It WILL be dark during this hike!
You MUST bring a light to participate per PARK RULES.
Come and join Dawn for a moderately paced (2.5 mph) hike at the beautiful 618 acre Sugarcreek Metropark. Since it will be dark no matter what, the routes we take will vary each week between approx. 3 and 4 miles. No need to race the sun back to the start now.
Some of us like to hit Chipotle after the hike for dinner, but we will be looking for new locations with adequate seating and reasonable prices for a quick sociable meal, snack or drink. It is a little cold for the outdoor patio at Chipotle during the fall/winter months. It is not required to go out after the hike, but all are welcome to join in. Please let me know if you're interested in grabbing dinner or just socializing there after the hike. Also, please suggest any places nearby with seating to accommodate 10-25 hikers and $7-$10 meal prices.
The route usually varies 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 often test run the hike in advance to confirm the mileage, but generally for these hikes, I will aim for about 3 to 4 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. 3/4 of a mile), but it can be buggy and overgrown at times. 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 even in warmer weather hikes. Also, in warmer weather, a light coating of bug repellent is probably a good idea whenever we do the Big Woods or Spring Lakes loops.
I plan to hike every Wednesday as long as the park remains open to us in the evenings and weather permitting (I *do* hike in the snow, but recommend poles and cleats for snow/ice hikes). Currently, the park hours are open till 10:00 p.m. thru October 31st and till 8:00 p.m. during the winter months till April 1st.
It will be dark for most, if not all, of our hikes during these winter months. BRING A LIGHT!!!! It can be a handheld flashlight or a headlamp.
We do not wait for latecomers to start these hikes. So, please plan to arrive and be geared up ready to START hiking at 6:15. Don't just be arriving at that time. 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, I will try to post a comment each week with the best point to catch the group on the trail when possible. So, check the comments! :-)
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. If you have any doubts, you should consult your doctor. You are also responsible for knowing and abiding by all laws and park rules during your participation on this hike. Children: You must be 18 y/o to participate on this hike or be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is responsible for you. If bringing a child, please make sure that he or she is old enough and experienced enough to hike the full trail, to keep up with the group and to behave appropriately so that they do not disturb the other hikers. Sorry, but no infants, toddlers or children under 10 years old. As the adult responsible for bringing a child, you agree to the waivers and "legal stuff" on behalf of such child and you agree to indemnify and hold harmless your hike leader, group organizer and Dayton Hikers from any liability whatsoever for the child's presence at and/or participation on this hike. Lighting: 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). Guests: Guests of members are welcome, but they MUST READ and agree to the "legal stuff" and Dayton Hikers Legal Waivers page to participate. By coming on this hike as a guest, each guest represents that he or she has read and agreed to the "legal stuff" and the waivers. Also, by bringing a guest, you represent and warrant that you have notified your guest of the waivers and "legal stuff", that your guest has agreed to same and you agree to indemnify and hold harmless your hike leader, group organizer and Dayton Hikers from any liability whatsoever for the guest's presence at and/or participation on this hike. 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. Dogs: Finally, in parks where they are permitted, dogs are welcomed on my hikes as long as they are well-behaved and on a leash no more than 6' long, no flexies. You are responsible to pick up after them during the hike and to keep them from disturbing the other hikers. Please keep in mind that my hikes tend to have a fairly large number of hikers. If your dog has not experienced hiking in a large group, it may be overwhelming, even if your dog is normally sociable.
Be sure to read the Legal Waivers you agreed to when you joined Dayton Hikers and to which you agree each time you sign up for a hike. Here is a courtesy link: Legal Waivers Page