Tuesday, February 12, 2008

To Wildcat Hollow and back!!

On February 8th we set out into the woods of Wildcat Hollow in southeastern Ohio for a backpacking adventure. There were 13 of us that were geared up for this excursion into Wayne National Forest. For those of you who don't know Wildcat Hollow sits just north of Burr Oak State Park.

From the official website:

Welcome to the Wildcat Hollow Hiking Trail. This trail offers two options; a fifteen mile loop of scenic trail along ridge-tops and stream bottoms, and a short five mile loop for day hikes. Both trails will lead through tall pine forests, open meadows, quiet streams, rock outcroppings, and down old roads overlooking miles of beautiful landscape. You will also pass some of our land management activities. Wildflowers are at their peak in the spring, but we ask that you not pick them so that others may also enjoy them. The hiker who treads softly can often catch glimpses of the wildlife who call the forest home. Bring your binoculars, and enjoy your visit.

Well, there were defiantly no wild flowers seen during our visit to the area. However the rain clouds did part Friday, to leave us with beautiful weather. The day time temperatures were in the low 50's with the night getting down to the low 30's. Check the photo below to see the amazing blue skies that we had.

Friday night we camped on a hilltop in a tall stand of maples that provided us with the wood we used to keep our fire stoked. Our campsite had an existing fire ring with several logs positioned to make great benches, allowing for the group to soak up the heat and fire light. The trip leaders
had planned a special surprise for around the campfire that night. While everyone was making dinner we were also baking, not one but two chocolate cakes on our camp stoves. After every one had digested their meals we dropped the chocolate surprise into the center of group. It was complete with chocolate and strawberry icing. It was well met and devoured.

We arose the next morning to brisk temps and clear skies. We hit the trail, headed for our first water pick up. It was about 2 miles to the water drop and some of us were very thirsty. Along the trail Scott managed to play catch with a young tree, his face lost.
As the above description of the trail mentioned it was littered with old mining and homestead debris. Some of which made for some impressive views as you round a corner in the trail to find some piece of history awaiting your eyes. Some of the items had laid around so that they have even become one with nature. The moss covered stone blocks were one of my favorites.

Well it was a great weekend for a backpacking trip and we can't wait for our next trip. Which will be our Mount Rogers trip in April.

Well if you are looking for a great time backpacking call this guy!

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