Sunday, November 29, 2015

Hiking At Quail Hollow State Park

Photos by OHventures

Quail Hollow State Park
13480 Congress Lake Avenue
Hartville, OH 44632

Quail Hollow State Park is a multi-functional park that has a variety of trails (14 miles total) accessible to handicapped individuals and experienced hikers alike. There is also a designated horse trail (5 miles) and mountain bike trail (4 miles). 

I have taken readers to Quail Hollow to go sled riding and for a photo shoot. Now, I encourage you to go to this Stark County state park to go hiking! My good pals Greg and Matt joined me one crisp November morning to head out on an expedition to Quail Hollow. We knew the trails offered here are relatively short and are moderate in length, so it would be a light and non-demanding trip. We had a goal of making a 4-5 mile hike, which we predicted would take us 2-3 hours, with stops.

Driving into the park entrance, we parked at the trail head for the Sedge Marsh. This short 1/4 mile section of trail is made out of boardwalks. We completed that quick loop and then hiked the Meadowlands (1 mile), followed by the Beaver Lodge Trail (1.5 miles). We accidentally happened upon a portion of the bridle trails, which I do not recommend (there were a lot of "land mines" along the way that didn't make for a great hike). When all was said and done, we met our goal by hiking 4.4 miles in 2.5 hours.

During our hike, we actually stumbled upon a geocache! This was really neat, since I had never seen one before, and especially neat since we weren't even trying to locate it using GPS, like those who participate in geocaching.

One of my favorite aspects of the park is the herb gardens and the Carriage House Nature Preserve, which has educational exhibits and interactive elements. It's a beautiful old house that the Tall-Grass Prairie Trail wraps around. In addition to hiking, biking, geocaching, sledding, and horseback riding, other activities at Quail Hollow include: fishing, camping, picnicking, cross country skiing, volleyball, basketball, and special events.

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