Conkles Hollow Rim Trail
Dave and I always start each new year with a hike along the Conkles Hollow State Nature Preserve’s rim trail. From the parking lot, it’s about a 3 mile hike, but the rim trail is only about 2 miles around. The climb up is steep, but once you’re up top, it’s pretty flat. However, the trail is quite close to the cliff edge, so you need to hike with care. I asked my daughter when she was going to take her children. She answered, “when they’re adults.”
We hiked on January 2 in the afternoon. The parking lot had plenty of cars but was not filled up. We were delighted that the rim trail was not crowded. We probably saw a total of 10 people. To achieve social distancing, in 2020, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources made this trail one way around. You must climb up the east rim side, then exit from the west rim side. We prefer to hike it the other way around, but this small change is not a big deal.
Buckeye Trail around the rappelling area
On January 8, we decided to hike another favorite of ours. I wrote about it in 2017 (Along the Buckeye Trail – Table Rock), but this time we didn’t hike as far. It was a Friday afternoon, and again the trail was almost all ours. We saw a total of three other hikers, plus two who were starting as we left. Similar to Conkles Hollow, the trail requires a climb up, but once up, it’s pretty flat. this is also a horse trail, but the horse trail splits off and returns once past the tricky parts. Note that this is also a part of the Buckeye Trail, so just follow the blue blazes. Oh, and parts of it can be quite wet year round. I am hopeful we will continue hiking weekly during the winter because it’s so nice to have private time in the forest.
Some other photos of these hikes: