Trails

Rockin' Hocking Hills

Julie "rockin' it" in Old Man's Cave at Hocking Hills State Park!

Located in southeastern Ohio, Hocking Hills State Park has received national and international acclaim as a top park to visit. Stunning in every season, the park features towering cliffs, waterfalls, and deep, hemlock-shaded gorges for hikers and nature lovers to enjoy.

We had not been to Hocking Hills State Park In many years, and decided it would make a great getaway location while we are still social distancing. Most of this past year, we have been exploring many northeast Ohio parks and thought that it was time to go to southeastern Ohio.

We remembered the park's unique rock formations from past visits, but we discovered that they were even more incredible than we remembered. We were surprised to learn from informational signage in the park that glaciers never reached this part of Ohio, since we are used to northeast Ohio terrain that has been shaped by the ice age.

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Beyond the Cleveland Metroparks Trail Challenge 2020: Part Three (Additional Thirteen Trails)

Beyond the Cleveland Metroparks Trail Challenge 2020: Part Three (Additional Thirteen Trails)

2020 has been different, with many of the venues we would normally visit closed due to the coronavirus crisis.

We were very pleased when the Cleveland Metroparks announced in May 2020 that they would be offering their fourth annual Trail Challenge, which included 25 trails. In August 2020, we learned that the park updated the list to include 35 trails!

The increase in the number of trails did not change the requirements for receiving the 2020 Challenge prizes . . .

. . . but we enjoy a challenge (and enjoy hiking/biking trails), and decided to do more than the minimum. This blog post shares our journey on all but one of the remaining land-based trails. See Stuart's 2020 Trail Challenge tracker sheet with notes on the 33 trails.

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5 of 5: Exploring the Burton Section of the Buckeye Trail "Little Loop"

Burton Section - Buckeye Trail "Little Loop"

My plan was to slowly complete, by hiking and biking, all the sections of the Buckeye Trail "Little Loop" over several years. With the onset of the March 2020 COVID-19 crisis, my plans radically changed, and I decided to complete the "Little Loop" this year. Below is the blog post about the Burton Section, which is the fifth of five Buckeye Trail "Little Loop" blog posts.

This blog post covers my experiences on the Buckeye Trail Burton Section from Friday, August 21, 2020,  through finishing the "Little Loop" on Thursday, November 10, 2020.

I completed the Buckeye Trail "Little Loop" -- approximately 254.3 Miles -- at its Northern Terminus!!

I finished the Buckeye Trail "Little Loop" where I began, at the Northern Terminus

Buckeye Trail "Little Loop" Completion Patch - "I Completed The Little Loop"

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4 of 5: Exploring the Mogadore Section of the Buckeye Trail "Little Loop"

Mogadore Section and part of Massillon Section - Buckeye Trail "Little Loop"

My plan was to slowly complete, by hiking and biking, all the sections of the Buckeye Trail "Little Loop" over several years. With the onset of the March 2020 COVID-19 crisis, my plans radically changed, and I decided to complete the "Little Loop" this year. Below is the blog post about the northern part of Massillon Section and the Mogadore Section, which is the fourth of five Buckeye Trail "Little Loop" blog posts.

This blog post covers my experiences on the northern part of the Buckeye Trail Massillon Section and the Buckeye Trail Mogadore Section from Friday, June 26 2020, through Friday, August 21, 2020.

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3 of 5: Exploring the Akron Section of the Buckeye Trail "Little Loop"

Akron Section - Buckeye Trail "Little Loop"

My plan was to slowly complete, by hiking and biking, all the sections of the Buckeye Trail "Little Loop" over several years. With the onset of the March 2020 COVID-19 crisis, my plans radically changed, and I decided to complete the "Little Loop" this year. Below is the blog post about the Akron Section, which is the third of five Buckeye Trail "Little Loop" blog posts.

This blog post covers my experiences on the Buckeye Trail Akron Section from Thursday, May 7, 2020, through Friday, June 26, 2020.

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2 of 5: Exploring the Bedford Section of the Buckeye Trail "Little Loop"

Bedford Section - Buckeye Trail "Little Loop"

My plan was to slowly complete, by hiking and biking, all the sections of the Buckeye Trail "Little Loop" over several years. With the onset of the March 2020 COVID-19 crisis, my plans radically changed, and I decided to complete the "Little Loop" this year. Below is the blog post about the Bedford Section, which is the second of five Buckeye Trail "Little Loop" blog posts.

This blog post covers my experiences on the Buckeye Trail Bedford Section from Sunday, November 4, 2018, through Tuesday, April 21, 2020.

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1 of 5: Buckeye Trail "Little Loop" - Exploring Over 250 Miles of Northeast Ohio

Buckeye Trail "Little Loop"

The Buckeye Trail "Little Loop" is the over-250-mile part of the Buckeye Trail in Northeast Ohio that goes through the following counties: Lake, Cuyahoga, Summit, Stark, Portage, and Geauga. On Tuesday, November 10, 2020, at the northern terminus of the Buckeye Trail at Headlands Dunes State Nature Preserve, I completed the loop which I had begun on Sunday, November 4, 2018.

I want to start this blog post by thanking the Buckeye Trail Association, and in particular, the volunteers of their Crooked River Chapter, for making the "Little Loop" section of the trail a reality for me to enjoy!

This Buckeye Trail "Little Loop" blog post actually consists of five separate blog posts. First, this post includes information and resources about the Buckeye Trail that were shared at events I attended about the trail.

The other four posts are about each of the four sections of the "Little Loop." Here are links to the blog posts, along with a list of the counties and some of the parks that are part of each section.

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Cleveland Metroparks Trail Challenge 2020: Part Two (Second Ten)

Stuart & Julie kayaking on the Rocky River on August 18, 2020. Photo by Josh “Gadget” Scott.

When we wrote about completing the first level of the Cleveland Metroparks 2020 Trail Challenge presented by Cigna to earn our 2020 Trail Challenge stickers, we were already working on the next ten trails for the final challenge. We are creating our Trail Challenge blog posts for these three reasons:

With COVID-19 closing venues we normally frequent, and having to cancel the backpacking trips that Stuart had planned on the Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail, we have been exploring many parks in Northeast Ohio and along the route of the Buckeye Trail. We are happy to share with you our experiences on the second level of the trail challenge to earn our 2020 Trail Challenge mug.

2020 Trail Challenge Prizes - Sticker for 10 trails and mug for 20 trails, plus Cigna swag packet.

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Cleveland Metroparks Trail Challenge 2020: Part One (First Ten)

 Cleveland Metroparks Trail Challenge presented by Cigna

Take the challenge!

In 2017, we wrote our blog post: Cleveland Metroparks Inaugural Trail Challenge!

. . . so when we saw the Cleveland Metroparks tweet to "Take the challenge!" in 2020, with 25 trails to choose from, we decided to accept.

With COVID-19 closing venues we normally frequent, and having to cancel the backpacking trips that Stuart had planned on the Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail, we have been exploring many parks in Northeast Ohio and along the route of the Buckeye Trail. We have written about many of our park visits in the Social Distancing Blog Posts that we have been writing during the pandemic.

There were originally 25 trails to choose from for the challenge. During the time we were writing this blog post, we learned that the park updated the list to now include 35 trails!

What follows is information about the first ten challenge trails we have completed.

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Buckeye Trail Little Loop Challenge 2020 - Lake Metroparks Penitentiary Glen

The Little Loop Challenge - Together We Hiked It All!

On Saturday, July 18, 2020, I rode my bike on 6.1 miles of Ohio's Buckeye Trail in Lake County, which is part of Buckeye Trail's "Little Loop." The "Little Loop" is the over-250-mile part of the Buckeye Trail in Northeast Ohio that goes through the following counties: Lake, Cuyahoga, Summit, Stark, Portage, and Geauga.

Normally, I would not write a full blog post on one bike ride, but this ride was noteworthy for the following two reasons:

  • First, the Penitentiary Glen Reservation has some very unique resources that I want to share.

  • Most importantly, July 18th was a special day, and my 6.1-mile piece of the Buckeye Trail was part of a larger effort: The 4th Annual Little Loop Challenge!

A BIG thank-you and congratulations to Buckeye Trail Board Member Randall Roberts for successfully organizing over 50 hikers and bikers in collectively completing the "Little Loop" section of the Buckeye Trail in one day! I really like the event's tagline -- "Together We Hiked It All" --  since it conveys how people come together to reach a larger goal.

Ending my bike ride at Penitentiary Glen Reservation was an excellent decision!

Apollo the eagle was magnificent! Visit the Kevin P. Clinton Wildlife Center.

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