Looking for a decently chalenging hike in Ohio?

5:28 p.m. on September 26, 2008 (EDT)
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Hey all, I'm new here, and relativley new to hiking. I live in new jersey, i'm out here in ohio for college. When back home i live in the pine barrens over the summers so being outdoors is nothing new just the actually hiking aspect. But anyways i'm kinda getting bored of the easy metropark trails.

I'm looking for a challenging day hike. I live in parma for now right outside ceveland. I'm looking for as close as possible as i drive a sububan, not very mpg freindly. Thanks in advance for any help.

10:33 p.m. on September 26, 2008 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
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Hi sba, I don't live near you, I live in SC. I have in the past found local hiking clubs to be a great help no matter where I lived.
Here is a link to a hiking club for Cleveland OH.

http://www.clevelandhikingclub.com/

Hiking clubs are a good way to get started, you can venture out with knowledgeable people who know the area.
Many of these clubs have scheduled hikes you can sign up for in advance and then meet at a predetermined location for the hike.
They usually have a contact person or two who can give you a list of stuff to bring, and what to expect on any particular hike.
Give it a try, this is a good way to get started.

11:42 p.m. on September 26, 2008 (EDT)
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Hiking clubs are a great suggestion. Since you're in college, I highly recommend you look into any hiking/outdoors clubs at your school. Often they lead weekly trips and have gear you can rent or borrow.

11:53 a.m. on September 27, 2008 (EDT)
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Thanks for help i'll check it out. My college isn't a normal college we don't have clubs. It's a technical school for stuff like diesel, automotive, autobody, etc... If we did have something like that i'd definetley join.

10:55 a.m. on October 20, 2008 (EDT)
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7Bridges,

I joined this discussion a little late, but probably the most challenging hiking/backpacking in Ohio is the Shawnee State Forest Backpacking trail, in West Portsmouth.

Zaleski State Forest also has a decent day loop trail (9.9m) that wanders through an abandoned town,a beaver pond, and an ancient indian mound. It's not as challenging as Shawnee, but is more interesting.

11:33 a.m. on October 23, 2008 (EDT)
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I'm in the same boat as you, sevenbridges. I've been trying to train for some upcoming extended backpacking trips this spring/summer, and I've all but exhausted the metro park options in the central Ohio area (Columbus).

I got so desperate for a challenge last week, that I loaded my pack with two 20lb. dumb bells and walked a 7 mile metro park trail loop twice. I got lots of stares from families on day walks. Hah. Had to explain myself a few times.

I've been thinking about making a trip down to Zaleski or Shawnee, because I haven't done any overnight trips since my boyscout days a long time ago. I'm aching to get back into it!

12:45 p.m. on October 23, 2008 (EDT)
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I'm in the same boat as you, sevenbridges. I've been trying to train for some upcoming extended backpacking trips this spring/summer, and I've all but exhausted the metro park options in the central Ohio area (Columbus).

Most of the metro park trails in Central Ohio are built to be reasonably ADA compliant. Although there aren't a lot of "challenging" metro park trails, I've found them more challenging by running them. In fact, I did a lot of my marathon preparation last year by running in Blendon Woods.

I found that in spending significant time trail running in Blendon Woods, I not only increased my overall fitness level but I also improved my footing on hills and uneven surfaces.

As for the more "challenging" metro parks, you should look at Blendon Woods, Battelle Darby, Clear Creek, Highbanks, or Slate Run. Honestly though, if you want to experience backpacking, you need to hit the backpacking trails for at least a weekend. The Shawnee backpacking trail will provide you with at least 4-5 days of moderate to challenging backpacking if you hike the entire trail (60 miles).

December 27, 2014
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