Sunday, November 13, 2011

...are you ok?

It's November here in Northwest Ohio...and everyone is prepping for the impending Winter. Warm sunny days are numbered. So in the spirit of celebrating the outdoors I opted to hit the trail and off to Oak Openings I went.

I love trail maps and carry the Oak Openings trail map with me on a hike like the holy grail. Not because I can't find my way...just because I've always loved trail maps. (and because I like to have backup were I to head off trail on a whim and need some guidance to find my way back) .

So I pulled out said map in an effort to decide what route I'd take through the woods this day. I've been jonesin to hike the 16 miler (stay tuned for a play-by-play of that) but I have two favs at Oak Openings: the Evergreen Trail and the Ridge Trail. I opted to hike the Evergreen Trail and along the southeast edge of this trail I'd hook up with the Ridge Trail. Oh my! INDEED it made for a FABULOUS walk through the woods!

I was briefly startled at one point while attempting to capture a picture (shown here on the left) I was laying on the trail just south of the pine grove on the Ridge trail when two hikers emerged from the woods. I can only imagine what it looked like. I hopped up and they said, "oh, hah, we thought you might have been hurt". I chuckled to myself as to just how crazy that must have looked.

Highlights of this 2 hour hike include: pine groves, deer (the locals...hah), an owl (LOVE seeing owls in the wild!!), and a cozy fire in one of the shelters around Mallard Lake to finish out the afternoon.

The shelters scattered around Mallard Lake are FABULOUS! Anyone can start a little cozy fire with the wood provided and enjoy a quiet sit observing passing hikers and the ducks on the lake. Oak Openings Metro Park just continues to grow on me.

And now...onward to the 16 miler!!

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