the Raven Rock sign; note that access is by written permit-only.
Best Vista

Deb: The vista at the end of Buzzardroost Trail at the Edge of Appalachia.

Deb in the observation area at end of Buzzardroost Trail

Bob: I’d have to pick Seneca Rocks – which is in West Virginia. For Ohio, I’d pick also pick the vista on the Buzzardroost Trail.

The observation deck at Seneca Rock

See Ohio’s Scenic Overlooks for a list of Ohio’s overlooks that we’ve visited.

Best Waterfall

Deb: Blue Hen Falls in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Although there’s obviously a trail to the falls, from the observation area it looks like it’s hidden in the forest.

Blue Hen Falls

Bob: Brandywine Falls in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Brandywine Falls

Both of the above photos were from our post, Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Brandywine and Blue Hen Falls.

We have also compiled a list of Ohio waterfalls that we’ve visited in the post, Waterfalls!!!

Best Prairie

Deb: Although we visited several wonderful prairies this past year, I picked Milford Center Prairie State Natural Area because we were there during peak bloom, and because it is so close to a major urban area (Columbus).

Bee approaching prairie dock at Milford Center Prairie.

Bob: Lynx Prairie at Edge of Appalachia

Great Spangled Fritillary Butterfly in profile on a purple coneflower at Lynx Prairie
Best Geological Feature

Deb & Bob: Tie – Keyhole Arch at Fort Hill and Thompson Ledges

Deb emerging from the Keyhole Arch.
Bob between cliffs and large slump blocks.

Web Site Milestones

The past year has been one of dramatic growth for TrekOhio. Here’s a few statistics about our site:

We’re very proud of our Ohio park / preserve guide (choose from the tab at the page top) which is organized by region and county now lists over 900 sites around the state. This year we opened the TrekOhio store which offers calendars, mugs, T-shirts, and other TrekOhio gear. I’d also like to remind readers that we are an Amazon affiliate and feature outdoor related items on our page.

We’d like to take a moment to thank the park and preserve professionals and volunteers. Without you we wouldn’t have the wonderful Ohio parks and preserves to visit. We’d like to also thank our readers, without you there’d be no point writing for this site. Have a great 2016 and keep on trekking!

P.S. Check our Ohio Winter Hike Calendar to find organized winter hikes in your area.

More Annual Highlights from Other Years

© Deborah Platt, Robert Platt and 2012 to 2021

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