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Nature lovers can enjoy one of the most scenic areas in western Ohio on this circuit hike, a path combined with trails from the Clifton Gorge Preserve. Memories wait.

This circuit hike follows the scenic river gorge meandering through majestic woodlands. Park in the Jackson Street parking lot found adjacent to the Upper Gorge Overlook (National Natural Landmark). Begin on Narrows Trail heading northwest along the rim of the gorge. Immediately, you are offered three consecutive overlooks worthy of pause. Here you'll see the Scientific Preserve, home to glacial relict vegetation. (This preserve is not open to the public.) Hike past both the staircase leading to the gorge, and the parking lot on the right. Walk around the gate venturing onto North Rim Trail. For the next two miles, you'll be treated to lovely woodland ridges topping the gorge as you continue to bypass a number of trail junctions. Stay on North Rim Trail taking it into John Bryan State Park. This trail carries you to a park road. Head south (left) and hike to the picnic area which rests at river's shore. Turn back east continuing on North Rim. From this segment of the circuit hike, you'll have an up close look at huge dolomite formations. Natural springs and waterfalls keep the recessed areas moist, thus providing perfect habitat for over 340 wildflower species, 16 varieties of fern, and 8 species of salamanders. It is here that Canadian yew, arborvitae, mountain maple, and hemlock flourish.

Directions: From Yellow Springs, OH, Travel State Route 343 east several miles to Jackson Street. Turn right (south) and watch signage for Upper Gorge Overlook parking.

Difficulty: Moderate

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John Bryan State Park, Ohio

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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