It started with an idea, a sense of adventure and seeking to section hike a significant portion of trail in one (or two) trips. Consider this me “getting my feet wet” with embarking on more longform hikes and backpacking trips.
Enter the 22 mile Twin Valley Trail (TVT), a very rugged and difficult backpacking trail split between two different metroparks and some land in between.
The entire TVT divides its footpaths pretty evenly between Germantown and Twin Creek Metroparks with a small section along a state route in between.
Like most of my nature photography outings, they generally end up having several objectives in mind. Hiking, photography, adventure. What else could I possibly need? The TVT easily satisfies and whets my appetite for all three.
I started my section hike at Twin Creek first due to its slightly smaller size. This trip would give me a taste of the trail difficulty itself and how photographic the landscape would be.
Beginning at the the northernmost “High View” trailhead, I am greeted from a hillside which has spectacular views of the meadow and surrounding landscape.
This 1,000 acre metropark boasts a diverse amount of habitats including woodlands, meadows, and waterways like streams, small pond and lake.
The expansive hills and ravines catch my eye quite easily and make the hike very much worth it. A calm pitter patter of rain develops over the morning as a slight cold breeze makes itself known.
Twin Creek is a perfect spot for birding and botany, as more than 500 plants and 70 nesting birds can be found in the metropark. While my visit didn’t prompt too many uncommon varieties, rest assured this looks to be prime birding hotspot in southwest Ohio.
Natural features are commonplace here like the 2,000 year old Hopewell earthworks and Carlisle Fort which still remain.
Besides the overall experience and enjoying the day out, the photographic highlight was a waterfall along the Twin Creek I managed to hike downhill to.
Very petite and modest, it was still roaring from the previous rain and had a nice flow and drop-off. I could fortunately stand in the center of the shallow creek and photograph it straight-on.
I also managed to find what may be a former shooting range shelter, perhaps used by boy scouts in the area.
In a single day I managed to hike all the trails, sticking to the 6-mile orange trail throughout. This orange loop manages to overlap a good portion of the other colored loop trails, saving me time and distance during my first prescouting visit.
And of course, I chose to film an ‘On Location’ video for how the day went.
I am now a believer, and find Twin Creek to be one of my favorite locations after visiting for the first time. The expansive views and wooded ravines and spectacular woodland hills, inter coupled with the specific day’s rainfall had me in awe the whole time.
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