Much of the hiking we have done lately has been for more than just our health. Since learning of the Twin Valley Challenge, I have been itching to try all 27+ miles in one day (the total mileage for the day varies by source). But life always got in the way of the event with a birthday, work event or some other obligation prevented us from trying.
This year all stars seemed to be aligned and we have been training with our long hikes every weekend. Previously, we have completed the Germantown and Twin Valley loops, but Ted thought it a good idea to try out the connector trail and eliminate all possible surprises and backtracking on the day of the hike. Continue reading “Twin Valley Connector Trail”
Today we were looking to do an approximate 10 miles somewhere in the Cincinnati area. Since I worked late last night and Ted just returned from a four day business trip, we defaulted to our favorite local hiking spot.
The Cincinnati Nature Center is the largest member-supported nature center in the country. In addition to fantastic nature programming and an amazing nature playscape, it offers 1,600 acres of wilderness and 16 miles of trail just outside of the 275 loop. Cost is $8 per adult, but I highly recommend anyone buy an annual membership and explore the many options available year-round. Continue reading “Cincinnati Nature Center Perimeter Trail”
Mammoth Cave Campground is the main developed campground at Mammoth Cave National Park. The 105 sites are laid out in three loops through a nicely forested area. Shade should be plentiful in this campground. On recreation.gov sites did not seem to be reservable until mid-May, but plenty of sites were available when we arrived after 9:00pm. Of course the lows for the night were predicted to drop below freezing, so campsites may be more scarce in warmer temps.
We selected site 81 as it was dark when we arrived and seemed no better or worse than the rest. Next trip we may try to select one of the sites that run along Green River Ferry Road. There is a little valley just beyond those sites so the view and breeze seem like it would make those sites optimal. Continue reading “Mammoth Cave Campground”
This weekend we picked our hiking destination based on weather.com. Cold temperatures and light snow were predicted for most of a three hour radius of Cincinnati, so we aimed for as far south as we dared go on a Friday night. We had avoided this park on previous trips because the reviews of the trails were not particularly positive. Much of what I had read was that the trails were nearly ruined by horses. But we figured muddy trails were better than snowy trails and got into the campground late Friday evening. There was the added bonus of crossing into the central time zone on the way.
Our first stop in the morning was the ranger station to get the obligatory passport stamp and seek opinions on the best trails in the area. The visitor center was chaotic with those purchasing cave tour tickets. The rangers were not particularly helpful in selecting a trail, but informed us that over 70 miles of trail were available. This was very appealing already. So many of the longer hikes in the midwest take us from road bed to backyard with little wilderness in between. We looked forward to actually getting away from it all. Looking at the map we devised a loop with the Sal Hallow and Buffalo Creek trails and headed for the Maple Springs trailhead.
Continue reading “Mammoth Cave Sal Hollow Trail”