Celebrate the season at the 3rd Annual John Bryan and Clifton Gorge Holiday Hike.
We will hike about 5 miles in these two great parks at around 2.7 mph (moderate pace). Keep your fingers crossed for at least a dusting of snow to get us in the holiday spirit!
Bring a headlamp or flashlight as we may finish the hike near sunset. Dress for the weather.
Continue the fun with the popular post-hike dinner and celebratory drink at Peach's in Yellow Springs (optional, of course).
This hike has a size limit due to the narrow trail in some places and small parking lot, and to keep the hike the best experience for all. No maybe RSVP's, please, confirm when you know you can attend.
Description of John Bryan State Park:
Much of the history of John Bryan State Park is "written in the rocks" of the Little Miami River gorge • Entering the area at Clifton, at 980 feet above sea level, the Little Miami drops 130 feet through layer upon layer of bedrock • Each layer has a story to tell of times when the area was covered by warm, shallow seas or was a part of a muddy river delta or was scoured by tons of slow-moving glacial ice • Each layer has its own characteristics as well • Some of the shale layers are easily worn away by the forces of erosion, causing undercutting in the cliff face • The more erosion-resistant dolomite or limestone rocks above are weakened by this undercutting and large "slump blocks" fall away, creating unusual rock formations including Steamboat Rock • Springs feeding small waterfalls and cascades are common
The glaciers did not only affect the land forms, they also had an effect on the vegetation found here • As the last glacier retreated and the climate warmed, the cool shaded recesses of the gorge valley provided a suitable habitat for several Canadian plant species: Canada yew, redberry elder, mountain maple, arborvitae and even a few hemlocks
More than 100 different trees and shrubs have been identified in the park • More than 340 species of wildflowers grow wild here • Snow trillium, Virginia bluebells, bellworts, wild ginger, Dutchman's breeches, Jack-in-the-pulpit and wild columbines are only a few to be seen in the park • The dominating trees are oaks and maples, but large numbers of sycamores and cottonwoods can be found along the river • Wildlife is also abundant in the park • For instance, more than 90 different varieties of birds live in or visit the park area during the year • To fully appreciate the beauty of John Bryan, one needs to experience it during all four seasons