I took off early on Saturday to hike at Clear Creek Metro Park about 15 minutes from my house. It's part of the Metro Park system but it's not a typicalmetro park in the midst of the city. It's about 45 mins SE of Columbus near the Hocking Hills. I did six miles touching on about 3 different interconnected trails. I plan on exploring more of the park soon. I like the orange sign on the left but I couldn't get a good shot because of the light. It read "Icy Conditions, Falling Trees, Trails are Extremely Hazardous." I said, "bring it on."
This is the beginning of the Hemlock Trail. Steep, rugged terrain was not an understatement. In wanders along the creek for about a quarter of a mile and then heads straight up the hill probably rising close to 700 feet in a half of a mile or shorter. I wasn't expecting that but I made it to the top...and rested, read, prayed, moved on....
This was along the Hemlock Trail. Simply amazing that a tree would be able to grow on top and around a rock like this.
I think a chipmunk was living here as the nuts were all over the ground below.
As I was hiking the Cemetery Ridge Trail I noticed the doe off to my right. I kept walking while getting my camera out. She stayed there and watched me as I snapped pictures. It wasn't until I got home that my son Christopher pointed out the other deer in the lower left corner. I never saw it when I was out there and I remember thinking that it was strange to see just one deer out alone.
This barn appears to have grown right in the middle of the forest. It's rather strange to be hiking for miles and not seeing much and then walk upon this building on the very top of the ridge in the woods.
As the sign (below) tells, it was part of the Williams farm back in the mid-1800s. The whole hilltop was at one time farm land with crops. Now it is a pretty dense forest. All that remains of the farm is this barn. It's humbling to me, for some reason, to know that this barn and many of the trees I am walking by were here long before I was and probably will be long after I am gone. Kind of puts life in perspective.
Stairs to the upper level of the barn.
All the timber was hand-hewn and connected with wooden pegs. They don't build stuff like this anymore.
I guess I posted these pictures a bit backward. This is Lena, the leaning rock near the entrance to the park. I can remember driving "under" this as a kid. It still impresses me.
I have a little bit of family connection to the park and the area. This is the house that my grandfather grew up in. My great-uncle Paul lives there now. It sets on 300 or so acres that I believe will be donated to the park system when he and his wife pass. My grandfather and father used to hunt and hike in these woods. I'll be glad to see it preserved rather than developed.