Hiking Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller

Date: October 25 & 26, 2022

Although we have hiked all but two of the seven major trails at this state park, we had never hiked here in the fall when the leaves turned colors. Today we hiked both of those trails, Cantwell Cliffs and Whispering Cave plus Conkles Hollow, Rock House, and Old Mans Cave. This post will just show some of the beautiful fall photos. Enjoy!

HIKING GRANT PARK BARN TRAIL Washington Township, Ohio

Hiking Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller, Holly Eller, Breanna Miller

Date: October 29, 2022

Starting at the Normandy Entrance the 2.3-mile trail took us up a steep path to a wooded ridge which eventually ascended along curving Holes Creek to where I discovered on private property a swinging bridge across the creek. We eventually arrived at Kennards Nature Nook that had restrooms, sculptures of kids playing, and a unique natural play area made from carved trees. We returned on a slightly different trail through the woods.

HIKING WARREN DUNES TRAIL Warren Dunes State Park, Michigan

Hiking Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller, Matt Miller, Breanna Miller, Holly Eller, Jacque Kelly, Nick Kelly, Elizabeth Kelly

Date: August 6, 2022

Celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary early, we rented a five-bedroom house in New Buffalo, Michigan for the entire family. Nearby, the state park has three miles of shoreline along Lake Michigan. We began hiking the Warren Dunes wooded trail and ascended a steep hill. At the top the trail was all sand with tall grass on either side. We were in wide open hot 80+degree sun with the only breeze blowing off Lake Michigan. We split up and Matt, Holly, Nick and I hiked over a half mile or more as the trail eventually completed its 260-foot climb to the top of a large dune. The dune summit gave us a beautiful view of Lake Michigan (Photo #4). Matt, Holly, Nick and I took turns sprinting over a quarter mile down the steep, ankle-deep dune. I almost lost my balance and face planted several times. At the bottom I was exhausted. The small speck you see in Photo #6 is Matt at the bottom of dune with Breanna, Rosie, Jacque and Elizabeth as specks on top of the next dune watching. After all of us crazy runners were completed, we met the rest of the group and hiked another quarter mile to the lake where we rested and waded into the water. The mile hike back in the heat over the smaller dunes was very difficult for me but I made it.


Hiking Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller

Date: October 25, 2022

We took the trail from the newly opened Hocking Hills State Park Lodge. The trail descends and combines with the hemlock trail to make a five-mile loop trail. Along the trail was one waterfall, one swinging bridge and impressive sandstone cliffs, steep walls, and large rocks. We had to be cautious along the trail due to steep drop-offs and loose rocks. The tree leaves had turned into beautiful fall colors.

I did not have a flashlight with me, so I only went a short distance into the cave. It was dusk when we returned on the trail and the quartz crystals in the exposed cliff bedrock made it look like twinkling lights. We did see lots of cairns along the trail. We ascended the trail back to the lodge and enjoyed a delicious supper. We rented a lodge room and enjoyed the pool and whirlpool after the long day of hiking.

HIKING CANTWELL CLIFFS Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio

Hiking Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller

Date: October 25, 2022

This 1.8-mile remote, one-way in and one-way out loop trail has a deep valley, high cliffs, and a rock shelter. It is considered the most challenging, rugged trail in the park. The fall trees had turned, and the colors were beautiful mixed with the rock configurations. We descended tight, narrow, stone steps between massive rocks as the trail led us down and across the valley. Although the area was in a drought all summer, one small but impressive waterfall cascaded down from far above.


Hiking Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller

Date: July 15, 2022

This short hike took us down to what is called a “geologist’s paradise”. Along the trail, layers of earth’s crust have eroded and are exposed for easy viewing. The layers are different colors and have different characteristics. In this county many dinosaur bones have been discovered from the Jurassic Period. Kiosks along the trail show vintage photos of cowboys and an old cabin that still stands.


Hiking Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller

Date: July 7, 2022

After investigating the haunted Battery Point Lighthouse built in 1856, we descended from the top down the spiral staircase and back outside. Next to the lighthouse was a wood carving of a whale jumping out of the ocean. We quickly hiked down the hill and across the 200-foot slippery isthmus which was quickly filling with water due to high tide. Back on land we hiked north .4 miles along a new trail sprinkled with wildflowers, small tidepools and beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and California coast. Returning we could see the lighthouse in the distance which was now on an island for the next 12 hours as the high tide covered the trail.


Hiking Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller

Date: July 16, 2022

Ghost Rock is a rock pinnacle along I-70 in San Rafael Swell, a geologist’s paradise. Apparently long ago, a cowboy on a foggy morning saw the pinnacle sticking up from a bed of fog and thought it was a ghost. He called it Ghost Rock. Ghost Rock West is an adjacent rock formation without a pinnacle. We hiked the one-mile trail around the ghost rock dodging the small rocks, mesquite, wildflowers, snakes and often just following the rock cairns for direction. The rock base had some unique erosion holes and designs. Near the end of the hike, we came upon an old grave just off the trail.


Hiking Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller

Date: October 7, 2022

We hiked 2.5 of the 13-mile orange perimeter trail from the visitor center north. It was only 56 degrees, but the sun shone brightly through the tree lined trail. A white-tailed deer was standing on the trail near the Caesar Creek Lake shoreline as the hilly trail weaved near the shore and back into the woods. Chipmunks were scampering beside and across the trail. Just a few of the trees’ color had turned so we planned to return in 2023 to hike a longer distance. Still the photos were very colorful.