May 27 - Scioto State Forest

Trail is meadow near Lickskillet.


Today I hiked 19 from Tar Hollow State Forest to Scioto State Forest. Mike and Connie helped me slackpack today.

They dropped me off at Tar Hollow at 9:00am. The trail started out on a horse trail which it was muddy. My boots and pants legs got muddy real quick. I had a few fallen down trees to navigate in this section as well as a few obscure trail markers.

Next I was on gravel forest roads for a couple of miles. Then it was back on the woods on a Jeep trail. The Jeep trail was nice hiking. It was wide, dry, no fallen trees and easy to follow. The trail followed the ridge which meant only a few mild ups and downs.

The area at the end of the Jeep trail, near Blue Lick Road, had been clear cut recently. The loggers removed all the trees except for the ones with the blue blazes marking the Buckeye Trail. The loggers either knew what the blue blazes meant or mistakenly thought the blue marks meant the trees should be saved. It was odd to walk through a clear cut area and to see the only standing trees having blue blazes on them.

The walk down Blue Lick Road was nice. The trail leaves the road and goes up the driveway of Monk Detters. Monk has allowed the Buckeye Trail to go on his land. Monk's yard is decorated with little gnome statues. After his house it was a steep climb back up to the ridge. It was nice hiking on the ridge.
As the trail descended the ridge it went through a beautiful grown up meadow with lots of wild flowers. It was so pretty it looked like a scene from a movie. I could just imagine a man and a lady running towards each other in slow motion is this meadow.

I stopped for lunch at Granny's Restaurant where the trail crosses US-50. I had been to Granny's a few times before. Poppie made me promise that I would stop there on my hike. This was an easy promise to keep. I asked the waitress if many hikers stop in. She said no and that I was the first hiker they ever had. I find this hard to believe.

As I walked on the road after lunch a young fellow in a Jeep stopped and asked if I was hiking the Buckeye Trail.  I said yes. He offered to drive me down the road to where the trail enters the woods. I declined but thanked him.

I crossed to the west of US-35. The trail goes inder US-35 in a large tunnel. The tunnel was put in for Buckeye Trail hikers when the new section of US-35 was built several years ago. The tunnel is at the large road cut near Richmond Dale. This was the last four lane section of US-35 opened between Washington Court House and West Virginia.

After US-35 there was more clear cutting of timber. Once again the only trees left standing had blue blazes on them.

I crossed over the Scioto River and entered Scioto State Forest. During World War I this area was used as a Army artillery range for Camp Sherman. My grandfather, who I am named after, was stationed at Camp Sherman during World War I. The story told in our family is that grandpa was good at working with horses. When a stable hand died of an epidemic at Camp Sherman my grandfather took his position. This kept my grandfather from being shipped overseas to fight in the war.

At 6:15pm I arrived a designated spot in the state forest. Mike and Connie arrived and picked me up. We went out to dinner in Piketon and made a quick trip to Wal-Mart for me to resupply. Then it was off to bed.