The WARNING SIGNS on this trail are over zealous. From one trip report circulated by email:
It was a beautiful day, no rain and warm sun shining down on the steamy well watered ground.
We decided to take full advantage of the rare sunny day in Ohio. Just a piece up the road is Wayne Forest State Park.
We set out for the park and to our delight a hike around Lake Vesuvius. The map showed a fairly flat 8 mile trail all the way around the lake.
The fearless leader Scott jumped out in the lead and set a good pace, until……
the WARNING sign……..
Would we be able to make it? Should we turn back now? OH MY 7 more miles to go EEKKK! I quickly calmed Scott down and told him we would be just fine! Let’s just enjoy the beautiful early spring flowers and push on ahead!
So we hiked on looking for the perfect place to have lunch.
We resisted the lunch recommended to us by the nice Forest Service man, Mr. Boggs. He said in a heavy Kentucky accent “Ain’t nothin’ better then sittin’ on a log with a good Balona’ sandwich, yew should russell yer selves up one”
After lunch we continued hiking and then It hit us…..
THE SECOND WARNING SIGN!
6 MILES! Maybe we should turn back? The sign says it will take us another 5 hours! That’s about 1 mile per hour how could we ever do that?
But the healthy lunch I made for Scott wasn’t full of Balona’ and this time he was the one to say we should press on!
And so we did, up little hills, around big rocks, through a few mud bogs. The sun was warming up the ground and Canada Geese were defending their soon to hatch eggs.
We never saw another hiker. I was sure it was because these Ohio hikers can’t handle the big miles. Look at us we’re doing just fine!
But I spoke too soon! that was not it at all,
And we soon found out.
Now, I can’t say for sure. But maybe, the nowhere to be found, other hikers knew something we didn’t?
like what was waiting up around the next bend!
Now this California girl had no idea what this nice specimen of a snake was, but my fearless leader Scott knew just what it was. A COPPER HEAD!
We turned around and headed back to the car. Not that we couldn’t do the miles, but just in case the warning was more about the snakes!
Back at the Ranger Station, Mr Boggs informed that indeed that is a Copper Head, “Out early this year!”
GREAT! I hope they like Balona’ Sandwiches better then hikers in shorts exposing bare skin for the first of the season bite!