Friday, September 4, 2009

Buckeye Trail @ West Branch State Park

I am used to making my 35min one-way trek down to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to run my beloved trails. Unknown to me, I live a short 12min to another section of the Buckeye Trail at West Branch State Park in southern Portage County. Today, I went solo and enjoyed a crisp, morning run. The route I ran will become a staple for me. It is exactly 4mi out then 4mi back to the parking lot...a perfect mid-week getaway 8 miler when I can't take anymore of the asphalt pounding and just need to get away. Shame on me for not knowing how close I was! About a mile from the finish, I 'think' I saw 2 bear cubs cross the trail. They were the height of a medium dog, jet black, walked like you'd expect a bear to walk, but had much shorter legs and therefore closer to the ground...just like a bear would be. I slowed my pace then walked trying to get a look but they hid and I couldn't find them again. If they weren't bear cubs, I don't know what they could've been. I put in a call to the park office and no reports had come in about them but only 15min south of there, a bear cub was killed while crossing the street within the last week, so who knows. The park ranger is going out there today to check it out and they'll call me if they confirm what I 'think' I saw.

I hadn't taken the camera on a run in a long time due to it being so warm and therefore sweaty...bad when carrying a piece of electronics. Today, I took a bunch of pics and put them together in video form. Enjoy!


Mark Carroll said...

Great stuff Nick!

Anonymous said...

how rugged was the trail? well-maintained or a little 'primative'?

Nick Billock said...

The trail is typical Buckeye Trail with some grassy areas. It isn't primitive but it isn't used much, either. Lots of roots, rocks, and a good bit of easy-to-pass water crossings. Very nice.