Added by Dan Barr
Lying on the border of Ohio's glacial farmland and the rolling Appalachian Hocking Hills, Clear Creek Metro Park & Nature Preserve is an excellent hike for the adventurous explorer who wants a unique Buckeye State challenge.
Starting at the Creekside Meadows Parking Lot, follow the Creekside Meadows Trail for 0.3 of a mile until it forks into two trails. Follow the left fork towards the road, and as soon as you cross the road, the Cemetery Ridge Trail begins.
Once across Clear Creek Road, the trail gains elevation fast, with the first 1/4 mile gaining almost 400 ft. From there, the trail follows the ridge line, passing by a historic farm site, and follows a well-maintained gravel trail for nearly 2 miles, at which point the trail opens out into a wide meadow for its intersection with the Chestnut Trail.
The Chestnut Trail is where the real beauty of the hike takes shape. Everything up to this point has been relatively easy hiking with relatively minor elevation change once atop the ridge. From here, its a 2.5 mile hike through steep ravines and over hilltops, which are covered with native hemlock trees, survivors of the ancestral Canadian hemlocks deposited here by the glaciers thousands of years ago. The beauty of the forest with its mixture of conifers and deciduous trees is stunning, and combined with the topography, mirrors the nearby Hocking Hills.
The final leg of the hike is a roughly 0.5 mile hike on the Lake Trail, a loop trail that takes you by Lake Ramona, a small lake nestled in the hills of South-central Ohio. To finish the hike, return to your car the way you came.
This is a great tune-up hike for those who want a training hike for long distance backpacking, as the distance and elevation change is significant, which for us Buckeyes, is a often challenge to find here in Ohio!
- Hiking Boots/Shoes
- Sun Protection
- Bug Spray
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