Family Expedition Photo Journal

One of the best things about exploring the great outdoors is sharing that experience with the ones you love. The smell of the pine forest, the call of the chickadee in the brush and squirrels chasing each other on old, fungus covered, fallen logs.  From the golden tapestry of fall’s changing colors to the beautiful wildflower blooms of spring, the wilderness reveals it’s wonder to us as we tread it’s leaf-littered trails and summer alpine valleys.

Some family photos from some of this years hiking expeditions.


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Miami Whitewater Forest (Harrison, Oh)


Number of Trails:

3 nature trails, 2 parcours fitness trails and an equestrian trail.


9001 Mt. Hope Rd

Harrison, OH 45030

39°15’36.37″N 84°44’44.69″W

Observed Wildlife:

Whitetail deer, Grey and Fox squirrels, chipmunks, frogs, turtles, woodpeckers and various songbirds.


If you go to one park in Ohio,  for a day trip or weekend, make it this one. The park features several trails from paved bike paths that pass by park’s 130 acre wetland area and viewing shelter, to more rugged terrain, like the Badlands Trail. With an 18 hole golf course, 46 site campground, picnic shelters, frisbee golf course and wet playground there are plenty of family activities, enough for an entire weekend. An 85 acre lake and boathouse provide fishing, from the bank or boat, as well as boat rental. The visitor center has nature displays on two levels, as well as a gift shop, where you can sign up for the Hiking Staff Program. The ecology of the park is quite diverse, both botanically and zoologically, with an understory that is overgrown in some places and near bare in others. Old growth and new growth of both deciduous and pine forests, lakes, streams, ponds and wetlands, even a miniature prairie can all be found within the park boundaries along it’s excellent hiking trails.

Shaker Trace Trail:

This moderate paved trail has a 7.8 mile main loop, with access to the wetlands viewing area, and a 1.2 mile inner loop, with a parcours element, for the less adventurous. All manner of people, some on bikes or rollerblades, some walking, some running, can be found most days on this busy trail.

Parcours Trail:

A 1.4 mile long wooded parcours trail with several exercise stations. Hikers and athletes share this moderate trail.

Oak Leaf Trail:

Although quite short, at 0.8 miles, there’s a lot to see. A small pond and a slightly larger lake, off a spur with a bench, as well as some stream crossings provide ample opportunity to observe the parks wetland species such as ducks, geese, frogs, dragonflies and fish, which often swim near the surface. The moderate trek should be taken slowly to enjoy this little gem buried in the heart of the park.

Badlands Trail:

Sharing the trailhead with Oak Leaf, just across the road, lies the rugged terrain of the Badlands Trail. A 1.7 mile trek with a 0.9 mile cutoff, this trail is a spectacular display of Ohio valley geology. Lots of walking over the rugged ups and downs at speed can tire some, but ventured more slowly there is plenty to see. Some of the older and larger trees in the park are here along with a lot of diverse plant life, wildlife and geological features to study.

Tallgrass Prairie Trail:

Don’t dismiss this 0.6 mile moderate trail, nor underestimate its ability to astound. Near the park’s wildflower management area this wooded trail breaks into a small prairie area with grasses, wildflowers, butterflies, birds and insects, such as the pictured walking stick. Take your time here. At the entrance back into the woods, on the right, is a beehive in a tree knot. This one passes by a lake as well.

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Brum Woods (Batesville, IN)

brum location

Number of Trails:

4 official with several cutoffs


HWY. 229

Batesville, Indiana 47006

39°17’28.30″N  85°13’49.07″W

Observerd Wildlife:

Chickadee’s,  Whitetail deer,  Red-tailed hawk,  Grey and Fox squirrels,  chipmunks and several species of birds and woodpeckers


This 80 acre woodland was donated to the Batesville community by the original owner Lena Brum (1900-1993). The life long resident, an ardent lover of nature, grew up in the town, attended school here and worked for the telephone company as a switchboard operator until she retired. She spent the rest of her life caring for her family and the land we now hike.  The terrain of the trail is a well-maintained earthen path with pea gravel in high-drainage areas. The gallery below shows some of the vistas and plant life we came across;  the creek, a stand of new growth timber, flowers, fungi and holly. Poison Ivy is quite common on the trail side so stick close to the middle of the path and be aware of your surroundings.  Included, as well, is a trail map of Brum Woods.

Lena’s Interpretative Nature Trail:

Interpretative trail with beautiful tree tunnels.

Holly Trail:

This trail is mostly pine forest with several small clearings along the trail.

Cedar Trail:

Inner loop of the Holly Trail.

Beech Trail:

This trail fearues a couple of stream crossings (bridged), spectacular vistas and varied wildlife.

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Brum Creek

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