Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Vinton Furnace State Experimental Forest: Arch Rock

The day after Thanksgiving Bob and I decided to hike to Arch Rock, one of Ohio’s 80 or so natural arches. A natural arch is simply a hole through a rock outcropping that was produced by erosion. In some cases, the hole isn’t that big. However Ohio does have a number of arches that are big enough for a person to stand beneath the arch with room to spare. Arch Rock is one of these larger arches. It has a 9.7-foot span with 8.25 feet of clearance.

Arch Rock in Vinton Furnace Experimental Forest

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Posted in Park review, Southwestern Ohio

Davis Memorial State Nature Preserve

Davis Memorial State Nature Preserve is one of the more interesting geological sites in Ohio. There are six fault lines in Adams County. Surprisingly, one of these fault lines is visible within the preserve. In addition Adams County is one of the few places in Ohio where you can observe rock outcroppings made of dolomite (sometimes called dolostone). Dolomite and limestone are both said to be calcareous due to their high calcium content, and both are alkaline. They even resemble each other visually. However unlike limestone, dolomite has a high magnesium content. The alkaline, magnesium-rich soil found in Davis Memorial supports 15 species of plant that are rarely found in our state which makes it interesting to naturalists.

Boardwalk by calcareous cliff on the Sullivantia Loop Trail

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Posted in Hiking, Park visit

Viewing Wildlife from the Boardwalk at Maumee Bay State Park

The boardwalk at Maumee Bay State Park is one of my favorites in the state. When we are checking out various parks and preserves in the northwest corner of Ohio, we often stay at the lodge in Maumee Bay. And despite having hiked for much of day, about 40 to 45 minutes before dusk we will head out to the boardwalk for an evening stroll. More times than not, we will see wildlife not far from the boardwalk.

A fawn browsing near the boardwalk

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Posted in Hiking, Northeastern Ohio, Park review

Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Scenic Railroad

On August 19th we went on a train excursion via the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. The railroad line runs north-south through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The proprietors offer a variety of excursions. We chose the National Park Scenic Excursion, which is a three-hour, round-trip tour of the park.

Looking over the tops of train cars from the Upper Dome of the train in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

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Posted in TrekOhio News

The New, Shiny TrekOhio

Sadly the computer that hosted TrekOhio was no longer getting security updates because its operating system had exceeded its shelf life. So we needed to move TrekOhio to a computer with an up-to-date operating system. While we were at it, we switched from a 32-bit computer to a 64-bit computer, and we selected a faster programming language and database server with the hope that this will mean faster downloads for our visitors. By the way, Bob wants me to inform our more technically minded readers that when I say “computer” I’m really talking about a “virtual machine”.

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Posted in Hiking, Northeastern Ohio, Park review

Geneva State Park

Geneva State Park is in Ashtabula County, Ohio and occupies two miles of the Lake Erie shoreline. The park is 698 acres in size. Overnight accommodations provided at the park include the Lodge at Geneva, cottages, deluxe cedar cabins, and campsites (both electric, and non-electric). The marina has a deli, a canteen and a fueling station You can also buy fishing licenses, bait and tackle supplies, or arrange for boat and trailer storage. Other features of the park include a sandy beach, an archery range, and six miles of multi-use trails (two miles of which are paved). During the winter under proper weather conditions, visitors can use the snowmobiling trail, or enjoy cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or ice fishing.

Lake Erie viewed from Geneva State Park

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Posted in Flowers

Spring Wildflowers 2017

Here’s a sample of some of the wildflowers that have caught my eye while hiking this spring. I have organized them here into several groups based on what period in the spring then tend to bloom: Late March to Early April, Mid-April, and Late April to Early May. Flowers in the last (and largest) group are still blooming.

By clicking any of the photos below, you can look at a larger resolution of the photo. Once you are viewing a larger version, you can also use your arrow keys to move between photos.

Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica)

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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 road that crosses the Sandusky River at Heck’s Bridge. We traced our hike using GPS while visiting the park. The total mileage for our hike was 1.56 miles. The preserve is a good site for viewing spring wildflowers which are on display in April and May. We visited the preserve in mid-May during a previous year.

An elaborate stairway/boardwalk descends toward the Sandusky River flood plain

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