Tag: Recreation

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New Fishing Regulations for AEP Ponds in Ohio

English: Largemouth Bass Fishing

English: Largemouth Bass Fishing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

COLUMBUS, OH – New fishing regulations are now in place at American Electric Power (AEP) ponds and reservoirs, including AEP ReCreation Lands, Conesville Coal Lands and Avondale Wildlife Area for the 2013-2014 license year, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

Daily bag limits are enforced at all AEP ponds and reservoirs. The regulations apply to black bass and sunfishes in more than 350 ponds and lakes among more than 80,000 acres of AEP lands available for public fishing, hunting, hiking and camping in Ohio. New regulations are intended to help sustain the high-quality largemouth bass and bluegill fishing known in these waters.

The new black bass regulation is a 14-20-inch slot length limit developed by the ODNR Division of Wildlife that increases anglers’ chances of catching trophy bass. Anglers may keep two fish under 14 inches and one fish 20 inches or larger, for three fish per day (largemouth, smallmouth, or spotted bass, singly or in combination). However, anglers will not be allowed to keep any fish in the protected slot. This regulation applies to all AEP waters, and an angler’s daily limit will apply to all AEP lands collectively, and not just a particular pond or lake.

The new sunfish regulation is a 20-fish daily limit to ensure opportunities for a greater number of anglers to catch quality fish. This regulation will also apply to all AEP waters so an angler’s daily limit will apply to all AEP lands collectively, not just a particular pond or lake.

A permit is required to use AEP ponds and reservoirs. The permit is free and can be obtained from the AEP office in McConnelsville, AEP corporate offices, ODNR Division of Wildlife district offices, or any sporting goods and bait stores near the ReCreation areas.

New regulations were developed by the ODNR Division of Wildlife through review of data from fish surveys, creel surveys, consideration of management options, and extensive public input. More information can be found at wildohio.com in the 2013-2014 fishing regulations. Additional information about AEP lands is also available. An Ohio fishing license is required at all AEP ponds and reservoirs.

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


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Ohio Spring Turkey Season Opens April 23rd

COLUMBUS, OH – This year’s spring wild turkey season opens in all 88 Ohio counties on Monday, April 23 and continues through Sunday, May 20,

Despite its distinct appearance, the Wild Turk...

Despite its distinct appearance, the Wild Turkey is actually a very close relative of pheasants (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

“Ohio has again experienced a record low wild turkey hatch, with last year’s nesting season negatively impacted by rainfall and flooding,” said ODNR Wildlife Biologist Mike Reynolds. “The early onset of spring-like weather and green vegetation could make it harder for hunters to see and hear turkeys, creating challenging hunting conditions this season.”

Wild turkey breeding activity is largely controlled by the increasing amount of daylight.  Typically in southeast Ohio, hens start incubating nests on May 1.

Hunters harvested 18,162 wild turkeys during last year’s youth and spring turkey seasons. Ohio’s current wild turkey population is more than 180,000. ODNR anticipates as many as 70,000 licensed hunters, not counting private landowners hunting on their own property, will enjoy Ohio’s popular spring wild turkey season.

A special youth-only turkey hunt for those possessing a valid youth hunting license and youth turkey permit will be held April 21-22. Young hunters must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult, 18 years of age or older. The young hunter’s turkey season is open statewide with the exception of Lake La Su An State Wildlife Area in Williams County, which requires a special hunting permit. Legal hunting hours are a half-hour before sunrise to sunset each day during the two-day youth season.

All hunters must report their harvest of turkeys, but they are no longer required to take their turkey to a check station for physical inspection. Hunters will have three options to complete the automated game check:

Game-check transactions will be available online and by telephone seven days a week and during holidays. Landowner hunters who are not required to purchase a fall turkey permit must use the website or a license agent to check their turkey, but cannot use the phone-in method.

Legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until noon from April 23 to May 6.  Hunting hours from May 7-20 will be a half-hour before sunrise to sunset.  An incorrect start date for the all day turkey hunting hours was printed in the 2011-12 Hunting Regulations booklet. The first day for all day hunting is May 7.

Hunters are required to have a hunting license and a spring turkey-hunting permit. They can also take one bearded turkey per day. A second spring turkey permit can be purchased allowing hunters to take a limit of two bearded wild turkeys. Turkeys must be checked by 11:30 p.m. the day of harvest.

Hunters may use shotguns, longbows and crossbows to hunt wild turkeys; however, it is unlawful to hunt turkeys using bait, live decoys or electronic calling devices or to shoot a wild turkey while it is in a tree.

The Division of Wildlife advises turkey hunters to wear hunter orange clothing when entering, leaving or moving through hunting areas in order to remain visible to others.

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

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Oct. 1 Fall Colors and Weather Starts With a Bang: Ohio Fall Festivals

Ginkgo leaves shown in their fall color, yellow.

Image via Wikipedia

COLUMBUS, OH – The first week of autumn is ushering in an array of colors as Ohio begins its fall color transformation, according to Casey Burdick, Fall Color Forester for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

“Many maple and ash trees are welcoming us into this year’s fall color season,” said Burdick. “The white ash are showing dark purples while the green ash are glowing with vibrant yellows and golden oranges. Various maples, especially along the edges of woods and in urban areas, are showing some early color; dogwoods are also showing some awesome dark reds.”

Trees in urban or wet areas, which are more prone to stress are starting to show a little color as well. The stress can be caused by extra heat, soil compaction, irregular watering, or even pollution.

Ohioans and out of state visitors who are waiting for peak fall color are encouraged to head outside and enjoy the crisp fall days leading up to it. Ohio state parks and nature preserves are offering a variety of activities that all can enjoy. The burst of color at the onset of the season provides a perfect backdrop for hikers, bikers or horseback riders who make their way across the hundreds of miles of publicly accessible trails. The brilliance of fall color will add to the excitement disc golf and golf, which can be played on beautiful, award-winning courses at several state parks. Anglers and boaters can also get priceless perspectives of amazing fall foliage as it reflects in the rippling water along miles of shoreline and waterways.

This coming weekend, check out the following events at one of your Ohio State Parks…

Fall Festival, Delaware (C) – Sept. 30 – Oct. 1 at the campground. Welcome fall with fall crafts, games, wagon & boat rides, movies, decorated campsite & costume contests. All reservable campsites are booked for this event; however, a limited number of non-reservable campsites are available on a first-come first served basis. Check campsite availability at www.ohiostateparks.org. For more information about the event, call (740) 548-4631.

Halloween Campout #1, East Harbor (NW) – Sept. 30 – Oct. 1. Get ready for Halloween with scarecrow & decorated campsite contests, kids’ crafts and games, hayrides, a haunted house, bonfire & cookout. All reservable campsites are booked for this event; however, a limited number of non-reservable campsites are available on a first-come first served basis. Check campsite availability at www.ohiostateparks.org. For more information about the event, call (419) 734-4424 ext. 2.

Fall Campout, Findley (NE) – Sept. 30 – Oct. 1. Enjoy seasonal crafts, trick or treating, hayrides and haunted trail.  All reservable campsites are booked for this event; however, a limited number of non-reservable campsites are available on a first-come first served basis. Check campsite availability atwww.ohiostateparks.org. For more information about the event, call (440) 647-5749.

Halloween Bash, Mosquito Lake (NE) – Sept. 30 – Oct. 1. This family friendly weekend of Halloween fun for campers includes trick or treating, movies, games, a decorated bike & stroller parade, campsite & costume decorating contests, and a potluck dinner. Check campsite availability and reserve your site at www.ohiostateparks.org. For more information about the event, call (330) 637-2856.

Pioneer Days, Beaver Creek (NE) – Oct. 1-2 at the pioneer village & Gaston’s Mill. Enjoy the backdrop of fall color for this heritage event featuring craft displays and demonstrations of pioneer life, including the working grist mill. (330) 382-9227. The nearby Beaver Creek Wildlife Education Center is open from 10 AM-5 PM, with fun duck races held at 3 PM on Sunday. For more information about the event, call (330) 385-3091or visit www.beavercreekwildlife.org.

Apple Butter Festival, Hueston Woods (SW) – Oct. 1-2 at the pioneer farm. Savor the sights, smells and tastes of fall with demonstrations of traditional apple butter making and pioneer crafts. Apples and apple products, pumpkins and decorative gourds are for sale. There is a $2 admission fee for adults; children under 12 are free. Proceeds benefit the Oxford Museum Association. For more information about this event call (513) 524-4250.

The ODNR fall color Web page is the premier guide to Ohio’s fall color season, posting weekly color updates and information to help plan leaf-peeping adventures. Weekly videos from Fall Color Forester Casey Burdick will highlight color hot spots around the state and provide informative tidbits about some of Ohio’s 100-plus tree species. This page also offers helpful links for leaf collecting tips,scenic road trips, and more. Looking for some great fall getaway ideas?  The Ohio Division of Travel and Tourism has numerous itinerary ideas at www.discoverohio.com under their Autumn Adventures feature. And don’t forget to fall ODNR on Facebook and Twitter all season long.

Ohio’s 75 state parks, 21 state forests and 134 state nature preserves provide excellent locations to view fall foliage. Here are the most current reports from selected locations:

Location Region Color Condition
Alum Creek/Delaware/Mt. Gilead Central Changing
Beaver Creek/Guilford Lake East Changing
Blue Rock/Dillon East Changing
Buck Creek West Changing
Burr Oak Southeast Changing
Caesar Creek Southwest Changing
Deer Creek Central Changing
Harrison Lake Northwest Changing
Hocking Hills Southeast Changing
Hueston Woods Southwest Changing
Indian Lake West Changing
John Bryan West Changing
Lake Hope Southeast Changing
Malabar Farm Northeast Changing
Mary Jane Thurston/Van Buren Northwest Changing
Mohican Northeast Changing
Paint Creek/Pike Lake Southwest Changing
Punderson Northeast Changing
Salt Fork Southeast Changing
Shawnee Southwest Changing
Sycamore West Changing
Tar Hollow Southeast Changing
Wing Foot Northeast Changing
Zaleski Southeast Changing

COLOR CONDITION KEY: Changing – Still mostly green, less than 25 percent color. Near Peak – Significant color showing – anywhere from 30 to 60 percent color. Peak – Peak colors – as much as 85 percent showing. Fading – Fading from peak conditions and leaves falling to forest floor.


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100 Days of Summer: June 2- Geocaching in Boardman Park

What is geocaching? It’s best described by this video:

And Thanks to a couple highly prolific Geocachers, TurnPikeTravelers, KKAB22 and CharlesIsland, the Boardman Area is home to dozens of Geocaches.

Grab yourTomTom, Garmin, or GPS enabled phone and head over to Geocaching.com and sign up for a free account. Go to the search page and type in 44512.

I just took the 5-year-old out last weekend and she discovered the “Just Off the Path” cache at Boardman Park herself. But there’s literally hundreds of other caches in our area. Have Fun!

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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: 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.


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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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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100 Days of Summer: Camping

Local Camping

Beaver Creek– Horse camp, Hiking, Beach,Mountain Bikes and Ghosts .

Hearts ContentAllegheny National Forest recreation area. Playground, Orienteering course and old growth forest.

Minister Creek- Primitive campsite at trailhead. “Back country” camping on North Country Trail. Back country is in quotes because this loop trail is surrounded by privately leased land: You’re never too far from help.

Nelson Ledges Quarry Park– Private quarry with swimming and scuba. Runs a series of Music festivals all summer long to get your groove on.

Punderson Lodge-Golf, conference and camping resort at state park in Geauga County. This link takes you to the vendor’s site for reservations.

Pymatuning– Commercial type RV/ Car and tent campground.

Raccoon Creek

ODNR Camping and Resort Facilities


National Park service campgrounds– Recreation.gov is the national parks vendor for reservations.

US Forest ServiceNational Forests.

State Park Search– From L.L.Bean


Essential Gear: Water And Hydration

Camp Food Without Pots– How to cook over an open fire without Needing Medical aid. 9 Recipes

Camping Club– Recipes, gear reviews, blogs and more. Member site, corporate sponsors

Camping tips-Meat and potatoes camping site. Articles and lists, not much more, but good, solid info.

CampingList.net– Basic script to get a list of equipment based on what type of camping you want to do.

Go RVing– RV Resourc. You’ve seen the ads.

Visit Our Store for all the best Camping Gear and Equipment

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Coldwater Boating Safety Tips: Be Prepared

Boat at the Canal

COLUMBUS, OH – The swamping and capsizing of a small boat resulting in occupants being unexpectedly immersed in frigid water poses a serious threat to boaters and anglers getting out on the water this time of year as water temperatures slowly begin to warm.  The best way to survive a cold water immersion and guard against hypothermia and drowning is to properly wear a life jacket and be dressed for cold water temperatures instead of warmer air temperatures, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Watercraft.

A few things anglers and boaters can do to be prepared for outings on the water is to wear an approved life jacket or inflatable vest.  This keeps a person afloat should they fall off a boat or a boat capsizes.  The second tip is to wear protective clothing, such as synthetics, wool or polypropylene that help reduce the loss of body heat when immersed in cold water.  A third safety tip is to ensure that boats are properly loaded with people and gear before launching on the water to reduce the chance of swamping and capsizing.

More cold water and other boating safety tips are available online at www.ohiodnr.com/watercraft.

The Division of Watercraft reports that among 15 fatal boating accidents last year, none of the victims were found to be wearing a life jacket or vest.  In seven of the accidents, life jackets and vest were not aboard the boats as required by state and federal laws.

The ODNR Division of Watercraft administers Ohio’s boating and scenic rivers programs.  The agency oversees watercraft registration and titling operations, provides funding to local communities for education, enforcement and boating access facilities, educates the public and enforces boating laws on Ohio’s waterways.

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

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