Sponsored By The Buckeye Trail Assocation
Schedule subject to change. For all hikes, please wear weather appropriate clothing and footwear, waterproof hiking boots are best. It is suggested to have a hiking staff or trekking poles on every hike. Carry plenty of water and food or snacks, especially if you will be gone during lunch. Please meet hike leaders at the places described below.
For directions to Red Oak Camp and to the various hikes and programs being held at Buckeye TrailFest please click here.
|10:00 a.m.||Cuyahoga Valley National Park Hike – 12-13 miles with optional 7 mile hike – Moderate to Difficult – 5 hours – 1 hour drive to Red Oak Camp – Meet at Boston Store Visitor Center, 1550 Boston Mills Road, Peninsula, OH 44264.
Leaving from the Boston Visitor Center in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, we will hike the Buckeye Trail north to Jaite (approx. 7 miles). Along the way we will have an opportunity to see the popular Blue Hen Falls and if the group agrees we can go to the hidden and often missed Buttermilk Falls. From Jaite we will connect to the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail and then to the Valley Trail to head for Brandywine Falls via the Brandywine Gorge Trail. Brandywine Falls is one of the most popular attractions in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. A boardwalk takes us to upper and lower observation platforms which overlook the falls head on. Returning to Boston Store via the Stanford Trail, we will pass the recently renovated Standford House which provides moderately priced overnight accommodations. Hike lead by Larry Grewe.
|11:00 a.m.||Skok Meadow, extension of Girdled Road Reservation – 2 mile – easy – 1.5 hours – 30 min. drive to Red Oak Camp – Meet at Skok Meadow parking lot (part of the Girdled Road Reservation), just south of Girdled Road on Rt. 608.
For much of the last century, the property now called Skok Meadow had been in agricultural production. This 30 acre grassland is perched just above the Big Creek Valley. Pasture lands can spend successive decades “growing up”. Ohio Prairie Nursery from Hiram, Ohio and the Lake Metroparks have worked together to speed up natures process of reverting from pasture land. The barn on this property, built in 1818 by Hosa Brown and his family. They felled tall straight poplar to hew into posts and beams. In 2007, Lake Metropark hired a local timber specialist to evaluate the barn. In 2008 a construction firm took down the old barn, repaired and erected the restored barn on it original foundation stones in its original location. The meadow is a beautiful picture of wildflowers, the beauty is breathtaking and with just a light breeze all the flowers bow their heads in greeting. Hike leader Debbie Zampini and John Knouse.
|11:00 a.m.||Virginia Kendall Unit in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Hike – 10 miles – Moderate to Difficult – up to 5 hours – 1 hour drive to Red Oak Camp – Meet at the Octagon Shelter off Octagon Road in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
For thousands of years, the land that encompasses Virginia Kendall Park has been a place of nature, recreation, and history – from its prehistoric formation to its housing of some of the area’s first inhabitants. Upon his death in the late 1920’s, Cleveland businessman Hayward Kendall donated 430 acres of land around the Ritchie Ledges. It is called Virginia Kendall to honor his mother. The hike will start and end on the Ledges Trail which includes many different beautiful rock formations. The hike will continue on some connecting trails to Kendall Lake and the Salt Run Trail which goes up and down through a lush scenic forest. The hike can be adjusted in length as there are several loop trails of various lengths. Hike leader Ruth Brown.
|1:00 p.m.||North Chagrin Reservation a Cleveland Metro Park – 6 to 7 miles – Easy to Moderate – 3 hours – 30 min. drive to Red Oak Camp – Meet at the Sunset Pond Nature Center parking lot off the Buttermilk Falls Parkway.
This park is one of the original metropolitan park areas in Greater Cleveland’s Emerald Necklace” as first described by in 1916. By 1930 the new reservation totaled nearly 1,200 acres. Opened in 1931, the establishment of a trailside nature center is thought to be the first facility of its kind in the country. Arthur B. Williams CMPD’s first naturalist, a portion of woods is dedicated to him. Squire’s Castle is a picturesque stone castellated and turreted ruin with in the park. It was originally built as part of the estate of Feargus B. Squire, vice-president and general manager of Standard Oil. The estate was never completed. This hike will circle the entire reservation. Some hills but generally easy to moderate terrain. Will touch part of the Buckeye Trail. Lead by volunteer Jan Geho.
|2:00 p.m.||Chapin Forest Ledges Hike – 4 miles – Moderate to Difficult – 3 hours – 20 min. drive to Red Oak Camp – Meet at the Ledges parking lot, enter off Rt. 306, turn left and the last parking lot at the end of the park road.
The ledges at Chapin Forest Reservation are a type of sedimentary rock deposited during the Pennsylvanian era roughly 300 million years ago, before the age of dinosaurs. Your guide will take you through this picturesque area, which is not normally open to the public. The footing is uneven and can be slippery, so boots with good tread are necessary. Children must be able to walk and climb on their own. Hike leaders, John Knouse and Debbie Zampini.
|6:00 a.m.||Breakfast with the Birds – 1 mile – Easy to Moderate – Meet at Lodge
If the early bird gets the worm, then the early birder gets the bird. Join us for a short morning walk through the woods of Red Oak Camp and Holden Arboretum. We’ll search for early spring migrants and enjoy other signs of the budding season. We’ll return to camp in time for breakfast. Led by Jay Abercrombie.
|8:00 a.m.||Bedford Section 10 mile Buckeye Trail hike – Easy to Moderate – 5 hours – Meet at Tinkers Creek Overlook, Gorge Parkway, Bedford Reservation – Leave Red Oak at 7:15 a.m.
The trail junction near Deer Lick Cave will be your starting point for this hike (Pt 1). Very enjoyable trail thru woods and beautiful trail down My Mountain. WIll will pass the Brecksville RR Station, continue on Towpath Trail, climb a steep bank to the Hike and Bike path, and then head back into the woods. At the end enjoy the view from Tinkers Creek overlook (Pt 6). Hike led by Ruth Brown.
|9:00 a.m.||Burton/Bedford Section 10 mile Buckeye Trail hike – Easy to Moderate – 5 hours – Meet at Mentor Lagoons Marina Parking log, Harbor Drive, Mentor - Leave Red Oak at 8:30 a.m.
Enjoy this interesting portion of the Buckeye Trail. You will start at Rider’s Inn in Painesville, Pt 4 Burton section map, head north to the town of Grand River and see the Grand River. There will be some road walking but the rewards are great. After leaving Grand River a short walk to Headlands Beach, Pt 34 Bedford Section map, walk along the board walk then head south to enter Mentor Marsh on the Zimmerman trail. There will be some road walking after this that takes you to the Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve along the Lake Trail and you will see Lake Erie almost your entire walk, the hike ends at Mentor Lagoons parking area, Pt. 30 Bedford Section map. Hike lead by volunteer Wade Young of the North East Ohio Hiking Group.
|9:30 a.m.||Hike ‘Round the Reservoir’, Headwaters Park (part Buckeye Trail) – 5+ miles – Easy to Moderate – 3 hours – Meet at Headwaters Park, entrance off 13365 Old State Rd. (Rt. 608), Huntsburg, second parking lot on right.
– Leave Red Oak at 9:00 a.m.
A 5+ mile hike around the 80 year old East Branch Reservoir in Headwaters Park. This is uppermost of four reservoirs in the Cuyahoga River watershed managed by the City of Akron as their water supply. The land surrounding the reservoir is leased from Akron and managed by Geauga Park District as a park featuring hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, boating, fishing, and camping. The hike will traverse the Buckeye Trail on the west side of the Headwater affording the rare opportunity to hike the east side of the reservoir which is normally closed to the public. The park’s natural features to be enjoyed include scenic ravines, old growth beech-maple forest with spring wildflowers in full bloom; migratory songbirds and nesting bald eagles. Led by Geauga Park District Senior Naturalist Dan Best, a Western Reserve native who has been with Geauga Park District for 26 years, known for his natural history knowledge and humor imparted in sharing it.
|10:00 a.m.||Mentor Marsh Bald Eagle Viewing Hike – 2 miles – Easy to Moderate – 3 hours – Meet at the Nature Center, 5185 Corduroy Road, Mentor – Leave Red Oak at 9:30 a.m.
Explore the Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve’s section of the Buckeye Trail on a naturalist-led hike on the Zimmerman Trail. Along the way, we’ll keep our eyes open for our nesting bald eagles and will stop to overlook the Marsh’s bald eagle nest. Enjoy the beauty of Northeastern Ohio’s spring woods and wildflowers along the way. This hike is on unimproved and seasonally muddy trail and is not recommended for young children. Spotting scopes will be provided. Bring your own binoculars or we will also have binoculars to lend. Led by Becky Donaldson, staff naturalist for the CMNH
|2:00 p.m.||What kind of tree is that? Tree ID Hike, Penitentiary Glenn – 2 miles – Easy – 1 hour – Meet in Nature Center at Penitentiary Glen Reservation, 8668 Kirtland-Chardon Rd., Kirtland – Leave Red Oak at 1:45 p.m.
Have you always wondered what trees make up the forests that you hike through? Learn all about our local trees in this fun, hands-on, up-close-and-personal Tree Identification program. You’ll spend some time indoors discovering easy ways to identify the trees around us, then head out onto the trail to put your new knowledge to work. Led by Dan Burnett, Manager of Penitentiary Glen Reservation.
|2:00 p.m.||Little Mountain, Holden Arboretum – 3 miles – Easy to Moderate – 3 hours – Meet at the Corning Visitors Center, Holden Arboretum, 9500 Sperry Road, Kirtland – Leave Red Oak Camp at 1:45 p.m.
Magnificence of the mountain. Discover the rich natural and social history of Little Mountain. Unique geological formations, diversity of plant life, and Little Mountains attraction throughout history with its many resorts, make this a spectacular natural site in any season. Proper footwear is required, suitable for climbing, walks thru mud, and snow. No children under 12. There is a $5 per person hike fee, the admission to Holden Arboretum is free. Led by Holden volunteers.
|2:00 p.m.||Big Creek Reservation, a Geauga County Metro Park – 4 miles – Easy to Moderate – 2 hours – Meet at the Donald W. Meyer Center, 9160 Robinson Road, Chardon Twp. – Leave Red Oak Camp at 1:30 p.m.
In 1926, Samuel Livingston Mather purchased almost 1000 acres of land in Chardon Township with hopes of creating a high class resort. The onset of the Depression shattered his dreams. Because of Mather’s desire to see the area preserved, 505 acres were donated to the state of Ohio in 1955. In 1990 the Geauga Park District took ownership. Many species of songbirds migrate from the tropics to rest in the mature forest, which also shelters many kinds of woodland animals. The scenic Big Creek bisects the park from South to North. Distinctive plant species are found on the clay sloops and along flood plain areas. We will cover the entire reservation. Includes part of the Buckeye Trail. Led by volunteer Jan Geho.
|3:30 p.m.||Boles Woods-Holden Arboretum – 1.5 miles – Moderate – 1.25 hours. – Meet at "Working Woods", right hand side of Sperry Road just before Holden Arboretum – Leave Red Oak Camp at 3:15 p.m.
Take a hike in a National Natural Landmark, Boles Woods recognized for its outstanding examples of natural history. Because of the beech-maple forest and associated plant life, it has been given this title. Established in 1931 on a 100-acre parcel donated by Roberta Holden Bole, The Holden Arboretum has grown to 3500 acres, making it one of the country’s largest arboreta. The Bole family was a major reason that Lake County was chosen as the home for the arboretum. Bole Woods is 92 acres of tranquility and beauty. Hike lead by Deb Zampini.
|8:00 a.m.||Headlands Dune State Nature Preserve (side trail off Buckeye Trail) – 2 miles – Easy to Moderate – 2 hours – Meet at Headlands Beach State Nature Preserve, Mentor – Leave Red Oak Camp at 7:30 a.m.
A short hike off the Buckeye Trail where the Grand River flows into Lake Erie, allows us to explore one of the rarest and most fascinating ecological communities in Ohio. Headlands Dunes are among the last and finest lake/river/dune ecosystems in the state. Rare plants growing here are the same as those found along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean far to the east. The dunes are famous throughout the continent for sightings of rare birds, especially during migration. Hikers will discover an attractive and exciting part of Ohio’s natural heritage. Led by Jay Abercrombie.
|8:00 a.m.||Girdled Road Reservation, a Lake County Metropark – 6 miles – Moderate to Difficult – 4 hours – Meet at South entrance parking area, 12925 Radcliffe Rd, Concord Twp. – Leave Red Oak Camp at 7:30 a.m.
Girdled Road Reservation is one of Lake Metroparks most biologically diverse properties. Covered by a mosaic of woodland, meadow, and wetlands, the park is home to a wide variety of plants and animals. The park is home or a rest stop for 64 resident bird species, 38 butterflies, 18 mammals, 39 dragon flies and damselflies, 19 reptiles and amphibians, and countless plant species. This hike will cover 90% of the reservation. Very hilly, moderate to somewhat difficult terrain. Includes parts of the Buckeye Trail. Led by volunteer Jan Geho.
|10:00 a.m.||Bedford Section 10 mile Buckeye Trail hike – Easy to Moderate – 5 hours – Meet at Squaw Rock Parking Area, Hawthorne Parkway, South Chagrin Reservation, Cleveland Metro Park – Leave Red Oak Camp at 9:00 a.m.
Start at Pt 9 and enjoy hiking along Tinkers Creek, the trails are tucked into the woods and are very peaceful. You will walk thru the Bentleyville Service Garage; Bentleyville is a very small town, but very well off. You will end at Pt 12, Squaw Rock parking area. If time permits take the trail down to see Squaw Rock, it is worth the extra walk. Hike led by Larry Grewe.
|10:30 a.m.||Penitentiary Glen Reservation a Lake County Metropark – 2 miles – Difficult – 2.5 hours – Meet in Nature Center at Penitentiary Glen Reservation, 8668 Kirtland-Chardon Rd., Kirtland – Leave Red Oak Camp at 10:15 a.m.
Explore the 100-foot deep ravine of "gorge"ous Penitentiary Glen. Your hike through time will begin more than 300 million years ago in the Bedford formation of shales and siltones and end in Berea sandstone, the top bedrock layer of Penitentiary Glen. The terrain is challenging with wet and slippery rocks and climbing over and under downed trees. Waterproof footwear is required. This area is not otherwise open to the public and all participants must be able to walk and climb on their own. Lead by volunteer naturalist Jonathan Foise and Lake Metro Park Staff Marilyn Levand.
|11:30 a.m.||Hach-Otis State Nature Preserve – 1.5 miles – Easy – 1.5 hours – Meet at Hach-Otis State Nature Preserve, 37142 Skyline Drive, Willoughby Hills – Leave Red Oak Camp at 11:00 a.m.
This preserve has been protected as a bird sanctuary since 1944. It is 81 acres, forested tract overlooking the beautiful Chagrin State Scenic River valley. Bluffs overlook the river recutting an old valley that was completely filled with glacial drift during the last ice age. The ridges stand more than 150 feet above the streambed of the ever-changing river. Bring your binoculars not just for birding but also to look across to the bluffs on the other side of the Chagrin River. We might be able to see Chapin Forest Reservation. Hike led by Deb Zampini.
|2:00 p.m.||Stebbins Gulch, Holden Arboretum – 2 miles – Difficult – 3 hours – Meet at the Corning Visitors Center, Holden Arboretum, 9500 Sperry Road, Kirtland – Leave Red Oak Camp at 1:45 p.m.
A hike through geologic history following the streambed as it cuts through bedrock dating back millions of years. This is a rigorous hike which requires a good degree of physical fitness and balance. Proper footwear is required, suitable for climbing, walks thru mud, snow, ice, and possible high water conditions. No children under 12. There is a $5 per person hike fee, the admission to Holden Arboretum is free. Led by Holden volunteers.
|7:00 a.m.||Old Valley, Molly Offutt Memorial Boardwalk Trail, Woodland Trail, and Pierson Creek Loop Trails – Up to 5 miles - Rugged - Lots of stairs - 2 hours – Meet at Lodge
A great way to start off the last day of the Buckeye TrailFest. The combination of these trails makes up some of the most beautiful rugged trails at Holden Arboretum. Old Valley Trail is Holden’s longest trail, a secluded hike that lets you get close to nature. The boardwalk is a reflective place to view and learn the native flora of the Pierson Creek Valley. Woodland Trail is a journey through a young forest and deep woods. Pierson Creek Loop walks beside a continuously shifting creek channel that flows through a valley with delicate wild flowers and ferns. We will hike as far as we can, maybe take a couple short cuts to get back in time for the Buckeye Trail meetings. Led by Deb Zampini
Explore the spring beauty of the Bedford Section and backpack 38 miles April 22-25 into TrailFest! Click here for more details!