Tag Archives: In-Town Tourist

Short Walk on a Long Pier

An In-Town Tourist Feature:
…because Adventure begins in the heart and Travel starts at the end of your own driveway.

A 1500 foot pier is an unexpected find in landlocked Central Ohio. The Hoover Mudflats Boardwalk in Galena, Ohio lies on the northeastern edge of Hoover Reservoir and is a popular recreational site for boaters, birders and fishermen.

Canada GooseDepending on the time of day and if the fish are biting, you’ll stroll through the quiet conversations of fishermen intent on hooking a large-mouth bass or channel catfish -or into virtual solitude, pressed only by rhythmic waves, gusting winds and the cheerful chirps and calls of a variety of shore birds.

Matt on Boardwalk

Bald eagles, peregrine falcons and osprey are lake area residents and can be spotted with a steady eye on the sky. The water may be mud brown in color, but pier’s end offers a view expansive enough to awaken oceanic dreams…


Columbus Things To Do

Hoover Mudflats Boardwalk (Galena, Ohio) Visitor Information and Map

1500 foot boardwalk across mudflats and reservoir waters.
Fishing and bird watching!

Directions: Travel northeast on S. Old 3C to downtown Galena, Ohio. Turn right on Front Street. Parking lot is on right.

View Hoover Mudflats Boardwalk in a larger map


Crawling through Caves












An In-Town Tourist Feature:
…because Adventure begins in the heart and Travel starts at the end of your own driveway.

Just beyond the berm of the heavily traveled Riverside Drive that crawls alongside Dublin, Ohio, and behind a thick curtain of summer greenery, lies a quieted stream. So still that it often lies dry and bare, exposing secrets only to those who care to wander its rubbled path.

While surfing down the side of a ravine on loose dirt and rocks I was more focused on avoiding poison ivy and spider webs. Not that I really had the luxury of doing much more than note their presence as I did a steady slide toward my destination. But once I’d reached the relative stability of the stream bed -and when the clattering of our own descents had faded, the stillness was startling. Cars sped by just above and beyond our vision, but the tall trees and rock face acted as natural buffers against the road sounds. It was as if we’d slipped through a protective wall into the silent interior of a bubble.

When the range of color is narrow, textures and patterns grow more obvious. The swirled holes of watery erosion, the random splatters of moisture and leaves, the moss-haired face peering from a wall of rock, the splintered, decomposing wood of a stump…

We trekked the stream bed, ostensibly looking for fossils, but I found myself equally captivated by the shale walls that formed our corridor. Just ahead was the first cave, a narrow tunnel opening into a rock-walled room with no view but its own entrance/exit.

I confess to a slightly claustrophobic tingling as I crawled beneath dangling webs and through the encroaching neck of solid rock. It reminded me of a free dive I did, years ago, through a coral tunnel in the Caribbean. No wiggle room available for the hesitant.

But the best was still ahead, up steep waterless waterfalls and across an unsteady bed of rocks that kept me alert to my wobbly (surgically enhanced) right ankle. Along the way to “The Well”, my friend pointed out an embedded snail shell fossil and found, as well, a loose snail fossil, a tooth (raccoon or groundhog), a bit of rib bone, and some coral.

“The Well” required another steep climb up to go down, down, down…

One can barely see the tree harbored cavity from the stream bed below. But along the edge of an incline the hole goes deep, dark, and damp. An emptied natural well bent by the whim of the water it once contained.

Lacking flashlights we stayed within view of our exit daylight. Better to take a chance on a lottery ticket than in an unlit cave…



Updated from August 28, 2007



Detour to Dawes Arboretum

Pink peony by Daweswood House; Dawes Arboretum; Newark, Ohio

An In-Town Tourist Feature:
…because Adventure begins in the heart and Travel starts at the end of your own driveway.

If not for photography I might run too much. Sadly, when friends refer to rehab projects, I think of ankles and knees. Anything in excess is unhealthy, even “good for your body” things like exercise. Fortunately, photography provides enough outdoor thrills to compensate for an endorphin-less “rest day”.

The Dawes Arboretum Visitor Information and Map

Kentucky coffee trees with farm field; Dawes Arboretum; Newark, Ohio

One of my favorite photo stops is Dawes Arboretum, east of Columbus in Newark, Ohio. Dawes cradles some 1700 acres of botanical beauty. Founded in 1929 by the colorful Beman and Bertie Dawes, the park is free to the public and offers an impressive display of more than 15,000 living plants. Eight miles of trails allow visitors to wander through a cypress swamp, a Japanese garden, a woods and multiple collections of labeled plant specimens. The grounds are well manicured in a non-fussy sort of way. It’s the kind of place one could imagine as his own backyard with enough money, time and the knowledge to make it so.

Japanese Garden; Dawes Arboretum; Newark, Ohio

The serene Japanese garden includes a reflection pool, meditation house and two islands, artfully accessed by stepping stones and arched wooden bridges.

Bald cypress swamp; Dawes Arboretum; Newark, Ohio

The Bald cypress swamp is other-worldly with pneumatophores or “cypress knees” protruding all over like odd little families wading through the algae coated water.

Collections of conifers, holly, oaks, ginkgoes, magnolias and many more fill the seemingly endless acreage that eventually rolls into Dawes Lake at the southern edge of the park.

The view from an observation tower just beyond allows one to decipher the “secret message” in the hedge planting at the park’s southern tip: “Dawes Arboretum.”Japanese Umbrella tree; Dawes Arboretum; Newark, Ohio

The park was a Sunday drive destination for my family when I was a young girl, but as many times as I’ve wandered the grounds there, I still discover something new every time.

Tulip bloom on tulip tree; Dawes Arboretum; Newark, Ohio

Tree bench at Dawes Memorial; Dawes Arboretum; Newark, Ohio

This time a deciduous variety of holly, a blooming tulip tree and bench grafted into the trunks of two sturdy trees caused the double-takes. The bench sits within the family cemetery just beyond the Daweswood House Museum and History Center, which I aim to check out next time.

Yellow flowering shrub; Dawes Arboretum; Newark, Ohio

On my last visit we tried identifying as many trees and shrubs as we could without peeking at their labels but found that even the most common tree species have impressive families.  Who knew there were so many varieties of ginkgoes?!

That afternoon slipped by as gently and sweetly as the rolling hills around us, and I found plenty of thrills through my camera lens.  Should the truly shocking occur this year, a non-stormy/non-freezing Mother’s Day, a picnic at Dawes sounds about perfect.

Updated from June 2, 2008.


The Dawes Arboretum Visitor Information and Map

The Dawes Arboretum (Newark, Ohio)
1800 acres of botanical beauty to drive and walk through.
Eight miles of trails with labeled specimens.
Collections of holly, azalea, conifers, cypress, bonsai and more.
A 36-foot Outlook Tower and serene Japanese Garden are visitor favorites.
Picnicking permitted.
Free to the public.
“Yes” to pets (on leash)

Directions: Take I-70 east from Columbus. Take Newark exit and travel north on Jacksontown Rd. Arboretum entrance will be on left.
Visitor Center: Open Mon-Sat, 8AM-5PM; Sundays and holidays, 1PM-5PM
Address: 7770 Jacksontown Rd. SE; Newark Ohio 43056
Phone: 740-323-2355 or 800-44-DAWES
Admission: Free!

View Larger Map


Page 4 of 9« First...23456...Last »
View Heather Dugan's profile on LinkedIn Subscribe to me on YouTube
Follow Me on Pinterest