Thursday, October 8, 2015

Go take a hike!

October is the perfect time to take a hike in the woods.  The fall temperatures have been favorable, not too hot and not too cold. Fall colors have not peaked yet, but each day the show keeps getting better and better.

Extra parking at the old Clear Fork Ski Resort.
If you like to hike in the fall, here is an event you won't want to miss. The Grand Opening of the Clear Fork Scenic Trail will be held on Saturday Oct. 17th.  Mark your calendar and head towards Butler, Ohio to take advantage of this special opportunity.

This stream bed glistens as the colored leaves fall.
North Central Ohio Land Conservancy is opening up some very special trails that were not previously accessible by the public. These locations are now being decorated in fall's finest colors. The springs are springing and the trees are standing a little taller as Richland Public Health announces this big event.

Chief trail hiker, Eric Miller.
The trail opening is the culmination of 25 years of careful planning and a few fortuitous mistakes. Since the 1990's, North Central Ohio Land Conservancy has been piecing together this trail from Butler (and the B & O Bike Trail) to Malabar Farm.  Our chief trail hiker (and CEO) Eric Miller is inspecting every step and has personally raked and leveled off a lot of those miles. Major props also go to Larry Smith, Michael Woogerd and Zach Pocock for all of their labors and time spent with trail volunteers.

Rattlesnake Plantain, Goodyera pubescens
Special efforts went into siting those trails. One can easily see a huge colony of orchids,  like the pictured Rattlesnake Plantains. Their stunning striped foliage is quite visible in the fall.  You'll have to come back again in the spring to see our colony of hundreds of Showy Orchis,  Gallearis spectabilis (or Orchis spectibilis.) Right now they are more like "Orchis incognito".  Their foliage and flowers are hidden in the fall as they rest under the soil until next year.

Fall asters are abundant.
 Fall is still a great time to see floristic displays.  Many of our Ohio native prairie plants, like the asters and goldenrods, are still putting on quite a show.  The prairie portion of this Clear Fork Scenic Trail was featured during Flora-Quest 2015. Guy Denny and Larry Smith led a group on a hike through the grasslands of NCOLC.

Look for the signs.
 Come on out and look for our signs. The trails are well marked and often tagged with orange streamers.  We only ask that you stay on the trails and enjoy the views. While the trail was 25 years in the making, it took eons to arrange much of this scenery. Now we want to share it with you. Details are in the poster linked below.  

We'll look forward to seeing you there!

Download this poster

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