Posted in Central Ohio, History, Park review

Rhododendron Cove Nature Preserve

Rhododendron Cove is a spectacular place, but not the easiest preserve to find. Until quite recently, you needed a permit from the state to visit. It's open to the public now, but it's still a fairly well-kept secret. It's as though there's a secret Rhododendron Cove Club whose first rule is: don't talk about the secret Rhododendron Cove Club. I will tell you how to get there. But first let me tell you why you might want to go. A mowed path leads from the trail with a line of trees Read more ➜
Posted in Central Ohio, Hiking, Park review

Chestnut Ridge Metro Park

This Metro Park gets its name from a tree that has largely disappeared from North America: the American chestnut tree (Castanea dentata). The American chestnut tree dominated America's forests in the east and in the Ohio Valley until the start of the 20th century. A true giant, the tree grew to be 100 to 150 feet tall (30 to 45 meters) and up to 10 feet (3 m) in diameter. It crowned the ridgeline of the Appalachian mountains; when in bloom, its white blossoms made the mountains look as though they Read more ➜
Posted in Central Ohio, Hiking, Park review

Christmas Rocks State Nature Preserve

It had been a good hike so far. During the past several miles, we had enjoyed seeing rocky outcroppings, mature trees, and carpets of ferns. As we climbed a steep hill toward the top of the ridgeline, the trail widened and grew brighter. Distant buzzards soared effortlessly in the bright, blue sky. We found ourselves standing on a rocky cliff. A few hundred feet below, forest stretched out to the horizon. It sounds a bit like the Hocking Hills, doesn't it? But it wasn't. It was Christmas Rocks. Christmas Read more ➜
Posted in Park visit

Wahkeena in June

We stopped by Wahkeena Nature Preserve this past weekend; unlike our previous trip, we didn't hike the trails there. Instead we focused on the marsh, pond, and streams. Water lilies were blooming in both the pond and marsh, and as you can see above, bees were busy pollinating them. Here are some more scenes from this wetland area. If you go to check out the marsh, we recommend using some DEET this time of year to keep flying pests away. We once again stopped Read more ➜
Posted in Central Ohio, Hiking, Park review

Wahkeena Nature Preserve

Wahkeena Nature Preserve is a hidden gem located in the SE corner of Fairfield County. The preserve lies just beyond the farthest point of glacial advance at the peak of the ice age.  The word, "Wahkeena" is an Indian word meaning, "most beautiful." Given the variety of flowering shrubs and plants (including eight varieties of native orchids), this seems a very fitting name. You will see a brown sign for Wahkeena on US 33 as you head into the Hocking Hills. Wahkeena is well worth a detour. As Read more ➜