Bogged Down

Springfield Bog tree line.jpg

This past week got right by me. Between a full schedule and plenty of rain at times when I wanted to walk, I ended the week feeling utterly worn out and bogged down by my to-do list.

I wanted to start this week on a better footing, though, so before heading out for this week’s Spree hikes, I updated my walk tracking app to give myself a new weekly goal of 25 miles. Though I didn’t hit that goal this past week, I’ve been close or over for the past month, so I thought it was time to push myself a little more.

My hiking friend Keith and I determined to knock a couple more hikes off the Spree list, and since I woke considerably more refreshed this morning, we decided to head east and start with the farthest park off US Route 224, Springfield Bog.

We chased the rain clouds on our drive, occasionally getting glimpses of a lovely sunrise, but the skies were completely overcast by the time we pulled into the parking lot. As we walked up to the trailhead, I asked the lady emerging from the trail how conditions were in the park. “Beautiful!” she said, rhapsodizing over the variety of wildflowers and telling us she had hit the trail early enough to spot an owl, among other birds.

Though the path was a bit muddy in spots (hello, bog), we enjoyed a stroll down the Prairie Trail, rich fall colors of wildflowers in the former farmland all around us. We heard plenty of different bird songs throughout the park, even in the small section that took us through woods, so this habitat is clearly thriving in its transformation.

One cool bit of information about the park is that a local sort of continental divide runs through it, separating which way water flows — either north to Lake Erie or south to the Ohio River. As the park’s website notes, “Ohio’s early land surveys showed prairies near bogs… it made sense to recreate the prairie habitat” when establishing the new Metro Park in 2011.

Two observation decks give the park visitor a chance to find a different perspective on the park. One, a raised platform in a woods clearing, overlooks Young’s Bog, while the other is situated at the edge of a pond near the park’s heart. We spotted red-winged blackbirds here — always a good sign!

The sun peeked out once in a while on our hike, adding a little extra glow to the fields of wildflowers or a dramatic contrast to the rain clouds still rolling by. All in all, it made for an enjoyable morning walk with lots of opportunities for good photography.

Another Spree hike checked off!


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