April 12 - Barberton

Today I hiked 24 miles to Barberton. My total miles hiked now on the Buckeye Trail is now over 400 miles. John dropped me off at Hunt Farm at 7:45am.

The weather was in the mid 40's, cloudy and a bit breezy. The sun never came out today. A few rain drops fell.

The Buckeye Trail followed the Ohio Erie Canal Towpath Trail today except for jaunts into O'Neill Woods MetroPark and Sand Run MetroPark. Leaving the tow path trail to hike in these two parks was not a welcome change for me. The tow path trail was level, wide and dry. It was carefree hiking. Accessing these two parks meant walking a short distance on  busy roads, climbing up a steep hill and hiking in a park where the familiar blue blazes of the Buckeye Trail are not allowed. The two parks were nice but lacked any outstanding features. Nonetheless it felt good to be hiking in the woods again.

I saw Skunk Cabbage in the two MetroParks. This depressed me. Skunk Cabbage is a plant that grows in early spring. This means it is still early spring! Skunk Cabbage was growing in Dayton a month ago. I knew spring came later in northeast Ohio but I didn't realize by a whole month.

The Buckeye Trail goes right through downtown Akron. It was quite an adventure to follow the tow path trail through a large city. The trail goes right through the former Goodrich industrial complex. I almost got lost hiking between factory buildings but I got help from a worker there. After leaving the industrial area the trail follows the canal through an economically depressed area. It was a bit strange hiking through a blighted area. But I fit in well.

The route from Akron to Barberton was scenic. I saw joggers and bicycle riders. John picked me up in Barberton around 5:15pm. We made a quick stop at Appalachian Outfitters where I picked up two items. Many thanks to Carol for the fine service and listening to my stories.

I am staying with John and Erica a second night. They are good hosts. They are getting married in October. I have enjoyed my stay with them.