June 12 - Xenia - 50 Miles To Dayton

Muddy horse trail Caesar Creek State Park.

Today I hiked 24 miles to just outside of Xenia. The weather was pleasant today for a change. The temperature was in the mid 70s and there was a nice breeze. No rain. I spent most of the day in Caesar Creek State Park hiking on trails.

I got a late start from my campsite at the Day Use Lodge at Caesar Creek State Park. I was tired from hiking 30 miles the day before. I was very familiar with the Buckeye Trail for the next five miles or so since I had hiked here many times before.

The trail goes by the beach at Caesar Creek State Park. There were not too many people there for a Sunday in June. I remember coming here years ago and the place was packed with people. Today it looked more like a ghost town. Even the concession stand was permanently closed. There were lots of people on the lake in boats today. The boat ramps were very busy.

The trail past the beach goes on horse trails for about ten miles. As usual the horse trails were wet and muddy. It was miserable hiking.

I hope to meet the people responsible for routing the Buckeye Trail on horse trails in Hocking State Forest, Tar Hollow State Forest, Scioto State Forest, East Fork State Park and Caesar Creek State Park. I think they should see for themselves how bad the trail is in these areas. I would like to extend a personal invitation to lead these folks on a hike on these muddy horse trails. Perhaps after their boots got sucked off in the mud a few times they might reconsider using horse trails? (Please note that Leave No Trace principles instruct the hiker to go right through the mud and not go around it to prevent the trail from getting wider.) My guess is that the Buckeye Trail was routed on these horse trails years ago before they got bad.

I eventually left Caesar Creek State Park and hiked on roads to Spring Valley and back to the Little Miami River bike path. It was so nice to get back to flat, dry walking. I hiked about three miles on the bike path before calling it a day. I am spending the night with my mother and her husband who live in the south Dayton area.