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. Getting Oriented As you approach the area Read more ➜
Posted in Geology, Hiking, Park visit

Fort Hill: Canby’s Mountain Lover Trail and Keyhole Arch

We really enjoy hiking at Fort Hill, but until recently we've never hiked the Canby's Mountain Lover Trail. To access this trail, you have to wade across Baker Fork Creek. We thought that if we went toward the end of October the water might be low enough to wade across while wearing waterproof hiking boots, but we were wrong. The creek is too high for hiking boots. It's also too cold at this time of year to just wade in and get your feet wet. We ended up returning on November 7th, each of us packing Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Southeastern Ohio

Raven Rock State Nature Preserve

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 ➜
Posted in Geology, Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Trimmer Arch

Trimmer Arch is a classic, round-topped arch, the best such specimen in Ohio. It's located in Ross County within the Paint Creek Lake Wildlife Area. The interior opening of the arch spans 14 ft. (4.6 m) and rises 8.6 ft (2.6 m). Trimmer arch formed within a narrow outcropping that extends into a U-shaped ravine bounded by two streams. The rock itself is Greenfield Dolomite, a type of sedimentary rock that forms horizontal bedding planes one atop another like a stack of pancakes. Due the the thinness Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southwestern Ohio

Miller Nature Sanctuary

Miller Nature Sanctuary is a well-hidden, state nature preserve in Highland County. It has three miles of trail that go past interesting geological features. It's named after Eugene and Henrietta Miller, the couple that donated the land. The preserve is located on Rocky Fork Gorge just upstream from Highlands Nature Sanctuary. The preserve's trails take you from the top of dolomite cliffs to the edge of the Rocky Fork Creek and back. In addition to cliffs and large slump blocks, the preserve includes Read more ➜
Posted in Native American, Park review, Southwestern Ohio

Fort Hill

Two thousand years ago, the Hopewell people built a massive earthwork enclosing a 40-acre hilltop in southwest Ohio. This earthwork which resembles a fort was later dubbed Fort Hill. Today Fort Hill is a 1,200 acre preserve owned by the Ohio Historical Society and operated by the Arc of Appalachia Preserve System. The preserve features 11 miles of hiking trails, a small museum, a parking area, picnic shelters, and rest rooms. Fort Trail We visited the preserve last September Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southwestern Ohio

Highlands Nature Sanctuary

In early September we visited Highlands Nature Sanctuary near Bainbridge, Ohio. The sanctuary is operated by the Arc of Appalachia Preserve System. The sanctuary consists of over 2000 acres of land between Rocky Fork State Park and Paint Creek State Park. The main location contains a museum, three hiking trails, and several cabins that visitors can rent. We stayed at a cabin perched on a ledge overlooking the Rocky Creek gorge. The preserve has roughly 14 miles of trails scattered Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Rockbridge State Nature Preserve

Rockbridge is a small but scenic nature preserve in the Hocking Hills area containing a natural stone arch. It is longest arch of about a dozen stone arches in the state. Getting to Rockbridge is relatively easy, but finding it the first time... not so much. A small brown "Rockbridge State Nature Preserve" sign on US Rt 33 directs you to a nondescript exit on to Dalton Rd. The road parallels 33 for a short ways and turns to the north. After about 3/4 mile there's a small parking lot Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Hocking Hills State Park: Rock House

Rock House is one of the smaller parks of the Hocking Hills State Parks, but it contains ... yes, you guessed it ... a rock house.  The Rock House is a real cave inside a cliff of Blackhand sandstone.  It consists of one large (long) rectangular room with a couple of entrances and several "windows".  One of the windows overlooks a cliff with a seasonal waterfall. The actual trail is a relatively short loop trail, but the Rock House and cliff it's embedded in is well worth Read more ➜