Ohio Invasive Species Part II  LbNA # 48870

Placed DateJul 13 2009
LocationMarietta, OH
Found By GSD 1
Last Found Nov 2 2009
Hike Distance?

Invasive species are a horrible problem in the US and worldwide because they interfere with the native ecology. This series represents the top 10 invasive plant species, as identified by the Ohio DNR. Check out their website for information on identifying and eliminating these species (http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/dnap/invasive/invasivebrochure/tabid/2007/Default.aspx). For more information on invasives in general, you can also check out the Ohio Invasive Plants Council at http://www.oipc.info/specieslist.html. This latter list has more than 10 species but I wasn't feeling *that* ambitious. Ten stamps/boxes was enough to carve and plant.

These boxes will take you up and down some good-sized hills, so even though I estimate the distance for each part of the series to be 3-4 miles, it is some rigorous hiking. I was trying to wear out the dogs and also avoid the more commonly traveled trails.

These boxes are located at NOTHGUORB Park where there are a few other letterboxes and several geocaches. You can get a map at the park office during normal business hours or by contacting the placer and providing your email address (I cannot send PDF through AQ or LBNA). Park in the main lot, which is off of 821. Follow the gravel road behind the buildings to the trail head and cross the creek. Just as with the first set of boxes in this series, you will be heading uphill to the Powerline Trail - but at the top of the hill, follow the powerline and its trail to the left. Go up and down. Stand at the top of the hill with the double power pole at your right shoulder, looking ahead and up to two singletons before another double (though you will have to go down and then up to reach them). Look left to a (elm?) tree in front and slightly to the right of a large oak tree. At the back of the oak, under a pile of logs and bark, find the Common Reed Letterbox.

Continue on the Power Line Trail to an intersection that will look familiar if you did Part I. Keep going on the Power Line Trail until you see a trail to left. Take this trail downhill. Just before the trail levels out a bit, aim your compass due north to a medium-sized pink rock at the edge of the trail. Reach underneath this rock, from behind, to find the Bush Honeysuckle box. Please be discrete - this trail is not frequently traveled but the spot if fairly open.

Continue downhill. You will come to another junction and here you can choose either path. Either way you will end up retracing your steps from part I but in the opposite direction. Pass the oil well and continue downhill to the creek, going right at the Y, and leaving your former path to cross the creek. Follow the trail as it heads first gently uphill and then more steeply. The path will curve to the left. Look to the right to a four-part tree with both blue and red (pink, now) arrows. Head to that tree, then head almost due west 24 steps to a stump. At the stump, take a bearing of 28 degrees and head 15 paces to a large beech tree with a dead twin. Between them, under bark, you will find the Garlic Mustard letterbox.

Back on the trail, head up the long steep hill. Continue on to the intersection with the green trail (yeah, the map shows this trail as intersecting the blue, but...) At the intersection, assuming your hill climbing muscles are still functioning, head right. I swear it's all short gentle climbs from now on. At the unmarked intersection, take the right fork. You will soon have a reward for all this climbing. On the right after the hillock, look for a shaggy bark tree forming a triangle with two stumps. The first stump is 6 steps off the trail, and its another 3 steps to the second stump which hides the Japanese Honeysuckle letterbox.

Continue past the oil well, going between the drill and tank to the Western Ridge Trail (blue on the map). Head right on the blue trail, following it when it intersects the beginning of the Northern Ridge Trail. Head downhill. This is a little longer hike between boxes, but you will follow the blue trail as it goes downhill, past the blank sign on the left, up a small hill, down, to the right and up and then down again. Eventually you will reach a point where the path bends slightly left and has logs on both sides of the trail. On the right, 13 steps off the trail is a 20-30 foot tall stump with a smaller one behind. At 60 degrees from this stump, about 2 paces off, is a large twin tree. On the opposite side of this tree in the roots is the last box, Purple Loosestrife. You can, unfortunately, see this at the riverfront downtown, if you care to. But to get there, you have to head down the trail and keep following the creek downstream until you reach your starting point and from there your car. This is my favorite stretch of trail here but so popular there was no way I would plant a box along it. Be prepared to get your feet wet.

Happy hunting!