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Old 11-24-2013, 11:18 AM   #11
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I'm sure I mentioned this before when you brought up Nelson's ledges, but here it is again with more details. I remember that park from my youth. I lived in Ohio for for years as a child. I'm sure we visited the park more than once. Years later, I went back with Jeff.

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The jumbled rocks and shaded rock faces are home to a wide variety of wildflowers, trees and ferns. The spring wildflower show includes spring beauties, hepatica and trillium and features the rare red trillium, which grows in great numbers along the ledges.
This description makes me realize that this was among the places my parents took us that influenced my love of wildflowers (native woodland wildflowers to be specific...even as a kid the woodland ephemerals are what I thought of as wildflowers...I've since broadened--and narrowed-- the term to mean all of the flowering plants native to a region whether they grow in the woods, meadow, wetland, etc.). So this park was one of the multitude of experiences that instilled my love of nature and native plants.

I remember, when returning to the park as an adult, thinking that the rock that the formations were composed of looked almost like concrete with pebbles throughout. I was disappointed by that thinking if looked somehow unnatural. I know that is foolish, since conglomerate rocks are natural...I guess they are just not what I'm used to.

Another memory comes to mind of me at perhaps the age of six walking the trail and picking up a smooth white pebble. My mother referred to it as a "lucky stone"...so from there on in, so did I. However, there is no sense of it, in my mind, as being any kind of talisman...so, I doubt my mother thought of it as such either. Thanks for bringing an early memory to the surface, Lib.

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...Some of these trees cling to the rock faces, their roots pushing into every available crevice...
I remember that. Either I observed it myself, or, more likely, my father pointed it out to me.

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Young children are shown hiking the trails at the website. In my opinion, there is only 1 trail suitable for young kids and anyone who has little experience hiking and that would be the yellow trail to a small falls. The white trail to Minnehaha Falls is a loop but it's only accessible from the blue trail.
We lived in Ohio when I was between 4 and 8, so, I'm sure I walked at least some trail as a kid. Perhaps I rode on my dad's shoulders during a more difficult part. One spot I remember was called "The Devil's Icebox"...I'm guessing it was a small cave or something where there was a noticeable drop in temperature. I'm nearly sure that is from Nelson's Ledges and not another park I visited in my youth.

Great place! I'm thinking, if we make that trek out to visit Equilibrium and havalotta next year, we need to stop at Nelson's Ledges on the way. What da ya think, dapsguy? (Assuming he ever sees this...he is back to his busy self--too many commitments.)
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Old 11-24-2013, 12:36 PM   #12
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Here's some more photos. The last photo is "Waldo".
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Dappy> I did read something about a "Devil's Icebox". I'm pretty sure that's to the south of the entrance.... along the trail where you'd be hiking within a 100'-200' from the road. It's pretty wild. I'd think kids could hike the majority of that trail just as long as they turned around and came back as opposed to heading for the red trail. The red trail is a little hairy... it travels along the top of the boulders. There were 1 spot where hava got on her knees and crawled and there was 1 spot where I just flat out refused to jump over a crack in the sandstone that was at most only 3.5' across because I was carrying too much "stuff" on me and didn't want to end up a grease splat 25' down at the bottom. When you go to take a jump like that.... everything hanging on you ends up swinging and swaying and pulling your body off balance in different directions. Normally I'd just swing my "stuff" over then jump over myself but there was an incline on the other side and anything tossed over other than my jacket wouldn't have stayed put so we back tracked and crossed over in another area and caught up with the trail from a different direction. I'm really ok with heights.... I just didn't see a way to get across safely weighed down with a camera.... a mini crow bar.... a jacket tied around my waist... glasses hanging around my neck... snacks crammed in all the pockets of my sweatshirt and well.... you know what I look like and how many layers of outerwear I wear and how much crap I load myself down with. Trails like this are better if you've got a backpack you can ram all your "stuff" in that can "leap" with you or that won't roll if taken off and tossed across is all.
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Sage> YES!!! the trail that led to Cascade Falls would have been fine for you with a little help in just 2 areas. I think you and Big R could do it together but it'd be better if you did it in summer after the spring rains swept all the leaves off the path so you'd have a trail that you'd be less likely to slip on. There's 1 area on the boardwalk where you'd have to bend over to clear the underside of a boulder to follow the trail but worse case scenario if bending is too much strain on your back would be getting down on your hands and knees and crawling a few feet. I saw somebody else with back problems do that. Me... I just stepped off the boardwalk into the mud and leaned to my left to make it through but.... some people don't like getting slopped up with mud. Then once you get back toward those falls..... there's an incline you'd need a little bit of help getting up. As long as it's not raining, I'd think Big R could help you through that area. Other than that, the majority of that trail was pretty easy just as long as you know to take it slow.
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Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3720.jpg   Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3724.jpg   Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3727.jpg   Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3729.jpg   Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3731.jpg  

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Old 11-24-2013, 12:53 PM   #13
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If this isn't "eye candy".... I dunno what is. Now.... imagine hiking these trails in winter with snow on the ground and icycles hanging from tree roots and overhangs. We're talking a veritable winter wonderland!!! I'd sure love to go back to this park in winter, All Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park Hiking Trail Pictures and Movie In Order. There's photos from someon'e winter hike at that link.
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Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3732.jpg   Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3733.jpg   Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3734.jpg   Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3735.jpg   Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3736.jpg  

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Old 11-24-2013, 12:56 PM   #14
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These photos are from the far end of the lower trail which.... looks benign enough but wasn't in a few spots. It had rained quite a bit the week before we visited. hava went down pretty good in a "sleeper" area that was covered in leaves. It looked like it was solid ground and wasn't. I'd already made it through that area by sticking to fallen logs and rocks.... I'd stepped off a fallen log 1x thinking the ground would be solid enough and found out real quick it wasn't so I was "spared". Unless you "tested" the area.... there really was no clue the leaves were blanketing a decent sized muddy slop hole that hava sunk in up to her knee. I'm really surprised her shoe didn't get sucked off her foot and even more surprised she didn't wreck her camera because there was no way for her to hold it above her head when she went down so it went in the slop along with her. Sometimes you just gotta laugh.... especially when you "surface" looking like the creature from the black lagoon.
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Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3739.jpg   Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3740.jpg   Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3741.jpg   Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3742.jpg   Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3743.jpg  

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Old 11-24-2013, 01:10 PM   #15
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We didn't do the farthest tip of this trail where there was more of the "Devil's Icebox" because it was impassable for hava because of all the recent rain and I just wasn't up to emerging from the park covered in mud. I got a little farther than her... I made it through the "squeeze"... no problem.... then turned around and told her to forget it.... it just wasn't worth getting caked in mud on a day when the sun was peeking in and out. It was nice hiking weather when the sun was out but a little nippy when it was tucked behind the clouds. These photos were taken before we turned around and started heading back to the trail that would take us to the trail that led to Minnehaha Falls. Here's a link to more info on the Devil's Icebox, http://www.neonaturalist.com/trails/...box_trail.html.
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Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3744.jpg   Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3745.jpg   Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3746.jpg   Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3747.jpg   Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3748.jpg  

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Old 11-24-2013, 01:21 PM   #16
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The 1st photo is from the "sleeper" area of the trail.... we had to pass back through it. I slipped on that log and ended up clinging to a boulder and if there hadn't been a hand hold.... I woulda ended up knee deep in the muddy slop hole just like hava did. The last 2 photos are from "The Secret Garden" area which we passed back through too. We took the Fat Man's Pass at the rear to get to the red trail. If you're interested in a little bit 'o history.... enlarge that last photo.
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Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3750.jpg   Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3751.jpg   Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3752.jpg   Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3753.jpg   Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3755.jpg  

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Old 11-24-2013, 01:35 PM   #17
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I'm hoping hava got a photo of the Fat Man's Pass since I didn't. The 1st photo was on the other side of it. And that 2nd photo was the trail going up. It wasn't as bad as what it looks because there were plenty of places to get a hand hold on the way up.
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Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3757.jpg   Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3758.jpg   Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3759.jpg   Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3760.jpg  
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Old 11-24-2013, 01:53 PM   #18
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More shrooms. My flash went off for that 2nd photo. I crawled into a crack to get that photo!!!
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Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3762.jpg   Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3764.jpg   Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3765.jpg   Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3766.jpg   Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park, OH-img_3767.jpg  

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Old 11-24-2013, 01:57 PM   #19
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Sometime after I took the photo of the trail sign above...
I like the splintered tree. I'd have taken a shot of that too, had I been there.
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Old 11-24-2013, 01:59 PM   #20
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The first photo: I swear I remember walking there! (or is that not even a trail...up the worn--no moss--rock?)

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This 3rd photo is my favorite of every photo I took. My settings were definitely screwed up and I actually got a "decent" photo because of the messed up settings.
Very nice.

5th photo: What a cutie!
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