After traveling around Ohio we noticed something unique – metro parks. These parks are all over the place and provide a great deal of recreation. Located near cities or metropolitan centers such as Toledo, Cleveland and Columbus, they are not the usual kind of city parks that I would expect. These metro parks have acres of forests, waterways and miles of biking and hiking trails where you feel you have really gotten away into nature. Ohio has done a great thing protecting and making available so much green space for residents and visitors. While staying near Lake Erie for the warbler migration, we decided to visit one of these parks that had been recommended to us.
After driving to Oak Openings Preserve, we started our walk near Oakes Lodge. The trails were a little confusing at first but we eventually figured out a course that we hoped would take us to the Buehner Center where we would be able to do some birding. The forest here was so green, especially after all the rain the state has had. As a California native where “green” only lasts for the early spring months, I continue to be amazed at the lushness in the Eastern part of the U.S. This lushness seems to last much of the year. Since traveling in Ohio. Mark and I have often commented about all the people out mowing their lawns with riding mowers, an activity that must consume a lot of free time!
It was a beautiful spring walk with many flowers in bloom. White trillium was the most abundant and there were masses of these plants with large green leaves and white flowers throughout our hike.
I was thrilled when I heard the screeching call of a Pileated Woodpecker. I was able to see one flying about and followed it along the trail but it wouldn’t stay put for a photo. I did get some pictures of a Red-headed Woodpecker, a bird I have only seen a few times in our traveling, the first time in Louisiana. But the lighting this time did not make for a good photo.
We arrived to the Buehner Center after a great hike! This Center sits next to a lake and has a building available for events as well as picnic areas and a playground. We were most interested though in their birding window. Sitting inside there were perfect views of a number of feeding stations outside. I was rather surprised that we saw 19 different bird species in a short period of time including Indigo Bunting, Scarlet Tanager, American Redstart, American Goldfinch, Pine Warbler, Red-headed Woodpecker and Baltimore Oriole.
I was most excited about having such a great view of the Red-headed Woodpecker, a vibrant colored bird.
We spent more than an hour at the Center watching the birds and met a local named Michael. We had fun talking about birds, travel and life experiences. We found out he and his wife follow some of the same full time RVers that I follow on You Tube. After spending some time in Ohio I have been thinking about the people here and how friendly, easy to talk to and laid back they are. This seems to be a trend throughout the state as Ohioans have been interested to get to know us. Along with many other things, this has been a plus to visiting here.
I will close with some more nature photos. These are actually from Magee Marsh and include my favorite Warbler (Magnolia) and a Blanding’s Turtle with its characteristic yellow throat that is considered endangered.
Until next time when my post will be about our time at Cuyahoga National Park in Ohio.
6 thoughts on “Spring Hike at Oak Openings Metro Park Near Toledo, Ohio”
Wow! A different adventure. I am weeding here.
Great to hear from you Ilona! Good luck with the weeding – that is something that never seems to end!
Hi, Beth and Mark,
I was surprised to see a photo of this old turkey along with all your beautiful bird shots! It was good chatting with the two of you at Oak Openings. Nancy and I are both enjoying your blog. You write well and have excellent photos to accompany your entries.
Did you know that Becky of “Bernie, Hank and Becky” passed away from her cancer? She was an intrepid full time RVer who never gave up being positive. The two Carolyns have become boring to watch. You two would probably like Slim Potato Head.
BTW, we have a pair of beautiful red bellied woodpeckers out back. BTW, none of my bird shots taken the day I met you were anywhere as good as yours. Keep up the good work. Two books you would like about birding are “Kingbird Highway” and “Magpie Rising”. Two of my favorite books.
Thanks Michael for such nice comments! We are glad you are enjoying following the blog and appreciate your support. Thank you also for the book recommendations. I looked them up and they sound interesting, especially the book, “Kingbird Highway.” I would enjoy reading that. Not sure if we talked about it when we met, but I had recently finished a book called, “Birding Without Borders: An Obsession, a Quest and the Biggest Year in the World.” Wow, I was so impressed with this book as the author, Noah Strycker traveled the world one year to break the record (500 birds) for seeing the most birds in one year. It was an exciting story and unbelievable what he did to achieve this goal. Highly recommend if you have not read it. I had not been following Becky but did see on Carolyn’s channel that her good friend had passed away and after that I checked out Becky’s channel. A very sad situation, but how wonderful she remained so positive. Yes, the two Carolyns are not providing shows as exciting now. It will be interesting to see how Carolyn’s RV Life does with documenting her Pacific Crest Trail hike once she gets started. It seems it would be a lot of work to keep You Tube videos coming while she is managing such a difficult trek. I will have to check out Slim Potato Head, have not seen that channel yet.
the Oriole is beautiful! I’m sure you guys have met so many great people while on the road, its fun to see some of them in the blog 🙂