May 2 - Clendening Lake

Ray Ferrell at Clendening Lake

 Today I hiked 21 miles to just past Clendening Lake.

Ray Ferrell picked me up at the BTA Barn and dropped me off near Tappan Dam at 9:15am. I hiked 10 miles by myself and met up with Ray at 12:45pm at Clendening Lake.

Ray and I hiked the Clendening Lake region together. It was a strenuous stretch of trail. It is very beautiful. The woods are a lush green now. The trail is well marked but not well traveled. Spring wild flowers were blooming everywhere including on the trail at times. We cleared the trail of fallen limbs while we hiked.

Ray maintains a section of the Buckeye Trail in the Piedmont Lake area. I will hike there tomorrow. It was nice hiking with a trail maintainer. It gave me a better appreciation for the work that they do especially in remote, wooded sections. We saw several downed trees covering the trail. Ray made a mental note of where they are. Keeping the Buckeye Trail open for hikers is a never ending task.

The trail in Harrison County is the prettiest part of the Buckeye Trail I have seen so far. The region has gently rolling hills and several lakes owned by the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District. The area is wooded and the trail feels remote in many places. The only way I could tell I was still in Ohio was when I saw Ohio license plates on cars. I am definitely planning a trip back here with a group of friends.

Rain was forecasted for all day. Luckily it only rained in the morning before the hike. We did not hike in the rain despite expecting to do so.

After the hike we ate dinner at a small cafe in Freeport. Pat Spain, the local librarian, joined us afterward. We chatted about the Buckeye Trail, their new hiking group and posed for a few photos. On the way back Ray showed me the Freeport Lockup. The Freeport Lockup is a small, one room, jail cell made from sandstone blocks. It was in use from 1895-1937. It is not a place you would want to be locked up in.

I am spending a third night at the Barn. Ray will pick me up in the morning and drop me off at Clendening Lake so I can resume my hike.