Category Archives: Hiking

My Buckeye Trail Miles

Buckeye Trail Miles

 

I am going to hike the entire Buckeye Trail. Let’s put a date on it-that turns a dream into a goal.

“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal.”-Greg S. Reid

Let’s go with October 2020.

All the Buckeye Trail Maps

I bought ALL the Buckeye Trail section maps. I was dithering around trying to figure out what sections I would next reasonably get to-and then thought, oh just go for it, get them all!

Buckeye Trail Maps

Section Hiker

A section hiker is just what it sounds like. I will hike the trail in little parts. These little miles will end up being big miles over the next few years. 1440  miles is many miles to cover. There are less than twenty thru hikers of the Buckeye Trail-meaning hikers who walked the entire distance in one push.  I will be a section hiker.

Miles Completed

One rainy fall morning, I opened my maps and perused sections that I knew I had covered distance on.

What Counts

For my BT Section hike, I am counting all the BT miles I have covered on foot power. That would exclude car rides and bike rides*. This would include my former running career-hence why I have covered 100 100.5 miles of the Buckeye Trail already!

Mostof my miles completed  from my 2009 Burning River 100 Race that I DNF’d- did not finish the race.  I do remember seeing the blue blazes on many of the road miles in the Willoughby area.

Akron Section Completed

Akron Section-going over the map, I’ve completed it! Back in the day, I ran bunches on the Towpath Trail and in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

More Miles

I have covered about 12 miles in the Burr Oak State Park when I ran the inaugural Bobcat Trail Marathon. I have  4 miles on the Leesville Lake North and South where we have performed trail maintenance, and 7 miles on the Salt Fork section in Belle Valley. I picked up some more miles when we hiked on the last day of winter in the Seneca Lake area.  There was a few miles when we worked over at Piedmont Lake also. I hiked the loop around Lake Glendenning in 2017

Surprising Find

Buckeye Trail on my Road

 

The Buckeye Trail went by my former house. One road to our south, then on my old road, Jones Road,  up Breyenton Road. I don’t remember seeing a blue blaze on these roads.   Isn’t that funny? I have jogged down my road, to the end, so I am counting that 0.5 mile as closer to my completion of the BT.

Buckeye Trail Maps

 

*There has been an interesting proposal about recognition of  completion of the Buckeye Trail.  Randall Roberts, of the Crooked River Chapter, has a proposal where one could complete the Buckeye Trail by muscle power-whether that is on foot, bike, skating, skiing. The correct terminology would probably be “I completed a circuit Trip of the Buckeye Trail” vs a person who hiked, on foot as “I completed a circuit hike of the Buckeye Trail”.

Where am I on this? Undecided. If I add my *biking* miles on the Ohio to Erie Towpath, I gain more miles. I could also bike a bunch of miles this winter on the southeast Ohio road sections of the Buckeye Trail.

How many miles have you logged on the Buckeye Trail?

 

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Step Out of Your Comfort Zone Go Mushroom Hunting

Go Mushroom Hunting

I have wanting to learn more about mushrooms and how to properly identify the edible ones. I found via the Wilderness Center that there was a mushroom hunting class to be held in Northern Ohio.

It has been a dry (about drought like conditions) in Ohio for the month of October. There was one night of rain, so we were hopeful that some mushrooms would pop up.

There were about 14 hopeful mushroom hunters that showed up at West Branch State Park. We went on a two hour slow hike, finding mushrooms and having Don King identify them for us.

The following four pictures are puffballs. I did not realize the same mushroom could look so different!

It was a beautiful afternoon to spend in the woods. In Ohio, most state parks permit mushroom hunting, but it is suggested you check out your own area to hunt.

Don brought along two other varieties that we did not find today. I don’t remember what the white mushroom is:

but this is chicken of the woods. This mushroom had a bright yellow underside. Chicken of the woods has either a yellow or a white underside.

More pictures from our hunt. Note, these are not edible at all, they just came out as cool pictures.

Don also cooked up a tasting of the mushrooms on a portable grill right at the park, but we left since we still had a good drive home.

Overall, my husband and I really enjoyed our mushroom hunt by Don King. He offers more mushroom hunts and even an overnight mushroom hunting weekend.

Interested in mushroom  hunting? Find a reputable hunter in your area. The internet is your friend here.You may have a mushroom society in your state. There could be mushroom hunting groups in your backyard!

Do you eat wild mushrooms? Do you have a mushroom identification book to recommend?

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Buckeye Trail Building in the Wayne

 

 

Trail Building in the WayneOn National Public Lands Day, I traveled down to “The Wayne” as it is known. The Buckeye Trail Association was beginning an ambitious  project of relocating more of the Buckeye Trail from a road section to an off road section-meaning trail!

The  Project

The Buckeye Trail is being relocated thanks to a partnership with the Wayne National Forest, private landowners and the Clean Ohio Green space Fund.

On Saturday, we had volunteers Andrew, Richard, Mark, Frank, Mark, Dan, Kim, and Bob. On Sunday, we had volunteers Andrew, Richard, Mark, Mark, Bob and Kim. We got mucho real estate done with our crew!

Buckeye Trail Work Party

What We were Doing

The section of trail we were working on was fairly simple. The BT comes out of the woods, and then goes down a gravel road. The new trail section crosses the road and continues somewhat parallel to the gravel road, but up in the woods.

Some of the volunteers were experienced trail workers, some of us were fairly new to trail building. I had helped relocate a section of Buckeye Trail last October, but I didn’t really remember too much detail about the tools and what needed to be done. Andrew and Richard were very good at explaining what work needed to be done.

Before and After

There are several steps to trail building. The first step is the mapping out of the trail. That is left to the experts-in this case, Richard Lutz, the GIS Co-ordinator for the Buckeye Trail Association. I believe there is both art and science involved in trail building.

You have to take in consideration of the slope, you don’t want to exceed a certain amount of grade. You want to the trail to be fairly level, the hiker doesn’t want to walk on a cambered area for too long. You want the trail to drain water away, not pool up on the trail. Andrew pointed out that branches need to be pruned back from a trail. A hiker will go out of their way to avoid a branch-and may be stepping off the trail to do so.

Buckeye Trail building

Hopefully you have several volunteers that can fill out all the jobs that need to happen to create the trail.

First you clear big trees, logs, multi-flower rose. Dig out invasive shrubs like the Eastern Olive. The area might need to be brush hogged. People might need to use loppers to cut away vines and brambles. A leaf blower may be used to blow large loose debris and leaves off the area to be worked.

Buckeye Trail Building

Fire Rake

The next volunteers in would using the fire rakes. The fire rake is to rake all the vegetation off the area. We want to get down to dirt! You can also turn the fire rake sideways and hack away roots with the rake.

Benching

Some areas of the trail may need to be benched. A bench cut is the result of cutting a section of tread across the side of a hill. If you look at the side profile of this cut it looks like a bench, hence the name.  I don’t want to write about how to build a bench trail correctly, as I would probably get it wrong, so here is a link with benching explained better.

The Finishers

The finishers are the volunteers who follow the benchers and rakers to  you guessed it “finish” the trail. They rake any big berms of loose soil off the trail so the water won’t pool on the trail.  They might remove roots and rocks. There are many different opinions on what the “finisher” should do.

Buckeye Trail Building

What Do You get for your Effort?

Look at the finished trail!

Trail Build

You are Volunteers!

If you come out for a trail building event, remember you are a volunteer. You can do as much work or as little work as you want. If you need to take a break-take a break. Can’t saw a log in half? That’s okay, you don’t have to, you are a volunteer.

Not into physical labor? Well, then come walk on the new hiking trail! The trail needs foot traffic to be maintained and pack down that dirt. It’s a very pretty section of *new trail* down in the Wayne National Forest!

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Mid Week Hike with Mei Ling

Mid Week Hike

I had the opportunity and luck to meet up with a Buckeye Trail Thru Hiker, Mei-Ling today. She was hiking well, and I caught up with her right before the off-road section at Salt Fork State Park.

Thru Hiker

A thru hiker is a hiker who is planning on finishing an entire trail with one continous hike. This would be opposite of a hiker who might get out on the weekend and hike a section of the Buckeye Trail, and keep working on adding completed sections of trail hiked.

Warrior Expeditions

Mei Ling and Preston are the two Buckeye Trail Warrior Expeditions hikers for 2017. Warrior Expeditions provides veterans with everything they need to complete a long distance outdoor expedition at no cost to the veteran.

Buckeye Trail Sat Fork Section

I’ve hike this section of the Buckeye Trail. I parked at the Group Campground end and hiked in to meet Mei-Ling, who was coming from the other direction.

Oh my! This section needs some serious maintenance. I hiked this section in May. It was overgrown then-but MY it’s overgrown now.

Salt Fork State Park Group Camp

Even though it is an off-road section, it’s no fun in its present form.

Buckeye Trail

The trails needs to be mowed at least yearly to beat back the multi-flower rose.

Buckeye Trail

There is one section where I believe the rose bush is getting so big you can’t mow it down.

Buckeye Trail Sign

I’d like to get back there sooner and later and see if maybe there could be an easier passage in the woods beside the trail..

Hosting

Mei-Ling Jules

It was fun to host Mei-Ling as she continues with her Buckeye Trail south. 2 of my 3 dogs really liked her visiting!

 

Celebrate National Trails Day

Celebrate National Trails Day

National Trails Day

What is National Trails Day?

Held on the first Saturday of June, National Trails Day is a nationwide coordinated event promoted by the American Hiking Society and the trails community to connect more people to trails.  All trails hold adventure and it is up to YOU to unlock the magic that can be found on a trail.

National Trails Day
Find a New Trail

I’ve said it before, two of my favorite words are “New Trail”. This is a good day to explore a new trail. Drive to that trail head you’ve passed a million times and discover what’s beyond that little green tunnel.

Take a New Trail Partner With You

By concentrating on a single National Trails Day, it is hoped to attract new trail users. Do you have a friend who might want to go for a hike?  Call them up and take them with you. It doesn’t have to be an epic climb to Machu  Picchu!  Machu Picchu National Trails DayGo for a little walk around the local metropark!

National Trails Day

Get Outside!

 

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Buckeye Blitz! Belle Valley Miles

Buckeye Blitz

Buckeye Blitz

What’s the Buckeye Blitz?

The BT Blitz is based around the idea of getting our trail users out to enjoy the BT during this event, but we added a twist to the celebration. We challenge our trail users to do maintenance of any kind while they are out. Our goal is to maintain the WHOLE BT during the event! The Buckeye Blitz runs from May 28 through June 3, which is National Trails Day.

Who’s Buckeye Blitzin?

I crack myself up. I created good old Blitzin while hiking the Buckeye Trail at Salt Fork State Park. This is in the Belle Valley Section, Points 5-6.

The Original Blitzin

I left very early in the morning, it is only about twenty minutes to the trail for me. I have run/powerhiked this section, years ago, and I remember it has several good climbs!

I took the loppers. I wanted to see how I remembered this section. There was quite a bit of overgrowth around blazed tree, and I tried to make the the blazes stand out.

Blitz

This section is very wet right now, considering we have had several big thunderstorms in the last several days. Generally, this is a pretty dry section, but I do remember there are a few feet that are just kind of wet and mushy.

Turtle Buckeye Blitz

Turtle Buckeye Blitz

The turn into the woods from Park Road 55 is very well blazed.

road turn buckeye blitz

I walked about seven miles of trail in just under four hours, there is four hours of Buckeye Trail Time for the Blitz!

Buckeye Blitz

Buckeye Blitz

Buckeye Blitz Begins Sunday

Buckeye Trail BlitzBuckeye Trail Blitz Begins Sunday

The Buckeye Trail Blitz is an event that coincides with National Trails Day on June 3 an event that is sponsored by the American Hiking Society and motivates hundreds of thousands of people to get out and enjoy their local trail system.

The Buckeye Blitz Twist:

From the BTA Website: The Buckeye Trail Blitz  is based around the idea of getting our trail users out to enjoy the BT during this event, but we added a twist to the celebration. We challenge our trail users to do maintenance of any kind while they are out. Our goal is to maintain the WHOLE BT during the event. As BT users, this is a great opportunity for us all to chip in and make certain that the trail is clear for our hikers and gives you the opportunity to report any major issues on the trail that may need the attention of our Buckeye Trail Crew members.”

Going for the Full Week

Instead of just focusing on Saturday June 3rd, the Buckeye Blitz is the full week leading up to National Trails Day. Everyone is encouraged to get out on the Buckeye Trail and do a bit of maintenance.  Pick up trash, bring a set of pruners or loppers and cut back vegetation.  Want to join a BTA work party on June 3-4? There are at least two scheduled, check out the work schedule here.

Get Out on the Trail!

Off work Monday? Get out and celebrate on the Buckeye Trail! Do a little maintenance and let the BTA know about it! We want to log and celebrate our volunteer hours.

What am I Doing?

Shucks, we just finished clearing Leesville North and South Section in the Muskingum Lake District on April 27!

We should have waited two days, we could have logged those hours into The Blitz! Oh well, the work schedule worked out, with four of us working, we were able to take care of at least  8 downed trees on two sections in about five hours-thanks Nick, Steve and Dennis!

I think I am going to do a little hike on the Trail on the Salt Fork State Park section, bring my loppers and see if there is any pruning that needs to be done out there. I hope to see some hikers along the way!