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 ➜
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 ➜
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 ➜
In February 2014 we visited Greenville Falls State Scenic River Area, north of Dayton. It is a 92-acre park, owned by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources but managed by the Miami County Part District. The falls consist of a scenic, 20-foot cascade in Greenville Creek. The park also features ruins of historical interest, nearly a mile of trail, access to fishing spots, a limestone natural arch, picnic areas, kiosks, interpretive signs, and a port-a-potty.
Richard M. Albery, Sr. Read more ➜
Two months ago we visited the site of a former coal strip-mine in eastern Ohio. The area was the site of a massive surface mine that supplied 110 million tons of coal for electric power generation in the region. Big Muskie — one of the largest earth-moving machines in the world — operated in this area. The bucket of this leviathan was large enough to hold two full size buses.
Mining operations involved removal of all surface vegetation, topsoil, and the earth overlying the coal Read more ➜
Lockville Park is a 6 acre park in Fairfield County containing the ruins of three locks from what was once the Ohio & Erie Canal. The park also has a covered bridge that was constructed in 1888.
If you look at a map of Ohio, you'll see Lake Erie on the northern edge. The irregular southern edge is formed by the Ohio River. The Ohio River feeds into the Mississippi River which flows into the Gulf of Mexico. Both the Ohio River and Lake Erie provided convenient water transportation Read more ➜
Rock Mill is a gristmill that was built in 1824 in Fairfield County. It is currently in the process of being restored. (Note: a gristmill grinds corn, wheat, or other grains into flour).
We visited Rock Mill this past weekend. Rock Mill Road ends near the mill which is now a small Fairfield County park. The road follows the valley formed by the Hocking River (formerly known as the Hock-Hocking River). At the mill, the river plunges over a falls into a small gorge surrounded by 40-foot Read more ➜
If you visit a number of parks and forests in Ohio, you will occasionally come across a structure built of sandstone blocks that resembles the bottom of a pyramid. A few of these are intact; many are just ruins overgrown with plants. These are the remnants of blast furnaces built in the early nineteenth century. But what are they doing out in the middle of the forest?
In the above photo the topmost, wooden building is the bridge loft. Workers in the bridge loft dropped raw materials through Read more ➜