Category Archives: Hiking

Building new trail at Camp Tuscazoar

Trail Building at Camp Tuscazoar

Trail Building

The Buckeye Trail crew successfully took more of the Buckeye Trail off road and back on trail-trail that they BUILT.

Picture by Heather Johnson

Trail Building is Hard  Work

Other than some mechanized tools such as the Dr Mower Dr Mower Buckeye Trail and chain saw, trail building is done by hand.

macleod trail tooltrail work

Tools of Trail Building

There are several steps to trail building. The first step is the mapping out of the trail. There there is both art and science involved in trail building. (The first step is actually getting all the permissions to move/build trail from all the involved regulatory entities, but that’s a blog post all by itself.)

There is  consideration of the slope, you don’t want to exceed a certain  grade. You want to the trail to be fairly level, the hiker doesn’t want to walk on a cambered area. There might only be a limited area that the trail can be built.

Big Stuff Out

First you clear big trees, and logs.   Yep, the  volunteers  dug  that tree completely out of the trail.The tree is removedThe area might need to be brush hogged.  Loppers are used 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.

McLeod or Fire Rake

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, or shelf across the side of a slope.

Benching Building Buckeye Trail

description of benching

Diagram from http://traildesign.tripod.com/benching.htm

If you look at the side profile of this cut it looks like a bench, hence the name.  Every rock, stump and woody plant must be thoroughly dug out, and the ground leveled off, with just enough slope that water can drain off.

trail building

What is everyone doing? Digging out every root and rock in our way!!

Chopping tree down

building trail

trail tools

Power Line

Our new section of trail leaves the woods and goes thru the power line. In this section, we were removing the heavy vegetation to get down to the dirt. This was harder than benching! We quickly became aware of a certain plant that grew in clumps that would require several whacks with the Pulaski or mattock to get it out of the ground.

The Buckeye Trail crosses the power line

Removal of sod under powerline

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.

Volunteers hard at work

What Do You get for your Effort?

Some of our awesome volunteers Buckeye Trail Crew

A few of the Sunday volunteers who stopped working long enough for a picture snap! Others were still working!

Besides tired legs and an aching back? The satisfaction of seeing trail that you created, you built! A sense of pride when you hike through the woods, knowing this trail would not have existed without your hard work.

Next time you are out hiking in the woods, pause and admire the trail that volunteers built!

Day Hike on the Buckeye Trail Whipple Section

Hiking the Buckeye Trail

Round Bale Dressed for Halloween

I was lucky enough to have Sunday free to join Jerri and Karen on their hike on the Buckeye Trail in southern Ohio. This was on the “Whipple” Section. The Buckeye Trail is divided into sections, and it always feels good for a hiker to complete an entire map! Buckeye Trail Section Maps
(News flash: Karen and Jerri finished the Whipple Section on this hike!)

completing whipple

Circuit Hiking the Buckeye Trail

Karen and Jerri have less than 50 miles to go to complete circuit hiking the Buckeye Trail. What is circuit hiking? It’s another word for section hiking. Few hikers have the time to complete the entire 1440 mile Buckeye Trail in one effort-in fact, less than 20 hikers have done so.

How to Circuit Hike

One of the best ways is to find a friend who wants to hike with you! That way, you can stage a vehicle at each end. Shuttle one car to the end of your planned section, then drive back to the other. Sometimes there will be planned hikes. . The Buckeye Trail Association usually has some circuit hikes going on, you can check the website or on the Meet Up website.  A group just finished up their circuit hike of Ohio, which took place on one weekend a month which took about five years! Sometimes you can get a shuttle from a “Trail Angel”, someone who may live in the area, and be willing to give you a ride to the trail head, eliminating the double car shuffle

bridge sign

Electronic Maps Available

It’s becoming easier to follow the BT these days! The Buckeye Trail maps are available on paper and electronic versions, two of them!  We hiked with both. I was using the Avenza application,  Jerri and Karen had the Guthook guide.  (I actually didn’t take mine out of the backpack this day.) Between “following the blue blazes” and double checking with the Guthook app, we were easily able to follow the Trail.

Scenes From the Trail

A criticism I hear about the Buckeye Trail is: “There’s so much of it on roads.” Yes, about 50 percent of the current BT is on roads. But here are some views of the road hiking:

Bucolic scene Buckeye Trail

Bridge on road

Donkey on the Buckeye Trail

Bridge on a Blue Bird Sky Day

Have you hiked the roads of the Buckeye Trail? What’s your favorite section?

Massillon Miles with Tag and Tor

 

 

The start of our hike today  was Mogadore Point 26.

There was a little hiking through the end of the Mogadore Sections 26-29, which is through Quail Hollow State Park.

 

This looks like very pretty trail in the summer months.

It was a bit muddy and boggy in sections; there had been much rain the day before.

So ends our off road miles. The rest of the mileage will now be following roads.


Massillon Section begins in Hartville. There was an immediate stop at the open donut shop. Peace, Love, and Little Donuts were the bomb!

Highly recommend the stop! If the donut shop is closed (they are only open to 1pm) there is also a chocolate shop and a pizza/chicken restaurant right on the trail!


We leave Hartville, heading into the countryside. The skies are still cloudy, but there is not much wind. The road does not have much hiking friendly berm to it.

We found it easier in spots to just hop off the road and hike in the fields. The fields could be pretty soggy after the rains.

I always like seeing the animals on the hikes. The cows didn’t really get up to say hello. The pigs seemed to be pretty content in their pen.

The skies did clear up a bit and we got to see blue skies for the rest of our hike.

This was a nice sign to see on the Buckeye Trail.



The Buckeye Trail crosses Interstate 77. We had less than five miles to get to our stopping point.


This was another handsome barn seen on trail today.

We did it! We made it over to Nemisila Reservoir. Just one last turn, and we’ll be back at the vehicle. The hike clocked in a bit long at 17 miles.

We stopped at Point 7 on the Massillon Section.

It was very nice hiking with Jerri and Karen. When hiking this section, I would recommend doing it off summer if possible. It was pleasant hiking in the open spaces today in November. I think this could be pretty hot and miserable with full sun on the asphalt road.

Hiking on Black Friday

I have never been a Black Friday shopping person. For the remainder of my Christmas shopping, it will be done on a week day early morning when people are not shopping yet.

 


I joined some friends up in the northern Ohio area for a “Burn your Buns” run. My friend and I walked. It was lovely outside, just a bit cold.

 

I stopped at a local bike shop to get some new front brake cables-not on sale, simply because I need to replace the brakes. The bike shop is located in a big mall area, and holy COW! I’ve never really been “out” on a Black Friday, I’m usually working.


Mall parking lots FULL. Strip mall parking lots FULL. Box store lots FULL. I guess I’m not reporting any original news here, just how astounded I was, that so many people went out to buy STUFF in search of an alleged sale.

I did buy stuff too! Stuff to make my bicycle safe, so I can go places and buy memories!

National Take a Hike Day

National Take a Hike Day was Saturday, November 18. Did you get out for a hike?

I ticked over some Buckeye Trail miles with Cheryl, We hiked the Bowerston section 8 through 13. This covers my Leesville Lake South section of trail I have adopted, so I can also count this as a trail maintenance hike.  My section of trail is looking really good!

buckeye trail

As many parts of the Buckeye Trail, we hiked on trail and off trail.

This was the site of the New Hagerston Academy.

The lower old barn picture is from October, when I first attempt to walk from Points 9 to 13. It’s a good story to tell you on the trail sometime!

Off Trail means road miles. Our last section of road, there were no cars on it. Is it terrible to walk on a road like this? 

The Buckeye Trail goes through this tunnel, under the railroad tracks.

Then around the back of the Nolan’s building.

Every day should be “Take a Hike Day”!

Did you get out for a hike on National Take a Hike Day?

Walking the Camino de Santiago

This walk is coming up in the top of my interest again lately. The Camino de Santiago, or “The Way of Saint James” is a network of pilgrim’s ways, or pilgrimages, which lead to the shrine of Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. There are many routes that pilgrims walk. I am interested in one of the most popular, the Frances, where one starts in France, and ends in Spain.

The Frances

https://thecaminoprovides.com/routes/frances2017/

Image from https://thecaminoprovides.com/routes/frances2017/

Albergues

Albergues are hostels located in about every little town. Multi bunk rooms, you have a place to shower, sleep, perhaps cook a meal. This way you don’t have to carry a tent and camp gear, maybe not even a sleeping bag in the summer months. There are also private rooms available in most towns if you want to spend money for privacy.

Credential

https://www.caminosantiagodecompostela.com/pilgrims-credential-el-camino-de-santiago/

Image from https://www.caminosantiagodecompostela.com/pilgrims-credential-el-camino-de-santiago/

Camino credential-passport. You need one of these for your walk. It establishes you as a pilgrim, where you are allowed to sleep in an albergue and qualify you for a (cheaper) pilgrim’s meal. You have to have your credential stamped at least daily to show that you have walked (or cycled) the route.

Popularity

I became aware of the Camino de Santiago a few years ago during a random internet search that brought up the movie “The Way” with Martin Sheen from 2010.

In researching it, I was intrigued by having albergues and bars so close together, you don’t really have to carry food, water, gear on your walk.

At the Adventure Summit in Dayton earlier this year, a couple gave a lecture on their pilgrimage-to a packed house! It’s evident that people are interested in “The Way”.

Coleman presentation at Adventure Summit

Have you walked el Camino de Santiago? Would you go on a pilgrimage?

 

 

 

Ohiopyle is Just Fine in the Off Season!

Back from a week end in Ohiopyle Pennsylvania!

 

What kind of name is “Ohiopyle”?

Ohiopyle is derived from “ohiopehhla” meaning white frothy water.  This certainly is an apt name in this area!

Things to Do When not White Water Rafting

Laurel Highland Hiking Trail

OP has great white water rafting opportunities. But even in the off season, there are plenty of activities to pursue.

Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail

Laurel Highlands PA

The LHHT is 71 miles long. There are shelters along the way for over night stays. It is a simply beautiful trail. It is marked with yellow blazes-you can’t get lost-and concrete markers to tell you where you are (or how far you have to go!)

Beam Rocks Laurel Highland Trail

Waterfalls

You can hike to waterfalls around OP. Cucumber Falls is the easiest, because you can drive to it, it’s just down the steps.

Cucumber Falls Ohiopyle

Biking

OP is a convenient town if you are on the Great Allegheny Passage. The bike trail is far less busy in the off season!