Last evening I was seated at our monthly community dinner between Ronnie and another woman who had grown up in Hillsboro, Ohio. She was surprised that I had even heard of HIllsboro. That got us talking about how beautiful southeastern Ohio is. From there we got to our favorite hiking places. One we both know and love is Ft. Hill.
Ft. Hill is officially called Fort Hill State Memorial. It is one of several pre-historic earthworks in Ohio, thus the “State Memorial” part. Ft. Ancient (much better known) is another of these massive earthworks. It seems well established that both were constructed by the Hopewell people who lived in Ohio between 100 BC and 500 AD. These “forts” are both massive hilltop enclosures (believed used for ceremonial purposes not military) constructed by carrying baskets of dirt to the top. The Ft. Ancient enclosure is much larger but the climb to the top at Ft Hill takes some effort. It makes you appreciate how difficult and long lasting the building process must have been.
The setting there is hilly, rugged and exceptionally beautiful. I don’t remember ever seeing anyone on the trails there, although occasionally there might be one or two cars in the parking area. Once out there walking, you are alone with nature. Here is a slideshow from a five mile hike around the Gorge Trail on April 14, 2011
Ronnie and I walked there together a couple times in winter and here are some winter scenes from January, 2001
I will be posting more of my favorite hikes around Ohio (and other places). Ft. Hill is here on Google Maps: