Caesar Creek State Park
Whenever I visit to a State (or Metro) Park, I try to find a unique feature that makes it stand out from all the rest. That was not a hard task for me when I headed to Caesar Creek State Park, located in the Southwest portion of our state at the crossroads of Warren, Greene and Clinton counties. There are many highlights within Caesar Creek, including the historic Pioneer Village, an educational Nature Center, and an intricate collection of paths for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.
My favorite attraction here is Pioneer Village, which contains 15 authentic buildings from the late 1700s and early 1800s. Many of these buildings are original structures where the founding pioneers of Ohio’s earliest years resided. Some have been transported from various parts of the state and reconstructed on site, while others are purely models of homes from the time period. One building, the Lukens House, is, remarkably, in the very same spot it has been since it was constructed over 200 years ago!
Visitors of Pioneer Village at Caesar Creek are welcome to take self-guided tours during daylight hours by grabbing a map located at a number of the buildings. Tours are also given during special event weekends, which is the only time you are able to explore the inside of the buildings and see folks dressed up in clothing from the era. I took a self-guided tour, and, therefore, was limited to just the outside of the cabins; however, I thoroughly enjoyed my winter walk through the mock town. There was much to look at just at the exteriors of places like the blacksmith, school house, the general store and the farmhouse. I even was greeted unexpectedly by pigs, chickens and goats at a mini petting zoo.
At the conclusion of my Pioneer Village experience, I trekked across the road to find the Nature Center and a series of trail heads. I decided to hop on the Old Woods Trail, as it is a rather short trail (2 miles one way) and, judging by the map posted nearby, looked to be very scenic. And scenic it was! The path was mainly downhill as it neared the majestic Caesar Creek Gorge. As I hiked onward, I discovered that the land became an isthmus, and there was water on either side of me! One wrong step and I could have found myself making a splash (which would not have been fun, given the snowy conditions).
Thankfully, I remained upright on my hike and soon found myself on a beach along the gorge. With no other hikers in sight, this became a great place to reflect and relax before heading back. There are many beautiful spots like this throughout the 4,700 acre park, and I can’t wait to make a return visit!
Consider visiting during Maple Syrup Weekend on February 25 & 26.