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Follow the Blue Blazes: A Guide To Hiking Ohio's Buckeye Trail
by Robert J. Pond
contributions by Steven M. Newman
Ohio University Press, 2003
eISBN: 978-0-8214-4391-0 | Paper: 978-0-8214-1489-7
Library of Congress Classification GV199.42.O32B837 2003
Dewey Decimal Classification 796.5109771


Unique among hiking trails is the one that forms a complete loop around the state of Ohio. That 1,200-mile trail is called the Buckeye Trail. Showing the way on tree trunks, rocks, and other natural signposts are the blue painted markings called “the blue blazes.” In Follow the Blue Blazes, the reader embarks on a journey to discover a part of Ohio largely unseen except along this great path.

Beginning with the startling rock formations and graceful waterfalls of Old Man’s Cave in southern Ohio, and leading clockwise around the state to visit expansive forests, lovely parks, ancient mounds, historic canals and battlefields, and scenic river trails, experienced trailsman Robert J. Pond provides a captivating look at each section of the trail.

Each chapter features an overview of a 100-mile section of the trail and three self-guided featured hikes. The overviews, with accompanying maps, may be read consecutively to acquaint the reader with the entire course of the blue blazes. But most readers will best enjoy the Buckeye Trail by taking the guide along on featured hikes. Each hike is supported by a detailed but easy-to-follow map and includes explicit directions to trailheads and approximate hiking times.

In addition to many outlying areas, the extensive Buckeye Trail is accessible in or near Cincinnati, Dayton, Toledo, Cleveland, and Akron. Robert Pond has supplemented each description with interesting details about the geology and the diverse habitats of flora and fauna. Readers, too, can enjoy the beauty and wonders of Ohio if they Follow the Blue Blazes.

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