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!!