Month: May 2011

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100 Days of Summer: May31st- Cool Off at Nelson-Kennedy Ledges

Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State park on Rte. 422 in Portage County is a hidden gem. Short hiking trails and a nice family picnic area in a geologically unique area make this a great spot for families with small children.

The area is glacially eroded sandstone. Although Ohio does not have limestone caverns like Kentucky, these caves and ravines are the next best thing.Try to find the Devil’s Icebox: a large cavern with a creek running through it. The water keeps the cave cool and misty even on the hottest summer days.

Nearby is Nelson Ledges Quarry Park, a swimming area and Music Venue and worth a look for adults.

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Applications Accepted for Controlled Special Deer Hunts

COLUMBUS, OH – Hunters wanting to participate in Ohio’s fall controlled deer and waterfowl hunts have until July 31 to submit permit applications for a random drawing according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. These special hunts are held on selected public areas to provide additional hunting opportunities.

New this year, all applicants, adults and youths, must possess a current hunting license in order to apply for a controlled hunt.

Hunters can save time and money by submitting their applications online at wildohio.com. The online application fee is $3 per hunt; online applicants can use VISA, MasterCard or Discover. Application fees are non-refundable.

Hunters will be selected at random from submitted applications and notified by U.S. mail in September. Only those selected will be notified. Applicants are encouraged to view the status of their application by visiting the Wild Ohio Customer Care Center at wildohio.com. Hunters visit this site to see if they were selected for a hunt; if chosen, they can then print their own permit.

Special deer hunts are also slated for the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge (Lucas County), NASA/Plumbrook Station (Erie County), Ravenna Training & Logistics Site (Portage County), as well as Mosquito Creek (Trumbull County), Killdeer Plains (Wyandot County) and Old Woman Creek (Erie County) state wildlife areas.

Waterfowl hunts will be conducted at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge (Lucas County), Mosquito Creek (Trumbull County) and Mercer (Mercer County) state wildlife areas.  There will be no controlled hunt at Magee Marsh this year due to wetland construction.

More specific information about hunt dates and locations, including opportunities dedicated to youth, women and mobility-impaired hunters, can be found at wildohio.com.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at ohiodnr.com

 

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100 Days of Summer: June 18th- Tour Cranberry Bog

COLUMBUS, OH – Nature enthusiasts throughout Ohio are encouraged to enter a lottery to tour Ohio’s only floating island – Cranberry Bog State Nature Preserve in Buckeye Lake – during the bog’s annual open house from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 18.

Attendance at this popular open house is limited, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Natural Areas and Preserves.

Anyone interested in touring the bog on June 18 should send a postcard to the ODNR Division of Natural Areas & Preserves, 2045 Morse Road, Building C-3, Columbus, Ohio 43229. Postcards must be postmarked by May 31 and contain the following information: contact name, address with zip code, daytime phone number and total number of people in the party (not to exceed four). Only one postcard will be accepted per family.

The lottery drawing will be held in early June, and winners will be notified by mail. Walk-in visitors are welcome to attend, however, they will not be guaranteed a time slot. Boat transportation to and from the island will be provided by the Greater Buckeye Lake Historical Society for a donation of $5 per person.

Cranberry Bog is one of Ohio’s most unique natural areas. The 11-acre island, located approximately 100 yards off the north shore of Buckeye Lake in Fairfield County, was registered as a National Natural Landmark in 1968. Its unique composition gives the island a spongy surface, therefore visitors are required to remain on the boardwalk.

The island dates from 1830 when Buckeye Lake was created as a feeder reservoir for the Ohio & Erie Canal. A 50-acre portion of the lake’s bed, once a thriving sphagnum bog, rose with the waters. Cranberry Bog is what remains of that portion after nearly two centuries.

Aside from the annual open house, visitation to Cranberry Bog State Nature Preserve is by written permit only.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at www.ohiodnr.com


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100 Days of Summer: May 29th- Bike West Branch

MyWeek_August_6_2008
Image by be OH be via Flickr

West Branch State Park in Ravenna is a local treasure. A two Thousand acre lake and 5,000 acres of park means there’s lots of opportunities for things to do. It’s proximity to Akron and Cleveland means its a popular destination with a lot of amenities.

Fishing or skiing the lake, hiking the 14 miles of trails, staying at the award winning campground, swimming at the beach: If you can do it in Ohio, You can do it here.

But for a unique experience, you need to get your bike out on the 12 miles of trails that the Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association Maintains. These trails range from meadows to rugged woods for every experience level. There are multiple loops to choose, all easily marked.

Head out to West Branch State Park sometime this summer to check out all that’s offered, and especially check out the bike trails for some challenges you just aren’t going to find elsewhere.

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100 Days of Summer: 100 Recreational Areas Within 100 Miles

Within 25 Miles

Within 50 Miles

Within 75 miles

Within 100 Miles

How To Use this List:

  • I’ve kept State Parks and related State Forests as two lines. This might be cheating, but they usually offer different experiences.
  • Each Link goes directly to the appropriate site, not to a directory, wherever possible.
  • Scroll down to your favorite area. Look right above it. Have you been here? How about the area right below it?

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100 Days of Summer: Bouldering and Climbing in NE Ohio

Local gyms

Cleveland Rock Gym– Euclid, Ohio Classes from Beginner on up. Huge wall
YSU– Flad Mountain in Andrews Recreation Center.
Kendall Cliffs Climbing Gym-Akron
The Climbing Wall-Pittsburgh

Outdoor Climbing Areas

Hocking State Forest-Central Ohio CLimbing Area.
ACE Climbing School– New River Gorge WV
McConnell’s Mill– Two Areas to climb-Rim Road and Breakneck Bridge. These are very technical areas for climbing and rappelling. Please use caution and all proper safety precautions.
Whipps Ledges– Cleveland Metroparks climbing area. Permit only.
Logtown Quarries– Lisbon. On City Property with some private.

Resources

Essential Gear: Water and Hydration

Rockclimbing.com-Lots of route listings, forums and gear reviews. The place to go after learning the ropes.

Climbing Source– Routes. Newer site with not a lot of resources right now

Webclimbing-‘Nother site undergoing improvement

CMU Climbing Page– Lists directions for many sites close to Pittsburgh

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Gun Digest 2011 : Buy on Amazon Kindle and Take it Anywhere

The Gun Digest 2011
is now available for the Kindle.  Here’s an Excerpt on Teddy Roosevelt’s African Safari hunting rifles:


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100 Days of Summer: Mountain and Trail Biking in NE Ohio

mountain bike in downhill race in forest ski trail

Image via Wikipedia

Trail Biking

Akron Metroparks Bike and Hike Trail- 33 Miles

Brady’s Run Trails– Newly Improved Technical trails. 15 Miles

Mill Creek Bikeway– D’oh. I Left this off for almost a year

Stavich Bicycle Trail– Great Unknown Trail from Newcastle to Struthers along the river.

Ohio Bikeways.net– Ohio Rail to trails site.

Three River Heritage trail– 37 Mile bike and jogging trail around downtown Pittsburgh

Great Allegheny Passage– Connect Pittsburgh Airport (Parking) and region to Washington DC through a system of Rail to trail routes. Very Nice

Little Beaver Greenway Trail– 11 Miles in Lisbon, Canopied 10 foot wide paved trail

Moraine– 7 Mile Trail Bike Trail

Panhandle Trail-29 Mile Rail to Trail from Carnegie to Weirton.

Western Reserve Greenway– 47 Miles of trail, mostly in Ashtabula county

Yough River Trail-– 71 Miles of rail to trails

Mountain Biking

Beaver Creek-15 miles of mixed use trails for advanced users.

Mosquito Lake– 5 miles Mixed use trails.

West Branch– 6 Bike Loops with over 8 miles of trail maintained by CAMBA

Quail Hollow-4 Mile Mountain Bike Trail

Ohio Pyle-13 Miles Of Mountain Bike Trails

Mohican– New 24 Mile Single loop Moraine– 6 Mile Mountain Biking Trail

Raccoon CreekMany Multi-use trails.

Groups

Outspokin WheelmenYoungstown‘s Recreation Biking Group

Western PA Wheelmen– And The West Pa Bike Group

CAMBA-Cleveland Area MB Association

Ohio City CyclesCleveland area Advocacy and education group

OMBC– Ohio Mountain bike Championship Series

Websites

Blue Collar Mountain Biking

Bike Geek

Dirt Church

Rail to trail Trail List

Gear

Essential Gear: Water and Hydration

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100 Days of Summer: Hiking and Geocaching

Favorite Local Hikes: ( Short to Long)

McConnells Mill State Park: Devil’s Hollow is a fantastic trail for a small day Hike. And the Alpha Pass Trail is part of the North Country Trail ( Map )

Nelson Kennedy Ledges
– Picnic area North West of warren off 422. Rocks split and exposed by glaciers, pretty cool (Pun intended). NO CLIMBING.(Map)

Moraine State Park– Multiuse park has beaches, hiking and biking and horse trails, boating and even a windsurfing area. ( Map )

Raccoon Creek-44 Miles of Hiking trails. Many Multi use trails.

Cuyahoga Valley-Outside Akron: If you Ski, You’re familiar with it. Lots of trails, I like the Ledges. Ride the Railroad.(map)
Little Beaver Greenway Trail– 11 Miles of paved roadway along the Scenic River in Lisbon

Minister Creek Overlook– Minister Creek has a stocked creek, 7 mile overlok loop ( That also intersects the North Country Trail) and a small Camp Area at the trailhead ( Although I like camping farther back.)

Buckeye Trail– 1,400 miles around the state

North Country Trail– Developing trail to link New York to North Dakota. Locally, the trail crossesthe Alleghenies, Through McConnells Mill, to

Beaver Creek and on though Minerva. Think of the Appalachian Trail, only going east and west.

Other Hikes

Great Allegheny Pasage– Connect Pittsburgh Airport and region to Washington DC with a system of Rail to Trails.

Akron Metroparks Bike and Hike Trail-33 Miles of paved trail

Montour Trail-Active trail group developing 46 mile trail

Rachel Carson Trail-35 Mile Day Hike Trail

Three Rivers Trail-37 Miles of Trails in Downtown Pittsiburgh

Oil Creek

Geocaching

Steel Valley Outdoors Geocaching Primer

www.Geocaching.com
– Geocaching is a scavenger hunt using a GPS device that is popular all over the country. Find the treasure chest, sign in, take the small gift and leave another to keep it rolling. There are several hidden caches in the Mahoning Valley.

www.Geocacheohio.com
– Buy Ohio shaped Geocache coins to use in caches., Special cache contests and a members map to find others.

Northeast Ohio Orienteering Club– Get Skilled with Map and Compass.

Resources:

Essential Gear: Sleeping Bags

Essential Gear: Water and Hydration

Ultralight Backpacking Primer

Hiking tips

Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Rail to Trail Trail List-  Biking and Hiking Trails across the country

Best Hike– Where in the wold is the best hike?

NEOnaturalist Listing of over 40 hiking trails, primarily in the Cleveland and Akron area. Big Concentration on Cuyahoga Valley

Outdoorzy– Outdoor blog with emphasis on Hiking and climbing

Peak to Peak– Small Directory of trail and hiking resources

Section Hiker– Long distance trail resource. From the AT to the Pcific Crest trail and everything in between

Slackpacker– Dayhiker resource with lots of trips and background information.

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100 Days of Summer: June 4th- Junior Fishing Derby in NE Ohio

There are two Fishing Derbys on June 4th in Northeast Ohio:

  • Youth Fishing DerbyLake Milton – June 4, 10:30 AM – 2 PM at the Meshel picnic area. For kids 15 & under. (330) 654-4989.
  • Youth Fishing DerbyQuail Hollow – June 4, 9 AM – Noon at the Shady Lane pond. For kids  14 & under. (330) 877-6652.

For More Information, Check out the Calendar on the  Explore the Outdoors Home page.

For more Ideas on Fishing with the Kids, Check out ODNR’s Fishing with the Kids Page.

 

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