Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Wayne National Forest (Athens Unit): Wildcat Hollow

Wayne National Forest encompasses over a quarter million acres in southeastern Ohio; the national forest is divided into three units: Athens, Marietta, and Ironton (see the links at the bottom for more information on these units). Like all national forests, recreational use of the forest is only one of its purposes. Forestry officials are also concerned with conservation, timber harvesting, mineral management, livestock grazing, watershed protection, and wildlife management. Among the recreational Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Strouds Run State Park: Rockhouse Trail

Bob and I had really wanted to explore the Rockhouse Trail, so we could view Turtlehead Cave. This past September we decided to make that happen by combining this trail with several others to come up with a loop hike that was about 5 miles in length. Our hike took us through a variety of different parks and preserves in quick succession. We began in Sells Park and passed through the Dale and Jackie Riddle State Nature Preserve, as well as the City of Athens Preserve Land until we came to Strouds Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Gifford State Forest

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. Getting oriented 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 ➜
Posted in Park review, Southeastern Ohio

The Ridges Trail in Athens, Ohio

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 ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park visit

Burr Oak State Park: Hiking the Upper Loop

We spent the Fourth of July weekend at Burr Oak State Park Lodge. While there we hiked what I'm calling the "upper loop." It is a 4.2 mile hike that begins at the parking lot where Mountville Road terminates at Burr Oak Lake. The terrain for this hike is hilly with a total elevation gain of 1,315.5 ft. During a portion of the hike there were glimpses of the lake through the trees. Getting oriented We traced our hike using the My Tracks Android app. Below is a map showing our route. And Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Burr Oak State Park

We've visited Burr Oak several times over the years. On our first trip to Burr Oak we had scheduled a week of camping. In our family, this became known as the "Rain Drenched Burr Oak Camping Trip". On the plus side, I learned to cook meals over a camp stove in the rain. (Hint: use flint and steel to ignite the burner. Works better than rain-soaked matches). Our next trip, we stayed at the Burr Oak Lodge and then went hiking at Wildcat Hollow in Wayne National Forest. The Wildcat Hollow Read more ➜
Posted in Past events

A Visit to the Ohio Pawpaw Festival

We attended the 15th annual Pawpaw festival at Lake Snowden, Ohio. The pawpaw is a native Ohio fruit and was the main attraction of the festival. We tried some cut-up raw pawpaw. The fruit is green and about the size of a potato. Inside it is either white or orangish with large brown or black seeds. The consistency is like custard, and I thought the taste (which can vary) was a mix of melon and papaya. A variety of pawpaw derived foods were available, including pawpaw Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Strouds Run State Park / Sells Park

Strouds Run State Park is located in scenic Athens County close to Ohio University. The park and several adjacent parks and preserves feature miles of trails for hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians. We visited the park several times last year. The park consists of 2,606 acres of forested hills and Dow Lake (a large man-made lake). Adjacent to the park is the 22 acre Sells Park owned by the city of Athens, the 106 acre Riddle State Nature Preserve and the 75 acre Blair Preserve. The parks Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Marie J Desonier State Nature Preserve

December 1st was an unusually warm and sunny day for Ohio... shirt-sleeve weather really. We decided to take advantage of the sunny weather by visiting the 502-acre Marie J. Desonier State Nature Preserve in Athens County. The preserve is known for its hills and deep ravines. The preserve's main trail is the Oak Ridge Trail. This is an irregular loop trail that starts near the kiosk at one end of the parking lot and returns at the other end of the parking lot. There's a short spur trail Read more ➜