When Deb and I learned that Ohio's lodges were reopening our immediate reaction was "Let's go!". The lodges reopened on June 5th. We made reservations for Shawnee Lodge starting on June 7th. This was our first big trip away from home since the COVID lockdown commenced in March.
On the way we stopped at Lake Katharine State Nature Preserve. We've visited Lake Katharine before and it's a favorite - featuring a pristine lake, hills, rare magnolia trees, a waterfall, cliffs, and rock outcroppings. 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 ➜
This past weekend we decided to hike the 7.2-mile Day Hike Trail in Shawnee State Forest. The Shawnee State Forest is sometimes referred to as the "The Little Smokies of Ohio" because of its hilly terrain. Although much of the trail followed ridgelines along the top of hills, there was a lot of uphill/downhill hiking to get to those ridgelines.
The trailhead for the Day Hike Trail is just off SR-125 on the opposite side of the road from the Nature Center in Shawnee State Park.
There Read more ➜
The forested hills of Shawnee State Park are located at Ohio's southernmost tip. The park is large at 1,095 acres, but it's dwarfed by the surrounding Shawnee State Forest. At 63,000 acres, Shawnee State Forest is Ohio's largest state forest. The combined park and forest have 72 miles of trails including the 60 mile Shawnee State Forest backpack trail. The area also features more than 75 miles of bridle trails.
There are two lakes Roosevelt and Turkey Creek which offer fishing, boating, Read more ➜
While visiting Shawnee State Park, we decided to stop off at the park's nature center, and we're glad that we did. It turns out that this is the only nature center operated by our state government where the public can touch or hold the local wildlife. The wildlife that was present during our visit consisted of various reptiles and amphibians. In the topmost photo, the park's naturalist lifted an Eastern ratsnake from the terrarium and held it so that visitors could touch it's skin. If a guest was Read more ➜
Years ago I went canoeing on the Little Miami River; the river serenely wound its way between the wooded river banks. But at Clifton Gorge, the Little Miami River is something altogether different; it plunges over falls and rapids between narrow cliffs of dolomite and shale. The river and surrounding cliffs are the main attractions of Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve, a 268 acre preserve located adjacent to John Bryan State Park. The Little Miami River flows through both, with the nature preserve Read more ➜