Friday, September 24, 2010

Cantwell Cliffs Park Revisited


This Spring we hiked in Cantwell Cliffs
park near our home and it was a total
mess. Trees across paths and paths that
were washed out. Steps down into the gorge
had trees, limbs and were washed also
and the trails were in general not even safe.
I was thoroughly aggravated  as to the decrease
in state funding by the Governor to the Ohio
Department of Natural Resources which  was
leaving our parks under manned and eroding.
Ohio’s State Parks and especially  the Hocking
Hills State Parks is what generates a sizable
portion of Ohio’s tourist dollars.
And tourism in my county around the parks
is what generates employment and dollars
for this very under employed ridden county.
A letter was sent to the Governor which was
passed on to the ODNR and a cleanup was
made at Cantwell Cliffs.
I hope the letter did not cause a dress down
to the ODNR but my aim was to keep them
from getting more funding cuts which are in
the works even now.
Anyway, the park was cleaned up and
I and the tourists who hike the area parks
are grateful and safer for it.
It also may be due to an election year
for the Governor, whatever it takes. LOL!
My thanks goes to the park Rangers,
Naturalist, employees and volunteers
who are the ones who did the work.
So a revisit to the park was in order.


A real hornets nest  may have led to a
cleaned up park which enabled us to see
this nest that was attached to a small
Hemlock in the gorge.
The bees were very busy going in and out
of the paper nest.


The paths are now cleaned up and
cleared of fallen trees along with the many
steps leading up and down into the
gorge below.


We could walk about and finally get down
into the gorge to look around at the cliffs
for which it was named for.


New paint had been sprayed on trees
marking the different trails.

We got to the bottom of the cliffs and this
is looking up from one of the cliff walls
to the trail and bridge above where the rim
trail runs.

This is another portion of the trail leading down
which was now cleaned and now passable.


Finally got to walk along the creek that runs
along the gorge trails.

Through the trees cliffs and caves are
all along the gorge below.



Many summer native plants such as this
False Foxtail and Jewel Weed were in bloom.


This Hepatica Sharp lobbed plant was a new
one that we had not ran across before in our hikes
of the parks.

And berries from Solomon Seal and other shrubs
were in abundance for the birds and animals.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Clear Creek Metro Park Hiking



A hike was on the agenda this weekend in Clear Creek Metro
Park. The park is very large with its 23,500 acres of land.
This weekend’s hike was along the Cemetery Ridge trail
which is 2.5 miles long. Most of which was a disappointing walk along an old gas well road.
We then headed across the upper meadow to the Hemlock
trail which was 1.5 miles of very rough paths through a thick forest and ravines. We had walked it in the spring and it
was prettier then because of water flowing along the
creek.This was a great trail for a good workout.
After coming down from the Hemlock trail we then
crossed the highway and hiked along the Meadow Trail
which is another 2 mile walk. This is a more
leisure walk and is filled with wildflowers on every side
which I enjoyed. Fisherman were trying to catch a few
fish from Clear Creek.


A View from Cemetery Ridge in Clear Creek Metro Park.
The weather was perfect for a hike with the camera.
We were looking for the cemetery of which it was named
but none was spotted. An old barn is on the ridge from
the previous owners  of the William’s family.


An upper meadow had fields of Sumac with their berries
ripening in the sun.


Thistles were in bloom in the meadow and the butterflies
and bees were enjoying it all.



ThingsToCome Just a hint of what is to come was also present on this
one maple sapling.

The path down along the Meadow trail along Clear
Creek. Summer wildflowers were in bloom in mass
all along the trail.

Tick Trefoil


Green Headed Coneflowers that the bees were mad about.



Sweet Goldenrods in bloom everywhere.

Downey False Foxgloves

Jewel weed on Clear Creek banks.


The  Phlox were still blooming throughout the summer.


Red berries were around for the birds.



Along both sides of this section in the Meadow
trail were Scouring Rush Horse Tails.
Dry leaves crunched as we walked along the trail.



Masses of Black-eyed Susan’s


This little Bumble bee was enjoying the Green Headed Coneflowers with Horse Tail Rushes beyond.

Monarch’s love Thistle blooms.


Along the road into the park there is this massive
rock leaning across the road. Makes you want to
duck down as you drive under it.