Friday found me sitting on a boat under the hot late afternoon sun. I was with a pal, and some strangers as we set off on a tour of Cranberry Bog State Nature Preserve.
It’s an island in Buckeye Lake State Park that can only be toured with a permit or via an Ohio Department of Natural Resources tour offered but one day a year.
This is a fragile environment that has shrunk to about nineteen acres over the years – it’s about half the size it was when ODNR dedicated the nature preserve in the early seventies.
Our tour guide pointed out a couple of carnivorous plants, an orchid, cranberry plants and a host of other interesting living things that I might have missed if left to my own devices. There’s something to be said for going with a naturalist.
There’s a boardwalk around a portion of the island and lots of poison sumac to encourage visitors to stay on that boardwalk. We saw a blue heron fly overhead and a chorus of songbirds provided the soundtrack for our stay.
There’s little shade and the sun was fierce but it was an interesting use of an hour. Although, I have to admit the short boat ride was almost as nice as the tour.
I mean, with a gentle breeze and a view like this- what’s not to like?
ODNR operates 140 nature preserves and natural areas. They tend to be more interesting and quieter than state park trails. Learn about this one here.