April 23, 2012

Johnson Woods State Nature Preserve

One of the most important woodlands in Ohio

Some of the trees in Johnson Woods are over 400 years old

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Wood Anemone

Primeval forest remnant

Clear Fork Gorge State Nature Preserve

Old-growth Eastern Hemlock-White Pine forest

Some of the tallest trees in Ohio can be found within the preserve

Clear Fork Gorge SNP can be accessed from the Hog Hollow trail in Mohican-Memorial State Forest

Mohican-Memorial State Forest

Sandstone cave in a misty ravine

White Trillium and Bishop's Cap

Mohican Lookout Tower

Fire lookout tower in Mohican-Memorial State Forest

View of Mohican country from the Mohican lookout tower

Serpent Mound State Memorial

Ohio historical marker

The Great Serpent Mound as seen from the observation tower

The Great Serpent Mound was constructed by an unknown people in an unknown time for an unknown purpose. The only truth behind the mystery is the location of the effigy mound, near the edge of a five mile wide geologic disturbance in Adams County, Ohio.

Adena burial mound near the museum

The presence of this mound alludes to the fact that the park surrounding the Great Serpent Mound was an important site for numerous cultures of First Ohioans, including the Fort Ancient culture. A smaller, and much more rare, Fort Ancient mound is also located within the park. The Ohio historical marker at the site notes that the Fort Ancient culture is responsible for the construction of the Great Serpent Mound, however, that erroneous statement is based on the removal of Fort Ancient period charcoal fragments from the mound. Since several different cultures may have used the Great Serpent Mound as a ceremonial site, the presence of charcoal simply indicates that the Fort Ancient people were present at the site around 1000 A.D.

April 22, 2012

Hopewell Culture National Historic Park: Mound City

Mound City contains the highest concentration of burial mounds in Ohio (23 mounds). The Hopewell site is one of three sites open to the public in the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park (the other two are Seip Mound and the Hopewell site).

The two classic shapes of Hopewell burial mounds can be seen at Mound City. Some propose that the round-shaped and loaf-shaped mounds were built to emulate the two essential forms of Ohio's foothills. The nearly perfectly rounded hill known as Sugarloaf (part of Great Seal State Park) can be seen in the distance from within the enclosure at Mound City.

Pure mystery on holy ground

Hopewell Culture National Historic Park: Seip Mound

Seip Mound is a massive Hopewell burial mound in the Paint Creek Valley of Ross County. Thousands of freshwater pearls were included with the burials in this mound. The mound was originally the centerpiece of a geometric earthworks enclosure.

Big Rock

Big Rock is a rare example of an Ohio butte and the legendary dying place for wolves

The summit of Big Rock

Ferncliff Cemetery

Ferncliff Falls

Ferncliff Cave

Rock city

Bald Cypress

April 20, 2012

Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve

The Falls of the Little Miami River

The Narrows

White Cedar

Cedarville dolomite is exposed throughout the gorge

Slump block in the Little Miami River

Talus cave

Solution cave in Cedarville dolomite

Looking out from inside the solution cave

Cave passage


Hueston Woods State Nature Preserve

The Big Woods

Old-growth beech-maple forest



A rare glimpse of the pre-settlement forest

April 3, 2012

John Bryan State Park

The Little Miami River in winter

Cedarville dolomite slump blocks

The sheer rock face of the Little Miami River Gorge

At least three types of caves occur in John Bryan State Park. The fracture cave seen here is formed in the massive Cedarville dolomite and has an interior skylight.

Talus cave formed by Cedarville dolomite slump blocks

Solution cave (true cave) in the gorge wall

The Little Miami River at the border of John Bryan State Park and Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve

Inside the remnant of a large solution cave

Remnant solution cave

Solution formations are still active inside the cave

Natural window in dolomite

Small cliff-side solution cave