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, History, Native American, Northwestern Ohio, Park review

Howard Collier State Nature Preserve

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 ➜
Posted in Flowers, Hiking, Northwestern Ohio, Park review

Goll Woods State Nature Preserve

Goll Woods State Nature Preserve is a 321-acre preserve in Fulton County with 5.25 miles of trail. The trail system approaches the Tiffin River in two places, and it also passes by the Goll Cemetery and the preserve office for the Northwest Preserve District. One hundrd acres of the preserve are old growth forest (sometimes referred to as "virgin woods"). Some of the trees in this region are up to 400 years old and have reached a diameter of 4 feet. Among the largest trees are bur oak, white oak, Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Northwestern Ohio, Park review

Farnsworth Metropark

There are three river metroparks in the Toledo Metropark system, all of which lie along the Maumee River and are connected by the Towpath Trail. As the name suggests, the trail follows along the towpath of the former Miami and Erie Canal; this trail makes up a portion of the blue-blazed Buckeye Trail System. From east to west the three river metroparks are Providence Metropark, Bend View Metropark and Farnsworth Metropark. We decided to explore the Farnsworth Metropark by walking along the Towpath Read more ➜
Posted in Northwestern Ohio, Park review

Old Woman Creek State Nature Preserve

The full name of this preserve is the Old Woman Creek State Nature Preserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve. The research center studies the local "estuary," a word that usually refers to the region where fresh-water in a river mixes with the salt-water of an ocean. However in this case it is referring to a region where the fresh-water of a creek mixes with the fresh-water of Lake Erie. The preserve is 572 acres in size, and it features hiking trails, an observation deck, and a handicap-accessible Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Northwestern Ohio, Park review

Daughmer Prairie Savannah State Nature Preserve

Daughmer Prairie Savannah is a 34 acre state nature preserve in Crawford County. It features a gravel parking lot, a kiosk, and 0.5 mile mown loop trail. And it is a very unusual place. When early settlers first arrived in Ohio, most of the state was dense forest. However, when settlers reached the Sandusky Plains, they encountered a vast expanse of grassland with trees scattered here and there. When the trees in a grassland are so widely spaced that the canopy never closes, the Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Northwestern Ohio, Park review

Sears Woods

Our recent visit to Sears Woods featured large trees and a close-encounter with galloping deer. Sears Woods is a 137 acre state nature preserve in Crawford County. It is managed by the Crawford County Park District. The Sandusky River flows through the preserve which features an old-growth beech and maple woodland. There are two trails: the 1.25-mile Hiking Trail that loops through the woods, and a smaller, mown-path through a meadow that's known as the Bluebird Box Trail. At Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Northwestern Ohio, Park review

Lowe-Volk Park

Lowe-Volk Park is a 38-acre county park located in Crawford County. The Sandusky River flows through the northern edge of the park. The park features a nature center, two miles of hiking trails, and a fishing pond. The nature center contains many exhibits, classrooms, restrooms, and a nature viewing area for bird watchers. The staff also put on special events and educational programs. In front of the nature center was a small garden planted with wildflowers. We Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Northwestern Ohio, Park review

Augusta-Anne Olsen State Nature Preserve

The Augusta-Anne Olsen State Nature Preserve occupies 132 acres of Huron County. At one point it was named the Vermilion River Preserve, but it was renamed after the woman whose initial donation of land to the state made the preserve possible. Among other things the preserve is known for its large variety of spring wildflowers. We visited May 20th of this year with the hope of seeing some of the spring wildflowers. The entrance to the preserve is well-marked, and there is a kiosk near Read more ➜
Posted in Geology, Northwestern Ohio, Park review

Ohio Caverns

We'd been looking forward to a Saturday hike, but the weather forecast called for rain. What to do? Go hiking underground! We visited Ohio Caverns, a commercial cavern open year round offering guided underground tours. Just the thing for a rainy day. Ohio Caverns is located in Logan County in the Bellefontaine Outlier. This hilly region of Ohio contains the highest point in Ohio. Just down the road from the cavern is Campbell Hill with an elevation of 1,549 feet above sea level. The Read more ➜