Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Travels With Clancy: Sharon Woods Gorge

Clancy and I got back to our Travels project last weekend by making a trip to the Sharon Woods Gorge in Sharonville, Ohio. The Sharon Woods park is north of Cincinnati, and is one of the largest parks in the Hamilton County, Ohio park system.

I'd never heard of this Gorge, which seems crazy since it is only about 40 minutes away from where I live. But that is part of the fun of this project, as I've already discovered several nearby places that I was not at all familiar with prior to starting my Travels with Clancy.

As we seem to have skipped spring and jumped right into the dog days of summer, Clancy and I got up early Sunday morning so we could walk the Gorge before the intense midday heat. Due to his thick black coat, the afternoon sun is not Clancy's friend.

We got to the park and, after asking directions from the man at the gate, parked in the shade near the start of the Gorge Trail.


The trail is .7 miles long each way, so it's an easy 1 1/2 mile walk to complete. It starts in the Buckeye Falls area of the park.


Clancy and I started down the trail, and quickly came to another waterfall.



This area of the trail is simply beautiful, and there is a nice overlook with a bench where walkers can sit and enjoy the falls. It's quite peaceful to sit on the bench and listen to the sounds of the rushing water, and the morning songs of nearby birds.

Clancy wasn't interested in sitting for very long, but he did agree to have his picture taken at the overlook.



As you can see from the picture, the drop is steep. Since Clancy and I are both as clumsy as you can get, we had to be extremely careful near the edge.

Not far from the falls, we came upon this "Blueprints of the Past" sign. The sign informed us that the Gorge used to be covered by the Ordovician Sea, which was a tropical body of water.


Apparently, the Ordovician time period was more than 4 million years ago, and is considered part of the Paleozoic Era. It is named for a Celtic tribe called the Ordovices. According to the sign, the Gorge is filled with fossils from this era, and I would imagine it is a great place for geology students to visit.

The trail continues along the limestone creek bed, and I was struck by how lush and green everything was.


While it was a very bright and sunny morning, the trees were so dense that they functioned as a canopy, only allowing peeks of sun to get through. As a result, the trail was quite cool regardless of the day's temperature.


We kept walking, and eventually came to a quaint wooden bridge.


After crossing the bridge, the trail makes a fairly steep ascent, and the cliffs reach a peak of about 90 feet.


Once again, my partner in clumsiness and I needed to be very careful.

I was surprised to come upon yet another waterfall, probably the tallest of the three.


Not long past the final waterfall, the trail ends at Kreis Dam and Sharon Woods Lake.



There is a paved trail that circles the lake, but the sun was a bit much for Clancy by this time, so we returned to the shade and headed back the way we came.


The Sharon Gorge is an absolutely beautiful trail, and feels like stepping into a forest in the middle of the city. I intend to return to the Gorge in the fall, as I have no doubt that the foliage will be stunning.

As we left Sharon Woods, we passed a few mastodons near a "Mastodon Crossing" sign, a cute nod to the geologic history of the area. Fortunately, we didn't have to stop for any mastodons crossing the road. 

Clancy and I had a fantastic morning at the Gorge, and enjoyed meeting other dogs and walkers along the trail. It's safe to say that our second Travels project was a success, and we're looking forward to trip #3 this weekend.

We hope you'll continue to follow us on our adventures!

15 comments:

  1. I feel as if I traveled the trail with you and Clancy. How delightful. And it is so beautiful.
    Karen

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  2. Another really beautiful place you guys discovered there! That hiking trail looks awesome. Reminds me of a hiking tour I went on two years ago in Bavaria and Austria. The trails there were quite similar to the one Clancy and you got to explore together. I would love to go back there again someday. :) That's really cool about the history of the Gorge, interesting to learn about its origins. Nice pictures as usual, made me feel like I'd actually been there myself with you guys. Clancy looks sweet as usual!

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  3. What gorgeous photos! Just beautiful.

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  4. Looks like a lovely walk! We're going to be in northern Ohio next week, maybe we'll find someplace beautiful too. :)

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  5. Thanks for the vicarious walk; it looks beautiful! :-)

    It might be even more beautiful (if that is even possible) when the trees are dressed in autumn colours.

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  6. Your park is another example of the beauty we have all over our country. A few years ago, I created a whole series of large acrylic on canvas paintings created from photos I took in Pennsylvania. Your pictures remind me of those photos and paintings!

    Thank you.
    Monti

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  7. I'm loving this project of yours. Ohio is looking gorgeous! And Clancy too.

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  8. What a beautiful park with magnificent waterfalls! You are a wonderful writer and photographer! Clancy looked handsome as ever! Julie

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  9. @Karen, thank you. I'm glad you felt like you were there with us!

    @Carina, oh, I bet those trails in Bavaria and Austria were gorgeous. I'd love to go there someday. I'm glad you liked my little trip here, thanks so much!

    @Laura, thank you!

    @Janel, thanks, I hope you enjoy your trip and find some lovely places!

    @K.C. thanks! That's what I was thinking, I think it will be even nicer in the fall. :)

    @Monti, I bet your paintings are gorgeous. Thank you!

    @L.G. Thanks so much. And Clancy says thanks as well. :D

    @Julie, thank you! Clancy is going to get a big head from these compliments LOL. ;)

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  10. Oh my, what a beautiful walk. And I so love waterfalls. There is something about moving water that is very good for the soul. I feel that way around waterfalls and at the ocean.

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  11. @Retired Knitter, I totally agree! It was such a treat to find these waterfalls, Clancy and I had such a great walk. Thanks!

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  12. The falls are gorgeous, and I loved getting to see all the pictures. It's amazing that a place like that with so much geological history can be so close to a city!

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  13. @Kendal, I agree, I was really surprised by it. Especially since I've lived here all my life and never knew anything about it! Thanks so much, I'm glad you liked it. :)

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  14. Lovely park, you really captured it well with the pictures and your description. If I'm that way at some point that looks like a place I'd like to visit. Your inspiring me to check out more local places here to photograph and blog about.

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  15. @Claire, thanks! I'm surprised how much I am enjoying checking out these places, I hope you will too. I look forward to reading about your travels on your blog!

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Thank you for your comments!