Aylworth Creek

Day Hike at Girdled Road Reservation

Friday I took one of a few remaining vacation days that must be used by year-end. While the rest of the family was at school or work I decided to spend a couple of hours that morning hiking at Girdled Road Reservation.  A light coating of snow fell the night before which created a beautiful hike.

One of the things I like about Girdled Road Reservation is that you can easily get a 5 to 10 mile hike in with minimal retracing of your steps.  With Big Creek and its tributaries flowing through the middle of the park a hike will also provide a few good climbs.  This hike was just under 5 miles and I only covered half of the park. The main trail is the 4 mile Oak Loop which is easily accessible from the South entrance.  The Chickadee Trail runs from the North entrance to the Oak Loop Trail and is my preferred starting point.  A trail map can be found on the Lake Metroparks website.

During the winter months the Oak Loop Trail is groomed for cross-country skiing.  Hikers should avoid walking on the established ski tracks.  The park system also creates a backcountry snow shoes trail with red plastics ribbons tied to trees.  Last year it was a bit hard to follow and I blazed my own trail most of the way.

Girdled Road Reservation also has somewhat of a backcountry camp site that can be reserved year round.  The site is equipped with a picnic table, fire ring, firewood and a grill.  The campsite is nestled in some Hemlock trees along the buckeye trail on a high bank overlooking Big Creek. You will need to walk about a half mile to reach the site from your car.

Below are a few photos from the hike on Friday.

– Jeff

Chickadee Trail
This is right near the North entrance trailhead. If you look closely you can see a blue Buckeye Trail blaze on one of the far right trees across from the bench.
Frozen pool
A pool created from a fallen tree was frozen over.
Big Creek
Big Creek flowing under a couple Hemlock trees.
Big Creek waterfall
A very tiny waterfall on Big Creek. It is easy to find and not far from the trail.
Aylworth Creek
Aylworth Creek at the Oak Loop and Chickadee trail junction.
Big Creek
Big Creek
Girdled Road campsite
The backcountry like campsite is reservable year round and requires about a half mile hike from your car.
Bees nest
Found this along the Buckeye Trail in the park, Looks like something enjoyed a recent snack at the expense of the bees.

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