October 18, 2015 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

AOA in partnership with Crane Hollow Preserve is sponsoring a deep forest fall color hike to the Early and Goldmine Hollow areas at Crane Hollow Nature Preserve on Sunday, October 18th. This naturalist-guided hike will feature the eastern Hemlock Forest ecosystem and Hocking Hills geology.

Participants will be able to delight in nature’s brilliant foliage on the traditional peak fall color weekend in the Hocking Hills. Expect to be treated to the spectacular red, yellow and orange trees that highlight autumn in the Hocking Hills.

Crane Hollow Nature Preserve is a pristine state-designated nature preserve owned and administered by Crane Hollow, Inc. a private, non-profit corporation. William and Jane Ann Ellis created this 1,900-acre preserve over a period of 30 years with the purpose of permanently protecting a small slice of the Hocking Hills for scientific study and environmental education.

Crane Hollow does not have an organized system of maintained hiking trails. Participants need to be physically capable of hiking about 2.5 off-trail miles in sometimes strenuous terrain that includes rocks and steep slopes. The hike will showcase the beautiful oak forest above the cliffs to the picturesque northern hardwood-hemlock forest below. This section of the Preserve contains a natural arch we can explore, interesting rockhouses, waterfalls, cliff, and rare plants including mountain maple. Expect the hike to last approximately 4 to 5 hours, depending on our pace.

Please pack a lunch/snacks and plenty of water for the trail. The hike will be held rain or shine so dress appropriately for hiking and weather. Waterproof shoes are recommended as we will cross shallow streams and wet areas. Long pants and sturdy hiking shoes are recommended. Stinging nettle is common this time of year along the hiking route. Feel free to bring a hiking stick or poles.

We will start at the Crane Hollow Preserve office, receive an introductory orientation about the hike and Crane Hollow and use the restrooms. We will carpool to the hike starting point, approximately 1.5 miles from the office. At the end of the hike, we will carpool back to the office for restrooms and vehicle pick-up.

Participants should meet at 10:00 a.m.

Crane Hollow is a privately owned nature preserve with restricted access. This is a rare opportunity for the public to visit and enjoy an enchanted landscape.

This event is free and open to the public. Attendance will be limited to 45 people to minimize impacts on the Preserve habitats – so please sign up early to assure a slot. All participants must register with Crane Hollow Executive Director Heather Stehle (heather@cranehollow.org or cell = 740-438-5777). Sign up is open until 4:00 Friday, October 16th or trip capacity is filled.