Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Vinton Furnace State Experimental Forest: Watch Rock

Among the trails available at Vinton Furnace State Experimental Forest, there is one called "Watch Rock." If you look at the official map, there is a side trail to a "starred" feature that itself is called "Watch Rock". Since we were unable to find a description of what "Watch Rock" was, we could only guess. We figured it was a rocky promontory overlooking a scenic vista, but of course we didn't know for sure. To add to the mystery, during a previous hike we reached the end of the Watch Rock trail Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Vinton Furnace State Experimental Forest: Arch Rock

The day after Thanksgiving Bob and I decided to hike to Arch Rock, one of Ohio's 80 or so natural arches. A natural arch is simply a hole through a rock outcropping that was produced by erosion. In some cases, the hole isn't that big. However Ohio does have a number of arches that are big enough for a person to stand beneath the arch with room to spare. Arch Rock is one of these larger arches. It has a 9.7-foot span with 8.25 feet of clearance. Getting Oriented As you approach the area Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Zaleski State Forest: Moonville Tunnel

History and Lore Moonville was a coal-mining town founded in the middle of the nineteenth century in Vinton County. Its population peaked in 1870 when about 100 people lived there, after which it declined. The last family in Moonville left in 1947. Moonville's nearest neighbor was the town of Hope, but even Hope was many miles away. To connect the two towns a railroad was laid. During the course of its construction, it was also necessary to build bridges over creeks and to excavate Moonville Tunnel Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Zaleski State Forest: The Backpack Trail from Hope Schoolhouse

We enjoy staying at Lake Hope State Park, and we are always looking for new places to hike in the vicinity. Since the state park is adjacent to Zaleski State Forest, we sometimes take advantage of one of the backpacking trails at Zaleski. During this trip we decided to do a day hike from the trailhead that begins to the rear of Hope Schoolhouse. Our plan is to hike from point "A" on the trail map to the campsite at point "C". The one-way distance from "A" to "C" is a little under 3 miles, so by retracing Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, History, Ohio Industrial History, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Vinton Furnace State Experimental Forest

This forest also goes by the names "Vinton Furnace State Forest" and "Vinton Furnace Experimental Forest". I decided to keep the word "Experimental" in the name for this article because it communicates that the forest has a research-oriented purpose. This research has been going on for over 50 years. The data collected here has been useful in gaining a better understanding of forest ecology, forest management, and the regional wildlife; this data has been cited in hundreds of scholarly papers. An Read more ➜
Posted in Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Zaleski State Forest: Lookout Rock

While staying at a cabin in Lake Hope State Park, we visited Lookout Rock and hiked on the nearby Moonville Rail Trail. It was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and the weather was sunny and cool. Lookout Rock is located on Hope-Moonville road, a narrow, gravel road that winds through Zaleski State Forest. At one point, the road goes along a saddleback ridge with steep drop-offs to either side. On one side of the road, we saw a tall sandstone cliff. This was our destination. Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking

The Annual Fall Hike at Lake Hope

On October 17th Bob and I attended our first Annual Fall Hike at Lake Hope. The staff at Lake Hope State Park, along with Friends of Lake Hope, organized the hike. Participants were subdivided into smaller groups that left the picnic area in a staggered fashion between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. The hike from the picnic shelter to Hope Furnace was three miles and followed the Hope Furnace Trail. At the conclusion of the hike near Hope Furnace, participants had the opportunity of enjoying a communal meal Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Tar Hollow State Park

We've been going to Tar Hollow for many years. Its a great place for camping. The camp sites are usually not crowded (don't tell anybody), the area is very scenic, and there are many miles of hiking trails. Tar Hollow State Park is a 604 acre park in Ross County. It is surrounded by the 16,354 acre Tar Hollow State Forest located in Ross, Hocking, and Vinton Counties. Traversing the park and state forest is the 21 mile red-blazed Logan Backpack Trail. Built and maintained by the Boy Read more ➜
Posted in Hiking, History, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Zaleski State Forest: King’s Hollow Tunnel

Mineral, Moonville, Hope — all were towns active in Ohio's mining and iron manufacturing industries during the 19th century. They were connected by the Moonville rail line which passed through two long tunnels on the way to the iron furnace at Hope. The towns are long gone, as is the rail line, but the two tunnels remain and can be found in the Zaleski State Forest. The more famous of the two is the Moonville Tunnel which is the subject of numerous ghostly tales. We visited the Moonville Read more ➜
Posted in Birds, Park visit

Hand-feeding Hummingbirds at Lake Hope

The Nature Center at Lake Hope State Park is well-known as the place to go if you want to try hand-feeding hummingbirds. This seasonal activity typically begins in July. This year park officials will continue to host the hand-feeding sessions on Thursday through Sunday from 1 to 3 PM until Labor Day. This was the first time Bob and I had tried hand-feeding hummingbirds, and we both loved it. It is fascinating to watch hummingbirds perform their aerial acrobatics, but it was even more amazing to Read more ➜