Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Boord State Nature Preserve

We visited Boord nature preserve on a rainy afternoon in early September. Boord is a small 127 acre preserve in Washington county. The preserve is a few miles down a gravel one lane township road (TR-69). A brown sign identifies it as "Boord State Nature Preserve" and there is a small gravel parking lot and kiosk adjacent to the road. The preserve has a 3/4 mile loop trail. A light rain had begun and we donned our ponchos and started down the trail. A mown path through some Read more ➜
Posted in Central Ohio, Hiking, Park review

Gahanna Woods

Gahanna Woods is part city park and part state nature preserve. Let's start by looking at the city park. Gahanna Woods City Park The city park has trails that pass through meadow and woodlands. The meadow trail is a mown path; The woodland trail is a wide trail with a mulch base that often follows a small creek. The city seems to be expanding their trail system, especially the mown paths. I encountered more trail branches than the map in the kiosk showed. A few branches off the Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Conkle’s Hollow: The Gorge Trail

Conkle's Hollow is a narrow gorge with breathtaking cliffs rising on either side; the cliffs are made of Blackhand sandstone and are quite sheer in places, the taller ones reaching up to 200 feet in height. Seasonal waterfalls flow from the cliffs at many sites, their streams joining to form Pine Creek on the valley floor. Conkle's Hollow State Nature Preserve has two main trails. The Rim Trail is on the plateau above and leads you around the upper border of the gorge. Read more ➜
Posted in Central Ohio, Hiking, Park review

Shallenberger Nature Preserve

Twenty one thousand years ago two-thirds of Ohio was covered with a thick layer of ice from the Wisconsin glacier. In what would later be Fairfield County, two adjacent knobs made of Blackhand sandstone successfully resisted this glacial onslaught. Instead of engulfing these knobs, the ice sheet flowed around them on its southward journey that stopped just short of the Hocking Hills. Today they're known as Allen and Ruble knobs, and they're the main attraction of the 88 acre Shallenberger State Nature Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southwestern Ohio

Davey Woods

This nature preserve features old growth forest and hilly terrain. Set in the middle of an agricultural region, it's a peaceful area with one of the best wooded lots in the vicinity. There are two trails at the park: Conrad Trail (1.4 miles) and the Short Loop Trail (0.6 miles). The trail seemed well maintained; although, there was a portion of the trail that was quite narrow making it difficult to pass without touching the surrounding vegetation. The preserve's official site states that you can Read more ➜
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, History, Nature, Park review

Cranberry Bog: The World’s Only Floating Island

Previously I've pointed out that Jackson Bog and Cedar Bog aren't really bogs. Now it's time to look at a nature preserve that really is the bog that it claims to be: Cranberry Bog State Nature Preserve. However it's not like any other bog in the world since the entire bog is floating in the middle of a lake. Here's what happened. For thousands of years Cranberry Bog was an ordinary bog located in what came to be known as Big Swamp. In 1830 Ohio decided to build a dyke in Big Swamp Read more ➜
Posted in Nature, Park review, Southwestern Ohio

Cedar Bog

Cedar Bog is a state nature preserve that's managed by the Ohio Historical Society due to its historical significance... or should I say prehistorical significance? There are a number of plants and animals in the preserve that were common in this region at the close of the last Ice Age, but which are now found in cooler, North American climates. Because it is such a unique habitat, in 1941 it was the first nature preserve designated by Ohio. Today it is one of Ohio's 25 National Natural Landmarks. The 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 Geology, Hiking, Park review, Southwestern Ohio

Siegenthaler-Kaestner Esker

An esker is a special sort of hill. Eskers develop underneath a glacier, so in Ohio they formed during the last ice age. The sediment that eventually creates an esker starts its life as the sand, gravel and rock deposited on the bottom of a riverbed. However the unusual thing about the associated river is that it flows under great pressure beneath a massive glacier. Instead of having normal riverbanks made of earth, this kind of river flows through a crevasse or icy tunnel at the base of a glacier. Read more ➜