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Backpacker Magazine – May 2011

Rip & Go: Twin Valley Trail - Five Rivers MetroParks, OH

Ramble along a wide river to quiet, old-growth hollows.

by: Tammy York

Bobcat (Photo by ISTOCK)
Bobcat (Photo by ISTOCK)
Black Diamond Orbit (Photo by Steve Howe)
Black Diamond Orbit (Photo by Steve Howe)

trip iconTAKE IT WITH YOU
Download a printable version of this entire trip right here.
 


Key Skill: Creating Ambiance
Fires are prohibited at all campsites in Five Rivers MetroParks, but that doesn’t mean you have to chill in the dark after a long day’s hike. Here are two ways to add a pleasant atmosphere to your kitchen area and tent.

DIY: Wrap your headlamp lengthwise around your Nalgene bottle with the light pointing in at the bottom. This lantern casts a wide light that works best when elevated. Tip: A white Nalgene provides the best illumination; an orange or yellow one partially filled with water creates faux fire.

Buy: For a few bucks ($30), several ounces (4.4 with 4 AAA batteries), and less pack space than a Coke can consumes, you can have reliable, dimmable light in a package so strong it won an Editors’ Choice Award in 2009. The Black Diamond Orbit lasts 11 hours on its brightest setting, and provides enough illumination for everything from candlelight dinners to poker games. blackdiamondequipment.com


See This: Bobcat

If you see the silhouette of a large, tailless housecat slipping by your campsite around dusk, consider yourself lucky—you might have seen a bobcat. Extirpated from Ohio by 1850 by loss of habitat and relentless hunting, these crepuscular omnivores are making a comeback. Bobcats are usually solitary except during mating season, which begins in December and crescendos—with chasing and ambushing behavior—in April and May. Bobcats feed on anything from insects to small mammals.


Locals Know: The Hopewell Earthworks

Low, wavy earthen berms visible at mile 20.9—are a rare enduring remnant of the Hopewell culture, an Atlantic Ocean-to-Rocky Mountains trading network of Native American tribes. Through this network, which thrived from 100 B.C. to 500 A.D., various exotic items such as obsidian, copper, sharks’ teeth, and seashells found their way to landlocked Ohio.

Although the Hopewell encompassed a wide range of economic, political, and spiritual beliefs, a common thread throughout the culture was the design and construction of elaborate earthworks like the walls found here. Look closely at the formations. Erosion and the passage of time have dulled and shortened these once-elaborate, 2,000-year-old geometric designs and filled them in with forest plants. Scholars believe the walls were used for ceremonies and as a calendar to chart the progression of seasons.

 



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Reader Rating: -

READERS COMMENTS

Matt P.
Aug 15, 2011

I went on this exact trip this weekend. It was a great trip. I do have to say that I was a little off set with the connection trail through Kercher Park, but there was a great spot with a rope swing into the Twin Creek. I didn't go for a plung at my first pass but totally took advantage of it on the way back to the southern loop of the trail. These trails were very easy to nav. but it is easy to get yourself lost if you don't pay attention.

Be sure to check out Germantown either on your way to the south loop or on your way home. It's a cool little town and everyone was very friendly and always have a little history about the town for you. There is a small guest house right off Main St. to relax at before or after your trip. Do check it out.

I am an avid backpacker and this was my first backpacker magazine trip and it was worth it. The best part is that half of the prep was done by Backpacker. Thanks Backpacker

Matt P.
Aug 15, 2011

I went on this exact trip this weekend. It was a great trip. I do have to say that I was a little off set with the connection trail through Kercher Park, but there was a great spot with a rope swing into the Twin Creek. I didn't go for a plung at my first pass but totally took advantage of it on the way back to the southern loop of the trail. These trails were very easy to nav. but it is easy to get yourself lost if you don't pay attention.

Be sure to check out Germantown either on your way to the south loop or on your way home. It's a cool little town and everyone was very friendly and always have a little history about the town for you. There is a small guest house right off Main St. to relax at before or after your trip. Do check it out.

I am an avid backpacker and this was my first backpacker magazine trip and it was worth it. The best part is that half of the prep was done by Backpacker. Thanks Backpacker

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