Great Hikes in Adams County Posted June 11, 2016

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A recent guest asked what were the best hikes in Adams County. I wrote descriptions (with photos) of my favorites for her, and thought I would share them with you. I’m thinking of doing more complete descriptions for use in a monthly email. Here are my favorites:

CHALET NIVALE:
This is the newest nature preserve in Adams County, Opened to the public April 23, 2016.

There are three trails, each about a mile long. Two go up creeks, one along a ridge top. Fantastic cliffs, wildflowers on the rock and along the trail, and gorgeous clear pristine creeks. Here’s a photo of one of the cliffs:

And one of the streams:
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The preserve is named after a log cabin on the property and the Snow Trillium (Trillium Nivale) which blooms profusely there in early Spring. The streams are among the cleanest in the State of Ohio.

Directions: from Cave Hill, go east on SR 32 past Peebles to the intersection with SR 73. Turn left on SR 73 and then left on Bacon Flat Road (a one lane road that looks like a driveway except there’s a stop sign). The preserve is a 1/4 mile down Bacon Flat on the right.

These hikes are not strenuous, but you should wear boots or shoes that you can get wet. The trails cross streams on stepping stones a number of times and you can slip into the water.

DAVIS MEMORIAL:

I hiked there a couple of weeks ago (in April). It was a little muddy, but the wildflowers were spectacular and the stream running clear and beautiful.
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There two miles of trails here, along a cliff face and next to the stream.
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At one point a geologic fault is visible in the cliff face (there’s an interpretive sign).
Directions: Davis Memorial is in the same neighborhood as Chateau Nivale. From Cave Hill go east on SR 32 past Peebles and turn right on Steam Furnace Road (great name). After about a mile take a left on Davis Memorial Road. Follow this for about two miles until you come to the parking lot at the trailhead on the right. BTW this road at the start follows roughly the line of furthest extent of the glacier. On your right is steep hillside, on your left is flat terrain left by the glacier. Then you cross into unglaciated Ohio.
The trails are easy to moderate and there are no unbridged creek crossings.

WHIPPLE PRESERVE:

I had never been to Whipple before this Spring (of 2016). Boy was I missing out! There is a trail that follows the base of a magnificent cliff. The trail traverses great patches of wildflowers and skirts huge slump blocks fallen from the cliff in ages past. Truly wonderful. Here’s a photo of one of the slump blocks:

 and some of the wildflowers. DSC_2090
The trail is uphill at the start, over a ridge an down the other side where it follows the contour of the hillside. At the end of the hillside trail there is a steep climb back up the ridge, then a flat hike back to the start. The contrast between the lush flower-filled hillside and the dry woods on the ridge top is startling. I recently heard a naturalist refer to the typical open woods as the “Great American Deciduous Desert”.

Directions: From Cave Hill, go south on SR 247 to West Union, follow 247 south of West Union past Germany Hill Road and start down the steep hillside towards the Ohio River. The trailhead is on the left — there’s a sign, but no parking. Parking is on the side of the road on the right going down, or you can park in front of the sign.

The trail is easy except for the moderate hill at the start and the steep stretch going back up to the ridge top.

BUZZARDROOST ROCK:
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I hiked this trail with my son-in-law and grandchildren in very early Spring this year (2016). It was still muddy but there are bridges over the streams so it wasn’t too bad. It’s a long hike, about 4 1/2 miles total, but fairly flat except for some moderately steep stretches. The trail starts in a nice woods, then branches. You can follow the ridgetop trail through the woods, or you can walk through the fields of an old farm. Either way, you end up at one of the best views in the State of Ohio:20150925-buzzardroost_rock_trail-vista-img_9914-640x480
If you see the name “Louise” written on the railing of the overlook, you will know that my 8 year old granddaughter was there.

Directions: From Cave Hill south on SR 247 to West Union. Left on SR 125, cross Ohio Brush Creek (at SR 248) and climb the hill up from the creek. The trailhead is on the right, before you get to the town of Lynx. It’s about 7/10ths of a mile from SR 248. There is a small green/yellow sign that is not very legible. You may overshoot and have to turn around and come back.