Posted in Geology

Earth Science Resources for Homeschoolers in Ohio’s Parks & Preserves

Ohio’s Parks & Preserves offer many excellent educational opportunities for homeschoolers and for parents seeking educational enrichment for their public school students. To locate parks and preserves near you, TrekOhio offers an on-line guide currently listing details of over 900 parks and preserves around the state. The guide is divided into five geographic zones that are listed in the tabs on the top of each of our pages. In this article I’ll discuss resources for the academic areas of Read more ➜
Posted in Central Ohio, Hiking, History, Park review

Smith Cemetery State Nature Preserve

Smith Cemetery State Nature Preserve is a remnant of the Darby Plains prairie. While most of Ohio's prairies were converted into farmland, its status as a 19th-century pioneer cemetery meant that the land was never cultivated. Fortunately this has allowed it to preserve the original prairie grasses and wildflowers. The is a one acre preserve is located in Madison County. We visited three prairie remnants west of Columbus on the same day: Smith Cemetery State Nature Preserve, Bigelow Cemetery 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 Geology, Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Boch Hollow State Nature Preserve: Robinson Falls

We recently visited Robinson Falls (aka "Corkscrew Falls") at Boch Hollow State Nature Preserve. The waterfall is located off-trail at the preserve, so we obtained a free permit from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to visit the falls. Along with the permit, they sent us a map showing the falls, where to park, directions, and preserve rules. The ODNR-provided map directed us to a small pull-off from the road that holds a couple of cars. We located the trail-head across the Read more ➜
Posted in Central Ohio, Flowers, Hiking, History, Native American, Park review

Bigelow Cemetery State Nature Preserve

Last summer we visited two of Ohio's smallest state nature preserves: Bigelow Cemetery and Smith Cemetery. Within these two preserves are remnants of prairie that once extended over 5% of Ohio. Because both sites were 19th century cemeteries, they were undisturbed by the plowing that converted 99% of this rich, prairie soil into Ohio farmland. Today I will discuss the half-acre Bigelow Cemetery State Nature Preserve, and I'll save the nearby Smith Cemetery State Nature Preserve for a later post. Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking

The TrekOhio Challenge – Summer 2016

The TrekOhio Challenge is over. Notifications have been sent to the winners. Thanks to all who participated! We'd like to invite our readers to participate in the TrekOhio challenge. The challenge is to complete FIVE hikes during summer (June 21 - Sept 21) 2016 from the ANY of the parks and preserves listed below. The hikes are arranged by Ohio region for your convenience, but feel free to mix and match any five. We've provided links to TrekOhio articles to get more information about the hike. Read more ➜
Posted in Central Ohio, Hiking, Park review

Mt. Gilead State Park

Update: 02/12/019: Note that the following article was published in the summer of 2016 and describes our experiences when visiting Mt. Gilead State Park. The dams have been repaired and other renovations have occurred since then. A 2014 new release by the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources itemizes the planned renovations. It is my understanding that all these renovations have since been completed. Mount Gilead is a 191 acre state park in central Ohio which offers some nice hiking trails as well Read more ➜
Posted in Current events

National Center for Nature Photography at Secor Metropark

On our recent trip to northwest Ohio, we visited the National Center for Nature Photography. The center is located in Secor Metropark near Toledo. The center features exhibits of the works of nature photographers and occasionally offers classes on nature photography. The center is a small building in the middle of the metropark. It generally shows the works of one artist with the exhibit changing every few months. Admission is free and open to the public. The current exhibit Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking

GPS Mapping Apps: MyTrails – a Replacement for Google MyTracks

One feature we often include with our articles is a map of our hike. Originally we used a handheld Magellan Explorist 310 to do the job of mapping our hike. But as we acquired more capable smart phones, we'd switched over to Google's MyTracks application for Android phones. This app had a bit of a learning curve and some idiosyncrasies, but we became accustomed to it and it became our goto application for mapping. We used it for finding our way on the trail (or back to our car) and afterwards to Read more ➜
Posted in Northeastern Ohio, Park review

Beach City Wildlife Area: Dundee Falls

A few weeks ago on a warm winter weekend, we visited Dundee Falls. The waterfall is located in the Beach City Wildlife Area near the town of Dundee, OH. We parked in a dirt and gravel parking area off of Dundee Wilmot Road. An unmarked path at one end of the parking lot led to a stream valley. We turned right and continued down the path a short ways till we heard the sound of falling water. The path leads to the top of the falls. On the right side of the falls (same side as the parking area) a Read more ➜