Friday, October 17, 2014

Hiking Hopewell Mound Group in Chillicothe, Ohio

Jethro is ready to go
©Marie Anne St. Jean

I needed a break from walking the short distance up and down my boring road several times a day and remembered that there was a walking trail at Hopewell Mound Group just a few miles from my home, so I decided to take Jethro out early this morning. The trail begins from a parking area on Sulphur Lick Rd. in Chillicothe, right near the intersection of Maple Grove Rd., not far from Frankfort.  It starts out in a more open area with a packed sand/fine gravel walking surface on fairly level ground, then begins to wind up a hill to a wooded area.

Once in the woods, watch for roots on the trail that might trip you up.  Depending on the time of year, you'll also need to be careful of wet leaves and hickory nut pods, those wonderful green balls that can send a body flying if you step on one just right.  At one point you'll find a few stairs set into a hill, but they're very widely spaced and not steep at all.  There is more than one footbridge, but they're also easily traversed.

Lots of wet leaves, but we got this!
©Marie Anne St. Jean

The trail continues in a complete circle if you go all the way around to Sulphur Lick Rd and walk along the bike path, or you can turn at any point on the wooded area of the trail and come back the way that you came.  Since it was Jethro's first time to hike Hopewell Mound Group, I elected to keep our jaunt a little shorter and stayed on the trail.  The longer footbridge (photo below) was covered in wet leaves, and since I'm not as sure-footed as I used to be because of a bum knee, I decided that was a good place to turn around.  My Fitbit registered approximately two miles for the ground we covered today.

Longer footbridge where we turned around
©Marie Anne St. Jean

The walking trail at Hopewell Mound Group is a pleasant one, and not too difficult.  Anyone who can manage small inclines for short distances should be able to navigate this trail without difficulty.  The park is open during daylight hours year round, with an adequate parking area and bathroom facilities available.

Almost there ... let's go home, Mom!
©Marie Anne St. Jean

I hope to make this hike twice a week, alternating which dog will come along (I have three).  I think adding Hopewell Mound Group to my short list of walking areas will help to break up the monotony and keep me moving.

Keep putting one foot in front of the other ...

~ Marie Anne

Looking for more dog-friendly places to hike in Ross County, Ohio?  Yoctangee Park in downtown Chillicothe is an easy option, and Great Seal State Park on the outskirts of town affords a little more of a challenge.

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