The Nature Center has two locations, Rowe Woods in Milford, Ohio, and Long Branch Farm & Trails in nearby Goshen. Long Branch is only open to CNC members, so Clancy and I went to Rowe Woods. As usual, we went early in the morning, as Clancy has an aversion to mid-day heat. That works for me though, as I am typically a morning person, and I have to admit I am not a fan of heat myself.
I immediately liked Rowe Woods as soon as we drove in, as the road is marked with cute signs warning drivers to slow down and be on the lookout for the many animal residents.
Rowe Woods boasts ten different trails for walkers to explore. Clancy and I chose the Edge Trail, which is represented by a turtle, and listed as "easy." As we are the clumsiest pair on two or four feet, this seemed like a good choice for us.
The trails are all marked with signposts to point walkers in the right direction. I was grateful for this, as I can easily get lost in my own neighborhood. Clancy and I followed the turtle, and started off into the woods.
The Edge Trail leads walkers around the Powel Crosley Lake, and includes a boardwalk to walk along the lake's edge.
Clancy and I walked along the boardwalk, and saw numerous turtles or possibly frogs sliding into the water to get away from us. I don't think they appreciated the interruption of their day, as they disappeared instantly, leaving only a bubble in the water. Clancy was completely puzzled by the bubbles, and cocked his ears at them, staring at the bubbling water for the whole length of the boardwalk.
We continued on, and came upon a small wooden shelter overlooking the lake.
Benches line the inside walls, and the shelter is clearly intended as a place for walkers to rest and enjoy some shade. Or, since the trails are open year-round, step inside and get a break from the cold wind during a winter hike.
It was a welcome find for Clancy, as he was already getting hot.
We took a little break, and enjoyed the view of the lake through the trees surrounding the shelter.
Following our turtle sign, we continued on into the woods, where the trail gets a bit steeper.
Eventually, the trail winds around the Marsh Pond. I loved this old canoe resting near the dock.
While I can't say the pond itself is pretty, as the water is an unsightly brown, it still seemed like a peaceful, quiet place to sit on the dock and relax.
With that, Clancy and I reached the end of the Edge Trail, and made our way back to the Visitor Center and parking lot.
I was so taken with Rowe Woods that I decided to purchase a membership to the Nature Center, so I can return at any time at no charge. I want to explore the other nine trails, and see the woods through the change of seasons. I've no doubt the trails are spectacular in the fall.
As a member, I will also be able to visit Long Branch, so I am definitely adding that to my list of travels. I have next week off work, so I am keeping my fingers crossed for good weather and a cooperative car, so Clancy and I can do plenty of exploring.
Happy Fourth of July weekend to my American friends, and to my Canadian buddies, Happy Canada Day! :)