Wildflowers are blooming early this year due to the mild weather. Last Saturday was a beautiful day so we headed to southern Lake County to Hogback Ridge Park, part of the Lake Metroparks system, to see if we could find bluebells and white trilliums.
“Hogback Ridge Park, one of the first Lake Metroparks, is named for its most prominent natural feature: a high, narrow ridge of land bounded on two sides by steep valleys. This type of ridge is named for its resemblance to the bony spine of a hog. The hogback at this park is bordered on the north by the Grand River and on the south by Mill Creek.”-LMP Web Site
I just love that name, Hogback Ridge. The park is easy to find, big parking lot, restroom, picnic tables, gravel covered trails. It’s a pretty easy walk down to the creek/river bed, just under a mile. But don’t forget you’ve got to come back up when you’re done!
These varieties may be around another week here on the North Coast. Never pick wildflowers if you want them to come back next year. Plus, you may not disturb or remove any natural object in the Metro Parks.
In 1986, the Ohio General Assembly made the white trillium Ohio’s official wildflower. The white trillium is also known as the wake robin, the snow trillium, the great white trillium, or the large white trillium. The General Assembly selected this flower because it exists in all of Ohio’s eighty-eight counties. I used to have a few in the woodsy area at the back of my property, until the deer decided to start eating them. I still have quite a few trout lilies though.
The forest floor in this area was messy, full of downed trees and fallen limbs, as you can well see in the above photo. Since this area is between Mill Creek and the Grand River it has probably been subjected to some heavy flooding.
The rock-hound in me rejoiced as we headed down to the stream bed. A stream that regularly floods is a treasure trove of all varieties of rocks, minerals and fossils.
I was impressed by the clarity of the stream. It was mostly fast running with a few small, deep pools. Further down, the creek joins with the river and we saw fisherman coming and going, probably fishing for steelhead trout this time of year.
In this view from above you can see how clear the water was. This was one of the deep pools, those big rocks are on the bottom.
Scenes from the trail
Hemlock cones. There were birds feeding on the seeds but they flew around so fast and were so elusive that I could not see what they were. Then, a guy and his wife came up behind us, noticed we had binoculars and said Oh, Birdwatching? When I nodded, they pushed in front of me to take a photo of the river, making the birds nervous, then he proceeded to cough loud and long. Of course then the birds disappeared.
We had a really fun day in the park. Any nature walk where you come home wet and muddy is a success, and we did!
Hogback Ridge is part of the Lake Metroparks system in Lake County, Ohio, USA. Click here to visit the park web site: Hogback Ridge Metropark
More Lake County attractions: Lake County Visitors Bureau