Friday, July 5, 2013

Caesar Creek Lake Park: Adena Trace (Blog Hike #425)

Trail: Adena Trace
Hike Location: Caesar Creek Lake Park
Geographic Location: southeast of Waynesville, OH
Length: 0.75 miles
Difficulty: 1/10 (Easy)
Last Hiked: June 2013
Overview: A short lollipop loop nature trail.

Directions to the trailhead: From the intersection of US 42 and SR 73 in Waynesville, drive SR 73 east 1.1 miles to Clarksville Road.  Turn right on Clarksville Rd.  Drive Clarksville Rd. 2.3 miles to the Visitor Center on the left.  Park in the Visitor Center parking lot.

The hike: For my general comments on the Caesar Creek area, see the Gorge Trail blog entry.  The short mulch trail described here provides access to the natural environment for users of the playground adjacent to the Caesar Creek Lake Visitor Center.  This trail used to be known as the Bluebird Trail, and the name change to Adena Trace somewhat mystifies me.  While Adena earthworks can be found at various locations in Ohio (most notably Chillicothe), I saw no evidence of the ancient Adena civilization on this trail.           
Trailhead: Adena Trace
            Start at the left side of the kids fishing pond as the trail heads into the forest with the pond on the right.  Continue straight where the pond access trail exits to the right.  The trail dips through a shallow ravine and crosses a small creek on a wooden footbridge.  Young beech, ash, and maple trees dominate the forest along this trail.        
Wooden footbridge over small creek
            Just after crossing the bridge, the blue and yellow blazed dirt Perimeter Trail exits to the right where the mulch Adena Trace continues straight.  At 0.2 miles, the trail forks to form its loop.  For no reason, I chose to turn right and hike the loop counterclockwise, thus using the left trail as my return route.
            The trail curves gradually left to make its loop through the young forest.  At 0.4 miles, the trail surface changes from mulch to grass as you enter a meadow area that has been farmed more recently.  This meadow makes for great wildlife-viewing.  On my hike, a young deer, probably less than 1 year old, scampered across the trail just feet in front of me.           
Young deer on trail
            Just under 0.5 miles into the hike, the trail skirts a grassy picnic area as it curves to the left.  Shortly thereafter you close the loop.  A soft right turn and some retracing of your steps will return you to the parking area to complete the hike.

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