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 ➜
Howard Collier is a 115-acre state nature preserve located in Seneca County in northwestern Ohio. The preserve is named after a former state budget director who was instrumental in allocating funds for the acquisition of park land. The Collier preserve features a loop trail with an impressive staircase/boardwalk that leads down into the flood plain. The Sandusky River can be viewed from a couple of short side trails off the loop. There is also one more extensive side trail that leads to a township Read more ➜
This forest also goes by the names "Vinton Furnace State Forest" and "Vinton Furnace Experimental Forest". I decided to keep the word "Experimental" in the name for this article because it communicates that the forest has a research-oriented purpose. This research has been going on for over 50 years. The data collected here has been useful in gaining a better understanding of forest ecology, forest management, and the regional wildlife; this data has been cited in hundreds of scholarly papers. An Read more ➜
Ariel-Foundation Park is a 250 acre park owned by the City of Mount Vernon in Ohio. It is operated by the Foundation Park Conservancy. The park is located on a former industrial site that housed the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company (now PPG).
History and Overview
The Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company opened in 1907 and manufactured plate glass for automotive windshields. The plant was a sprawling complex of brick and steel girder buildings totaling 1,000,000 square ft. A number of gravel Read more ➜
Mill Creek Park occupies 2,882 acres in Mahoning County. It is a green oasis bordering Mill Creek in the midst of the Youngstown metro-area. Lanterman's Mill is located within Mill Creek Park. The mill is a fully-operational historic grist mill. Nearby the mill is a waterfall, a covered bridged, and trails that will take you along both sides of the gorge created by the creek. It was a sunny September day when we visited the park, perfect for hiking and seeing the sights.
Lanterman's Read more ➜
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 ➜
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 ➜
We attended the 40th Annual Malabar Farm Maple Syrup Festival on Saturday March 5th. From the parking area participants queued for a ride by horse drawn wagon to the festival which was centered around the Malabar Farm sugar shack. There were a variety of wagons available for transporting visitors, some with benches and others with hay bales for seating. The wagons were 2HP - each being drawn by two large draft horses. The horses and wagons were provided by volunteers from the Central Ohio Draft Horse Read more ➜
We recently visited Harpersfield Covered Bridge Metropark in Ashtabula County. The star attraction of the park is the aforementioned covered bridge. The 228 foot (69.5 m) covered bridge spans the Grand River and is the third longest covered bridge in Ohio. The bridge was built in 1868 replacing a prior bridge that was destroyed by a flood. In 1913, another flood washed away the ground on the northern side of the bridge. A 140-foot (42.7m) steel truss bridge was added on this end.
The Read more ➜
Deep Lock Quarry is part of the Summit County Metro Park system. The park has several historical features of interest: a canal lock, a sandstone quarry, and millstones that were created from the quarried sandstone. Hikers at Deep Lock Quarry can take advantage of two trails in the 73-acre park: the Quarry Trail and the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail (henceforth referred to as the "Towpath Trail"). Both the Cuyahoga Trail and the Buckeye Trail overlap the Towpath Trail and continue beyond the Read more ➜