Hiking Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller, Elizabeth Kelly

Date: June 12, 2023

In the 1820’s during a hike from Urbana to Cincinnati, John “Johnny Appleseed” Chapman planted a grove of apples trees just west of Dorf Drive in German Village.

On September 23, 2010, honoring the 236th birthday of John Chapman, the City of Moraine rededicated a plaque and planted four second generation apple trees, descendants of the original apple trees planted by Johnny Appleseed. I planned and organized the event and hired Hank Fincken, living history performer who portrayed Johhny Appleseed and spoke at an assembly at the nearby elementary school and at the tree dedication ceremony. He joined school kids and Moraine officials planting the trees. Photos of the event are under the “Moraine Historical Markers and Moraine History” section of my website.

Down in a small gorge, the main .6-mile yellow trail winds through the thick trees and ascends north from the dedication site to Pinnacle Park.  A blue spur trail ascends to the Pinnacle Park Tot Lot and a red spur trail leads northeast. Most of the yellow trail meanders parallel to a creek where I found rocks with many fossils and small newts. I often see deer, squirrels and there have been rare coyote sightings. I held trail cleanups annually through the Moraine Volunteer Program and added trailhead signs and footbridges across three creek crossings.

My family have hiked this trail at least thirty times over the past 25 years but on June 12th our two-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter hiked the trail for the first time. She was so excited to discover and announce whenever she saw the yellow or blue trail markings on the trees. I found a large deer skull just off the blue trail that day. Recently, three deer came walking out of the north trailhead area.

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