Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Wayne National Forest (Athens Unit): Wildcat Hollow

Wayne National Forest encompasses over a quarter million acres in southeastern Ohio; the national forest is divided into three units: Athens, Marietta, and Ironton (see the links at the bottom for more information on these units). Like all national forests, recreational use of the forest is only one of its purposes. Forestry officials are also concerned with conservation, timber harvesting, mineral management, livestock grazing, watershed protection, and wildlife management. Among the recreational Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Vinton Furnace State Experimental Forest: Watch Rock

Among the trails available at Vinton Furnace State Experimental Forest, there is one called "Watch Rock." If you look at the official map, there is a side trail to a "starred" feature that itself is called "Watch Rock". Since we were unable to find a description of what "Watch Rock" was, we could only guess. We figured it was a rocky promontory overlooking a scenic vista, but of course we didn't know for sure. To add to the mystery, during a previous hike we reached the end of the Watch Rock trail Read more ➜
Posted in Animals, Nature

Salamanders and newts at their breeding sites

From late February and through the end of March salamanders migrate to their breeding sites. Many amphibian species only breed in vernal pools. Such pools form during the winter, remain throughout the spring, then dry up in the summer. Since the water does not remain in the pool year-long, fish cannot live in them. This means that amphibian eggs, larvae, and/or tadpoles will not be eaten up by fish. On February 23rd we attended an evening event at the Wahkeena Nature Preserve in Fairfield Read more ➜
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 review, Southeastern Ohio

Vinton Furnace State Experimental Forest: Arch Rock

The day after Thanksgiving Bob and I decided to hike to Arch Rock, one of Ohio's 80 or so natural arches. A natural arch is simply a hole through a rock outcropping that was produced by erosion. In some cases, the hole isn't that big. However Ohio does have a number of arches that are big enough for a person to stand beneath the arch with room to spare. Arch Rock is one of these larger arches. It has a 9.7-foot span with 8.25 feet of clearance. Getting Oriented As you approach the area Read more ➜
Posted in Park review, Southwestern Ohio

Davis Memorial State Nature Preserve

Davis Memorial State Nature Preserve is one of the more interesting geological sites in Ohio. There are six fault lines in Adams County. Surprisingly, one of these fault lines is visible within the preserve. In addition Adams County is one of the few places in Ohio where you can observe rock outcroppings made of dolomite (sometimes called dolostone). Dolomite and limestone are both said to be calcareous due to their high calcium content, and both are alkaline. They even resemble each other visually. 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 Hiking, Northeastern Ohio, Park review

Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Scenic Railroad

On August 19th we went on a train excursion via the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. The railroad line runs north-south through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The proprietors offer a variety of excursions. We chose the National Park Scenic Excursion, which is a three-hour, round-trip tour of the park. Tickets and Seating Since this was a sight-seeing expedition, we splurged and bought tickets for the Premium Upper Dome. In theory our tickets were good for the entire day, and Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Northeastern Ohio, Park review

Vermilion River Scenic Overlook at OH-2 Rest Area

After stopping at a rest area while traveling westbound on OH-2, we were surprised to see a sign announcing a "Scenic Overlook." Near the sign a paved trail led through the woods. Once we entered the trailhead, we soon realized this was a short, loop trail. There were benches located periodically along the trail. The fence extended along the cliff's edge for some ways, so there were a number of opportunities to look at the Vermilion River below. While viewing the river, Read more ➜