April 19 - Painesville

Lake Erie as seen from Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve

I hiked 18 miles today and finished at the southern end of The Greenway bike path in Painesville. It was a cold, wet, windy and miserable day for hiking. But it felt good to be out hiking.

The first part of the hike was on sidewalks in Mentor. Soon I reached Lake Shore drive which meant I was near Lake Erie. After entering Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve I hiked on the Lake Front trail and got my first glimpse of Lake Erie. It was a welcome sight! I was getting near the northern terminus of the Buckeye Trail.

A couple of miles later I was walking along Lake Erie in Headlands Beach State Park. At Headlands Beach State Park there is a mile long natural sand beach which is the largest in Ohio. It was hard to enjoy the beach or Lake Erie as the winds were blowing and the temperature was in the upper 30s. Soon I arrived at the northern terminus of the Buckeye Trail. This is a milestone for me. I have now completed one-third of the Buckeye Trail. I am also finished with the great trek northward. The trail now goes south.

One the Greenway bike path in Painesville a lady named Suzy was walking behind me and caught up to me. We said hello to each other. I explained that I was hiking on the Buckeye Trail. She seemed a bit perplexed about the Buckeye Trail so I kept talking. She was walking fast so I kicked it into high gear to keep up with her. I showed her a few blue blazes. When we parted ways I thanked her for the chat and for not being afraid of me. She said she is a Lake County felon probation officer and generally doesn't trust people. But wanted to know what I was up to. It was nice to have some company.