The Morgan Sisters Trail System is in the northern, central region of the Ironton Unit of Wayne National Forest. It is a little over an hour's drive northeast of Portsmouth, Ohio. It is comprised of three loop trails. According to the Forest Service, the Coal Branch Loop is 2.34 miles, the Ridge Loop is 1.88 miles, and the Schoolhouse Loop is 4.53 miles. There is a half-mile trail that connects the Morgan Sisters Trail System to the nearby Symmes Creek Trail System.
We went there for an afternoon's Read more ➜
We recently visited Robinson Falls (aka "Corkscrew Falls") at Boch Hollow State Nature Preserve. The waterfall is located off-trail at the preserve, so we obtained a free permit from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to visit the falls. Along with the permit, they sent us a map showing the falls, where to park, directions, and preserve rules.
The ODNR-provided map directed us to a small pull-off from the road that holds a couple of cars. We located the trail-head across the Read more ➜
Dillon State Park is a 2,285-acre park located in Muskingum County. The parks has 9.6 miles of multi–use trails, 1.25 miles of trails used exclusively for hiking, 15 miles of bridle trails, and 12 miles mountain bike trails. For those in the Columbus area, the park is about an hour to an hour-and-a-half drive east of the capitol. We had never been to Dillon State Park before, so when we heard the park was hosting its first annual winter hike on January 9th, we decided to participate.
We Read more ➜
The Shawnee Day Hike Trail has changed since our 7.2 mile hike a year and a half ago. The suggested blue-blazed day hike trail is now a 4.2 mile hike. However by combining the white-blazed connector trail and a new segment of the blue-blazed day hike trail, we were able to do an 8.4 mile-loop hike. As an unexpected treat, the new segment of the blue-blazed day hike trail took us by a lovely overlook with a bench where we could take in what remained of fall color. Since we were hiking there this past Read more ➜
While staying at a cabin in Lake Hope State Park, we visited Lookout Rock and hiked on the nearby Moonville Rail Trail. It was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and the weather was sunny and cool.
Lookout Rock is located on Hope-Moonville road, a narrow, gravel road that winds through Zaleski State Forest. At one point, the road goes along a saddleback ridge with steep drop-offs to either side. On one side of the road, we saw a tall sandstone cliff. This was our destination. Read more ➜
This past Friday we visited Raven Rock State Nature Preserve. It was our first visit to a permit-only preserve. We'd planned a visit to Shawnee Lodge and had applied for a permit more than two weeks before our trip.
It was a cool, overcast afternoon when we parked near the trailhead for Raven Rock. There were two parking spots, one of which was already occupied. The trail is 1.25 miles (one way) and ends at a cliff 550 ft above the start with a stunning view of the Ohio River and the hills of Read more ➜
Last weekend after hiking at Wildcat Hollow, we drove over to have a look at Monroe Outlook. Monroe Outlook is a scenic overlook providing a large hill-top panoramic view of the area. The site was developed by Wayne National Forest, Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources, Little Cities of the Forest Collaboration, and Miller High School.
The parking area is a small gravel parking lot with an informational kiosk off of Irish Ridge Road. Its about a 5 minute drive from the Wildcat Hollow trail-head. Read more ➜
The Edge of Appalachia is a 16,000 acre preserve system in Adams County that's jointly run by the Cincinnati Museum Center and the Nature Conservancy. There are four trails in the preserve that are open the public. The Portman Trail is a great starting pointing for exploring this majestic landscape.
Many visitors to the Edge of Appalachia preserve mistakenly believe that the Eulett Center is a visitor center. However, the Eulett Center is an office complex for researchers and educators. Read more ➜
At 320 acres Gifford State Forest is the smallest state forest owned by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). The sign at the trailhead suggests that there are a total of 4.7 miles of trail. We hiked most of those miles this past July, and here's our report as to what they're like.
Below is a tracing I made of the trail map provided in ODNR's brochure for this state forest. As you can see the trail is north of State Route 377 between McConnelsville and Athens. Read more ➜
What's referred to as The Ridges is over 1000 acres of land owned by the Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. The university makes use of a number of buildings on this land to house administrative offices, an art gallery and an art museum, among other things. In addition the Ohio University has allowed non-profit organizations to develop a number of trail through the area. Among them are the Ridges Trail, the Athens Trail, the Ridges Cemetery Nature Walk, and the River Valley Nature Trail. Today I'll Read more ➜