Hemlock to Creekside Meadows Loop

Lancaster, Ohio 43130

Hemlock to Creekside Meadows Loop

Hemlock to Creekside Meadows Loop Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"As you drive southeast from Columbus on US 33, the flat landscape is abruptly interrupted by short but steep ridges and hollows. This topographic change marks where the last glacier ended—where Midwest gives way to Appalachia. Glacial meltwater created the beautiful Clear Creek, which today is surrounded by a biodiverse forest, sandstone outcroppings, and many bird species that call this place home.

Begin and end next to Clear Creek and make a 3-mile loop on the appropriately named Hemlock and Fern Trails—there are about forty fern species in the park. The more common ones you'll see include Christmas, wood, maidenhair, and sensitive fern, as well as ebony spleenwort and polypody fern."

Hemlock to Creekside Meadows Loop Trip Reports

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10/8/2017
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5/6/2011
The North Loop was closed for logging so I took the Southern Loop. Beautiful hike, not a soul in site (went on a Friday morning with thunderstorm warnings) It was fairly well marked, there were a couple of areas where I thought I was lost but found my way back on course. I also added the option trip to Camp Dulen, but failed to see the markings on the backside of the Camp and went back the way I came in. Then when I reconnected with the trail I ended up taking what should have been my exit out of Camp Dulen and didn't realize it until I hit the butt end of the camp, then turned back around. So I kind of made the hike longer than it needed to be....but that was fine because I didn't want to leave! So peaceful.
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7/28/2009
We went clockwise on a Tuesday morning. It took us 5 hours with a 20-30 minute lunch break. The trail is extremely secluded for 7+ miles, but very poorly maintained. We had to push our way through 5 foot brush at times and routinely were climbing over, under, and around fallen trees. The tail markings are fine except around the deforested area.
It was a beautiful trail, though. Highly recommended for someone looking for a moderate day hike in Southern Ohio.
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6/13/2009
We hiked north trail starting from the road. Challenging, hills, blow down, and signage sometimes difficult to find. But worthwhile. The next day, we hiked the southern loop. From the fire tower, the first few miles were a walk in the park. Then the blazes became fewer and farther apart and many were hardly visible. Some stretches of the trail were expertly groomed by a dozer. We spent a lot of time trying to find the trail -- I mean at intersections where one could go left or right there wasn't a blaze to be found for nearly 50-100 feet. By contrast, the Buckeye looked great.
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8/18/2008
Hiked the north trail on 8/17/08. This was my 3rd time on the trail, but my 1st time in the past 7-8 years. If you start at the trailhead marker by the fire tower, you will be hiking the trail counterclockwise. For the trail directions to make sense, you need to start at the marker for the southern trail. When traveling counterclockwise, the trail back into the woods after crossing the dam can be a little hard to find. Go to the road, and follow it to the right for 300 feet or so - - a sign on the road marks the trail. Take lots of water, and fill up at the dam and again when you approach the camp site. All the creak beds are dry, so a water purifier is just dead weight. Physically demanding trail - - lots of hills.
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8/14/2007
The first 4-5 miles going north from the fire tower is really beautiful. After that you get into some areas that are (or have been) clear cut for logging. These are not so nice. Trails above the campground are uninteresting. Then you get to an area with lots of kudzu. The trip up from the dam to the fire tower is an easy grade.

The Boy Scouts do a nice job maintaining the trail, but there are several areas where you need to negotiate fallen trees. Also the blazes are marked really well in a counter-clockwise direction, but not so well clockwise. We missed a few transitions and were constantly looking back to see if we were still on the trail.
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10/26/2005
Best I have seen yet for a wide range of reasons.
Never saw anyone for 6 hours.
Trails well marked.
Topography is beautiful.
Returning next weekend to do it again.
It will test you physically.
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Hemlock to Creekside Meadows Loop Photos

Trail Information

Lancaster
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
3
Distance
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Easy
Skill Level
About 1 to 1.5 hours
Duration
Apr through Oct
Season
Clear Creek Metro Park
Local Contacts
USGS: Lancaster
Local Maps

Trail Log