Tag Archives: Hiking

The Ice Stopped Here

There are many ledges in Northeast Ohio thanks to ancient glaciers. They pushed rocks along as they moved; when they melted, the rocks remained. We took advantage of freakish warm weather here in our January winter and hiked the local Top O Ledges, part of Hinckley Reservation.

The Ice Stopped Here

The Ice Stopped Here

The dog was quite happy. He has spied… something.

I Spy with My Little Eyes

I Spy with My Little Eyes

Here is another gratuitous ledge photo.

Overlooking a Ledge

Overlooking a Ledge

 


Oak Hill Trail

Recently revisited a trail that we haven’t been on in years. It’s in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and is in the Oak Hill Day Use area. The inner trail is an easy trail, only 1.8 miles and an elevation change of 50 feet. It interweaves with another, more difficult trail called the Plateau Trail (4.9 miles, 200 feet elevation change.)

We did a little of both. Our first loop on the Plateau Trail took us to Meadowedge Pond. You can see where the pond used to end – where the tall grasses are. Somebody (beavers, likely) built a new little dam, extending the pond a little. You can see just a little of the dam in the lower right corner of the photo.

Meadowedge Pond, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

Meadowedge Pond, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

Although it is not a challenging trail, it has many beautiful passages – such as this little footbridge over a tiny ravine.

Footbridge on the Oak Hill Trail, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

Footbridge on the Oak Hill Trail, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

Check out this fallen tree – suspended in the air.

Good Catch

Good Catch

I am looking forward to going back and exploring more of the Plateau loops.


Blue Hen Falls and Buttermilk Falls

We went on a hike today – one which we have not done for a long time – to see two waterfalls in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.   It is a very short hike to the first waterfalls, Blue Hen Falls and another mile to the second, Buttermilk Falls.

Blue Hen Falls is about 15 feet high; here is a view from the top.

Blue Hen Falls

Blue Hen Falls, Northeast Ohio

The trail was not quite what I remembered.  We had to cross the stream 3 times, I thought that only used to be once.  At one point, there was a lot of erosion, leaving the trail right at the edge of a drop off.  We decided to take an alternate path around that!

I took lots of pictures of mushrooms; I was bending over when Paul noticed some friends right next to us. This nest was right at my eye level; we were wondering how we did not bump into it! I don’t know if they were wasps or hornets…  We quickly left the area.

Wasp Nest

Wasp Nest

Here is Buttermilk Falls.  It is very secluded and is about 20 feet high.  At my last visit, there was a small pool at the base of the falls, but erosion has filled that.  It was very much worth the walk.  Well, except maybe for the off trail jaunt that we had to do.

Buttermilk Falls

Buttermilk Falls, Northeast Ohio

Spike loved the experience.  She jumped into the water with exuberance!

Spike at Buttermilk Falls

Spike at Buttermilk Falls


Thanksgiving Hike

Doesn’t everybody go hiking in the snow on Thanksgiving? Katie and I took Spike for a walk at Hinckley Lake.  Here she is, in the car, anticipating the walk.

Spike Anticipating a Walk

Spike Anticipating a Walk

Arriving at Hinkley Reservation

Arriving at Hinkley Reservation

Surprisingly there were quite a few people hiking or running.  One gentleman running by gleefully commented on what a glorious day that it was.  It was indeed a beautiful day, starting out a little overcast …

Thanksgiving at Hinckley Reservation

Thanksgiving at Hinckley Reservation

Thanksgiving Hink at Hinckley Reservation

Thanksgiving Hike at Hinckley Reservation

and ending with the sky clear and the sun out.

Blue Sky in Northeast Ohio

Blue Sky in Northeast Ohio

Read another series about hiking and walking the dog at Hinckley Reservation starting here.


Walking the Dog – Chapter 5 – the Boathouse

On this particular hike, we walked the dog completely around Hinckley Lake, as I said before, it is about a 3.5 mile trail. Near the southern part of the lake is an area that we don’t usually walk past – the boathouse. This is not because I have a problem with the boathouse, but because it is usually quite busy in the summer season. This doesn’t really make sense, since I don’t mind walking around the spillway when it is busy.

Boathouse at Hinckley Lake

Boathouse at Hinckley Lake

From the Cleveland Metroparks website:

The Hinckley Lake boathouse is open from April until mid-October. The boathouse features boat rentals, fishing tackle, bait and snacks.

Snacks? Yum! All summer long, my daughter had been asking about renting a canoe and spending some time on the lake instead of just looking at the lake. I thought that this was a good idea, but we just never got to it. On this day, we checked to see if they were open (having not read the website first), but alas it is past mid-October, isn’t it? I am wistful about our non-boating expedition.

I wonder if they rent those doggy life jackets too? I’ve seen them for sale. If I were to wager on it, I bet that they don’t allow pets to accompany us novice boaters.

When I am not not-boating, I make beads. Check them out at Etsy or my Spawn of Flame website.


Walking the Dog – Chapter 4 – Sign of Unwelcome Plants

I compulsively read everything that I see. I can read fast, I can read upside down, and I can read mirror image. If there is something on your desk, you’d better put it away if I shouldn’t see it, because I’ll read it whether I want to or not. How could I possibly ignore all of the compelling signs along a trail? Especially if it about the ubiquitous Poison Ivy.

Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy

“Leaves of three, let it be”.  How many times have you heard that?   I guess that the “welcomeness” of this plant depends upon your point of view, so perhaps my title is unfair. I’ve read that it is a source of food for birds, so they must welcome it. Many people however, develop contact dermatitis reaction to the oils – you know, a nasty rash. I don’t (yet), but everyone else in my family does.

This plant is rampant around the Hinckley Reservation, including one picnic area with an island of gorgeous ground cover that on closer observation, appears to be Poison Ivy. Maybe it is not and is some similar plant, but I pay careful attention to not let the dog brush against it and transfer the oils to us.

Are you getting itchy just thinking about it?  I am, and like I said, I’ve never had so much as one blister (yet) from it.

When I am not hiking or scratching, I make beads. Check them out at Etsy or my Spawn of Flame website.


Walking the Dog – Chapter 3 – A Welcome Sign

Previously, I was talking the walk – here and here. Continuing, there are numerous bridle trails at Hinckley Reservation so this is a very welcome sign to see when navigating a trail on foot. There are several trails that pedestrians and equestrians share, and the riders and their horses are always good citizens, but still…

A Welcome Sign - No Horses

A Welcome Sign - No Horses

My dog might not be as elated, since there are no, um, horse remnants, to explore… but I like it much better since there are fewer things to step in (bad citizen dog owners notwithstanding).

Gratuitus Autumn View at Hinckley Lake

Gratuitous Autumn View at Hinckley Lake

When I am not hiking, I make beads. Check them out at Etsy or my Spawn of Flame website.