Fortunately, the woods through which I hiked this morning and afternoon, we’re pretty well trod by more experienced hikers, and Boy Scout troops.
While walking the kids this morning, with Marcus and Maggie, I decided that I needed to take in even more of the snow and its beauty. At 11 AM, I took off for the Yellow Springs area.
My first stop was Clifton Gorge, one of my all-time favorite hiking haunts. Despite the 24° weather, and the 6 to 7 inches of snow, the hike was marvelous. One of the luxuries on this hike was the well-dented snow from preceding hikers and Boy Scout troops. This made the hike so much easier, and far more safe.
I stopped by Clifton Mill to take a few pictures. I had driven by it many times before, but it never stopped. I’ve also never seen the holiday lights at Clifton Mill. For 23 years, friends have tried to get me to go see the lights at Clifton Mill, but I’ve just never been interested.
Several weeks ago, a student’s parent posted photographs of the beautiful waterfall near the Indian mounds at Peterson Park between Cedarville and Xenia. When I pulled into the park, I immediately recognized it. Around 2003, I brought my two older sons, Joshua and Matthew, to hike through this park. There is a wonderful spot in the bottom of the gorge where the cliffs dwarf the rock-filled river. We returned several times to picnic in the spot.
As I began my hike through Peterson Park, I began remembering more details from a decade ago. But I still couldn’t recall the location of the waterfall. The signs kept indicating I was headed in the correct direction, but I could still not locate the falls.
After about another half mile, I was ready to turn back. I took my knit cap off to air out my sweaty hair for a minute, and suddenly heard the distant roar of water. I continued to follow the sound of a waterfall that grew louder and louder.
And there it was.
While walking across the bridge, that rose at least 100 feet, or more, above the little river, I also discovered the other entrance – which was much closer to the waterfall.
It was beautiful.
Naturally, by this time, I wished my car was parked in the nearby park entrance I had just discovered. To my slight chagrin, I had a good 1.5 miles of retracing my steps. I also took a different route, which was a little treacherous going downhill. However, with slow, very careful steps, I safely made it down the rocky hill. It was actually quite fun.
Despite the snow, and the cold weather, it is an absolutely gorgeous day. I am so glad I took this hike with my camera.