I hiked at Lake Hope State Park a few times in the last week, so I thought I’d combine my photos from those two hikes.
But first some deer.
Folks may have noticed that I haven’t really done any barefoot hikes since I got back from Out West. I did one organized hike at Clear Creek on the solstice (but didn’t blog it), and just the other day I did an urban walk around Newark, A Walk with the Currents. But that’s been it.
What’s going on?
The weather continues to be spring-like here in Central Ohio, so I’d be a fool not to take advantage of it. Yesterday I did around a 5-mile hike in 50° temperatures. It took me 3 hours, but I was doing a lot of bushwhacking (and stopping for photos).
Yesterday’s destination: Moonville Tunnel in Zaleski State Forest.
Yesterday I was back at Zaleski State Forest and did a 6-mile barefoot hike, with about a mile of bushwhacking. This time I was crossing back and forth over Hewitt Run, which is a tributary to Raccoon Creek. This also meant that I was on the seam between the area of the Zaleski Backpacking Trail and the northern edge of the Bridle Trails, so I spent time on both (and bushwhacked between the two). It was also a 90° day.
On Thursday I took another hike at Zaleski State Forest. This time I was in the southern part of the Forest, along the Bridle Trails that run near Raccoon Creek.
I’ve mentioned before that horses really tear up a trail, and what with the recent and frequent rains we’ve been having here in southeastern Ohio, the trails were pretty wet (and even moreso near the creek).
That meant a lot of mud.
On Monday I took an 8-mile hike down at Zaleski State Forest/Lake Hope State Park. I wanted to take a look at some of the recess caves I knew were in the area, and that required quite a bit of bushwhacking. I ended up doing about 2 miles of bushwhacking. The caves were on either side of Lake Ridge Road, and this shows some of my bushwhacking route:
I started on the east side and then headed (mostly) west up and over the top of the ridge. The caves are at points 1 and 2.
Yesterday I took an 8.5 mile hike down at Lake Hope State Park. As it is with many of Ohio parks, the state parks are surrounded by State Forests. In this case, the state forest is Zaleski, which is well-known for its backpacking trail. The nice thing about Lake Hope is the recent (last 5-8 years) addition of a bunch of bike trails just north of the lake. These were put in by the Athens Bicycle Club, who did a really great job with switchbacks and the like to prevent erosion. You can see the mapping of the area that I’ve done here.
Spring was busting out all over. (more…)