Posted in Central Ohio, Flowers, Hiking, Park review

Milford Center Prairie State Natural Area

Between eight and four thousand years ago what later became Ohio experienced a prolonged drought. This allowed the drought-tolerant plants of the Great Plains to displace Ohio's more typical, water-loving plants. This eastward thrust of the prairie into Ohio has been referred to as a "prairie peninsula." The prairie peninsula encompassed nearly 400 square miles of the Darby Plains in western, central Ohio. Today only 1% of this prairie survives. There are a number of MetroParks in the Columbus and Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southwestern Ohio

Chaparral Prairie State Nature Preserve

Chaparral Prairie is a 67-acres state nature preserve with a three-quarter mile loop trail. Located in Adams County, it preserves a rare prairie habitat. Prairies are defined by the type of vegetation that grows in them. In general these plants are drought-tolerant, fire-tolerant and shade-intolerant. They originated in America's Great Plains and moved eastward thousands of years ago during a centuries-long drought when this area was warmer than now. However as the climate cooled and normal rain Read more ➜
Posted in Flowers, Hiking, Northeastern Ohio, Park review

Fowler Woods State Nature Preserve

Fowler Woods is a 187-acre, state nature preserve located in Richland Coundy in northeast Ohio. Originally the preserve featured a handicap-accessible, 1 ¼-mile boardwalk, but in 2014 much of the boardwalk was closed to the public due to safety concerns.  The boardwalk passes through mature forest, buttonbush swamps, and an area that was once farmland, but is now reverting to forest. Sadly the lower, wetland region within this area that is now barred to the public.  The preserve used to be one 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 Hiking, Northwestern Ohio, Park review

Daughmer Prairie Savannah State Nature Preserve

Daughmer Prairie Savannah is a 34 acre state nature preserve in Crawford County. It features a gravel parking lot, a kiosk, and 0.5 mile mown loop trail. And it is a very unusual place. When early settlers first arrived in Ohio, most of the state was dense forest. However, when settlers reached the Sandusky Plains, they encountered a vast expanse of grassland with trees scattered here and there. When the trees in a grassland are so widely spaced that the canopy never closes, the Read more ➜
Posted in Park visit

Lake Katharine State Nature Preserve: Pine Ridge Trail

We returned to Lake Katharine Nature Preserve in mid-May to walk the 2.5 mile Pine Ridge Trail. Among the attractions of Pine Ridge Trail are Lake Katharine itself, Rock Run creek, a cascading waterfall, large rock outcroppings and cliffs, a hemlock grove, and magnolia trees. The trail-head starts in the parking lot and leads east to the intersection of the Pine Ridge and Calico Bush trails. From there it intersects a service road that descends down to the earthen dam at one end of Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Northeastern Ohio, Park review

Headlands Dunes State Nature Preserve

Headlands Dunes is a 25-acre preserve just to the east of Headlands Beach State Park. When I'm here I can hardly believe that I'm in Ohio... it's such a unique place. The sand dunes just off shore of Lake Erie are rare in Ohio because most of the area adjacent to the lake has been developed. Surprisingly a number of plants that originated on the Atlantic coast grow in this small nature preserve. It is thought that they reached this far into the continent thousands of years ago when the immense weight Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Northwestern Ohio, Park review

Augusta-Anne Olsen State Nature Preserve

The Augusta-Anne Olsen State Nature Preserve occupies 132 acres of Huron County. At one point it was named the Vermilion River Preserve, but it was renamed after the woman whose initial donation of land to the state made the preserve possible. Among other things the preserve is known for its large variety of spring wildflowers. We visited May 20th of this year with the hope of seeing some of the spring wildflowers. The entrance to the preserve is well-marked, and there is a kiosk near Read more ➜
Posted in Central Ohio, Hiking, Park review

Sharon Woods Metro Park

Sharon Woods Metro Park is part of the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Park system in central Ohio. This Metro Park is 761 acres, and that's including the 320-acre Edward S. Thomas State Nature Preserve that's tucked inside it. The park features a 3.8-mile, paved, multipurpose loop trail. There's also an additional 3.35 miles of hiking trails. The trails pass through a variety of habitats, including woodlands, ravines, meadows, prairie and wetland. Sharon Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southwestern Ohio

Kiser Lake Wetlands State Nature Preserve

Kiser Lake Wetlands is a 51 acre state nature preserve in Champaign County. It is located in a corner of Kiser Lake State Park. We visited this preserve in mid-May. The preserve has a 0.6 mile boardwalk / trail system that interconnects with the 0.7 mile Red Oak trail in the park making a 1.3 mile loop. The trailhead is near the southeast end of the lake on Kiser Lake Rd (CR-19), not far from the main campground. A kiosk marks the trailhead. Nearby is a sign for the park's Red Read more ➜