Come and join Dawn for a moderately paced (2.5 mph) approximately 3 mile hike at the beautiful 618 acre Sugarcreek Metropark. The sun is setting earlier, so we have to start earlier, shorten the hike or carry lights. We'll see what you think of this mixed up but shorter route to accommodate the shortening daylight.
Some of us like to hit Chipotle after the hike for dinner. This is not required, but all are welcome to join in. Please let me know if you're interested in grabbing dinner after the hike.
The route may vary from week to week. In general, this hike often includes multiple stream crossings and a number of this park's highlights, such as the Big Woods loop, the Osage Orange Tree Tunnel, three 550 year old oak trees known as the Three Sisters, a lovely grass prairie which blooms in late summer/early fall with beautiful wildflowers, the spring lakes and/or the beech woods forest area. I usually test run the hike in advance to confirm the mileage, but for this hike I will aim for about 3 miles, give or take a little. Come! Relax, unwind after work, and get some exercise in a beautiful setting.
Heads up!: If we do the Big Woods Loop, it would be a small part of the hike (approx. 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile), but it can be buggy and it has done a fair bit a growing thanks to all the rain earlier in the season. The side growth of greenery has become more dense in that area and is encroaching a bit on the trail (whereas most of the trails we'll do are wide open and well-cleared, this one is not as well maintained). The trail is still clear and easily walked. But, if you're really sensitive to plant life and don't want it to occasionally brush your legs, you may want to wear light pants or gaiters. Also, because of the additional foliage and low creek water, a light coating of bug repellent is probably a good idea. On one of my recent hikes here, some folks didn't wear any and had no problems. Others were spraying their legs midway through the big woods loop.
Sun is setting earlier and we cannot afford to wait for latecomers to start the hike. Please plan to be on-time. The projected sunset for this hike is 7:16 p.m. So, I've had to shorten the hike to approximately 3 miles.
For these hikes, I am a "firm believer in the hereafter".
In other words:
"Be Here On Time or You'll Be Here After"
IF you do arrive late, and you want to try and catch the group, go right out the blue trail, turn left at 14 to go down the stone steps, turn left on the blue/green trail and wait there. This week we're not doing the Big Woods Loop (unless everyone wants to up this hike to 4 miles and carry flashlights cuz it'll be getting really dusky by 7:45 and dark by 7:55. Fact. I tested it Monday night.) So, this will be the best place to catch us if late.
The Legal Stuff: Your hike leader is just a fellow member volunteer. By participating in this hike, you assume all risks of liability and injury inherent in hiking activities. You are responsible for your own safety and for determining if you are in a condition fit to participate. You are also responsible for knowing and abiding by all laws and park rules during your participation on this hike. You must be 18 y/o to participate on this hike or be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is responsible for you. Please be advised that all hikers using the trail after sunset and before sunrise should carry a light with them to provide safe passage (in some parks, this is mandated by law). It is expected that we will return by sunset. But, unexpected things happen. Guests of members are welcome, but please RSVP +# so I can have a good head count on who is coming and how many I'm looking to find before we start. Finally, in parks where they are permitted, dogs are welcomed on my hikes as long as they are well-behaved and on a leash.