Nature lovers planning a trip to Southeast Ohio should consider packing their binoculars and hiking boots. That's because the region offers a plethora of summer hiking spots that just beg to be explored. Here's a quick rundown on a few of the best ones:
Hocking Hills State Park
Hocking Hills State Park is located in Hocking County. It features more than 12 miles of wonderful hiking trails. Each one has its merits. Paths to consider exploring are the Grandma Gatewood Trail, Cedar Falls, Old Man's Cave, Ash Cave and Cantwell Cliffs. One of my favorite park features is the Rock House Cave's window. It was formed by cracks in the sandstone. Park highlights include waterfalls, interesting rock formations and wildflowers. Flowers that hikers are likely to encounter include trout lily and jack-in-the-pulpit.
Lake Hope State Park
Lake Hope State Park is located in Vinton County. It features more than 20 miles of summer trails. In my opinion, it is an excellent place to enjoy the local flora and fauna. The park is home to wild geraniums, yellow lady's slipper, purple finches and cerulean warblers. Paths that I would recommend include the 3.2 mile long Hope Furnace Trail and the 3 mile long Peninsula Trail. The park's other stand out features include old cemeteries and Lake Hope.
Salt Fork State Park
Salt Fork State Park is located in Guernsey County. It features more than 10 miles of trails. Paths to consider taking include the 1.8 mile long Stone House Loop and the 0.7 mile long Sunshine Brook Nature Trail. While on the trails, hikers are apt to run across trillium, wild geranium, scarlet tanagers and red foxes.
Strouds Run State Park
Strouds Run State Park is located in Athens County. It features more than 10 miles of trails that are suitable for summer hikes. History buffs should consider taking the Trace Trail because it leads to the Pioneer Cemetery. The cemetery contains the remains of the Gillet Family. Other trails worth taking include the Indian Mound Trail and the Athens Trail. Additional park highlights include interesting rock formations, beaver ponds, water views and a swimming area.
Burr Oak State Park
Burr Oak State Park is partially located in Athens County. It features more than 8 miles of warm weather trails that are ideal for casual hikers. I'd suggest that hikers consider taking the Buckeye Trail or the 3.5 mile long Lakeview Trail. The park also features a great swimming beach and picnic area where trekkers can refresh themselves after their hike.
Killeen Gonzalez enjoys summer sports and recreation with her family. She has also traveled extensively.
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