Posted in Hiking

Ohio Lodges Reopen – Trip to Shawnee Lodge

When Deb and I learned that Ohio's lodges were reopening our immediate reaction was "Let's go!". The lodges reopened on June 5th. We made reservations for Shawnee Lodge starting on June 7th. This was our first big trip away from home since the COVID lockdown commenced in March. On the way we stopped at Lake Katharine State Nature Preserve. We've visited Lake Katharine before and it's a favorite - featuring a pristine lake, hills, rare magnolia trees, a waterfall, cliffs, and rock outcroppings. Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking

Spring 2020 Update: Hiking in a Time of Pandemic

Update (04/03/2020): ODNR announced that they are closing Hocking Hills State Park (all park properties plus Conkles Hollow Nature Preserve) on April 3rd until further notice. I hope all of our readers are doing well and staying healthy during this global pandemic. Deb and I are both doing fine. As you know, Governor DeWine issued a stay-at-home order for Ohioans. Per the order, residents are still allowed to go to a park or outdoor space for exercise: "Families will still be able to go Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park visit, West Virginia

West Virginia: North Bend Rail Trail

The North Bend Rail Trail is a 72 mile long rail trail conveniently located adjacent to West Virginia's North Bend State Park. The trail is composed of hard-packed dirt and gravel and is a multi-use trail for cyclists, hikers, and riders on horseback. Motor vehicles are not permitted on the trail. The rail trail starts at Happy Valley just off of I-77 near Parkersburg, WV. The trail passes next to North Bend State Park near Cairo. The trail ends 72 miles from it's start near Wolf Summit, Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Ohio Industrial History, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Vinton Furnace Experimental Forest: Hike to the Belgian Coke Ovens

On our recent trip to Vinton Furnace Experimental Forest, we sought to discover if there was a path through the main trails of this state forest leading to the ruins of a 19th century iron mining and refining operations. On prior trips we've enjoyed hiking to a variety of destinations in this off-the-beaten-track state forest. We even visited the remains of an old iron furnace and Belgian coke ovens left over from the regions 19th century iron industry. However, to visit these Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park Reviews for Neighboring States, West Virginia

West Virginia: North Bend State Park – Various Trails

We spent a day hiking a series of smaller trails at North Bend State Park in West Virginia. Although the trails were short, they scenic. The trails we hiked include: Giant Tree Trail, Giant Pine Trail, Castle Rock Trail, and the Overlook Trail. Getting Oriented In the map below, the lodge is the colored magenta and it's located near the center of the map. Southwest of the lodge and across the road from it is the Giant Pine Trail. The Giant Tree Trail is directly north of the lodge, Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Northwestern Ohio, Park review

Wildwood Preserve in Metroparks Toledo

The Wildwood Preserve is a 493 acre park in the Toledo area. The total trail mileage in the park is about 9.4 miles. The trails include a couple of boardwalks, and one trail passes through a covered bridge. A few trails in the park feature unusually sandy soil because this area was once the shoreline of an ancient, glacial lake. The land making up the preserve formerly belonged to the Stranahan family (two brothers in this family founded the Champion Spark Plug Company in 1908). Park officials have Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, West Virginia

West Virginia: North Bend State Park

North Bend State Park is a 2,400-acre state park in West Virginia featuring numerous hiking trails, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and easy access to the 72-mile long North Bend Rail Trail. North Bend State Park is located in Cairo, WV, about a 45 minute drive from the Ohio border. The park offers a variety of accommodations including a 29 room lodge with a restaurant, cabins, and camping sites. We visited the park at the end of May staying at the lodge. On our first full day, we decided Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park Reviews for Neighboring States, West Virginia

Fort Boreman Park – Parkersburg, WV

A couple of years ago I started a new job teaching Computer Science at a local college. I've been so busy with teaching that the volume of posting to this site has plummeted. I hope to get back into the swing of things with this post and future posts about hiking in Ohio and elsewhere. Rest assured that while we have not been posting, we have been hiking and have a huge backlog of material. Expect future articles from TrekOhio about hiking in Ohio, West Virginia, and Japan. Fort Boreman Park Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking

Saltpetre Cave State Nature Preserve

For those who enjoy hiking by cliffs, outcroppings and caves, Saltpetre Cave State Nature Preserve is a tiny preserve in Hocking County with an abundance of such features. Although it is only 14 acres in size, it contains four significant recess caves. Two of the caves have 8-foot tall ceilings, mouths that are more than 100 feet wide, and chambers which extend back more than 120 feet into the bedrock. Another cave actually consists of three, vertically stacked recess caves. And a final cave has Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Northeastern Ohio, Park review

Holden Arboretum: Canopy Walk & Emergent Tower

In mid-August we visited Holden Arboretum to see two new attractions - the Murch Canopy Walk and the Kalberer Emergent Tower. Located in Lake County, Holden Arboretum is the largest publicly-accessible arboretum in the state of Ohio. With 3,600 acres of gardens and forest and over twenty miles of trails there is much to see and do. This article discusses the new canopy walk and the emergent tower. For more information on Holden Arboretum, please see the posts about our earlier visits. Murch Read more ➜