Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park

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Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park
Nelsonkennedy1.jpg
Sandstone cliff formations
Location Portage County, Ohio, USA
Nearest city Garrettsville, Ohio
Area 167 acres (0.68 km2)
Established 1949
Governing body Ohio Department of Natural Resources

Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park is located in Nelson Township, Portage County, Ohio, United States. It is accessible from U.S. Route 422 and State Route 305 via State Route 282.

The Nelson-Kennedy region has always been a popular vacation spot[citation needed] and eventually came under state protection. In 1940, the state purchased land at Nelson Ledges, and in 1948, it bought 101 acres (0.41 km2) of the area known as Kennedy Ledges. The state of Ohio created Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park in 1949 to preserve the area.

Nelson-Kennedy Ledges is popular for picnicking and hiking. The rock formations at the 167-acre (0.68 km2)[1] Nelson-Kennedy Ledges have become trademarks of the park. The sandstone cliff formations resulted from the forces of erosion—wind, water freezing and thawing—that wore away at the softer rock layers. As these soft layers eroded, large blocks of rock called slump blocks fell away leaving more resistant layers to form ledges above. Within the park are angled rock formations 50 to 60 feet (18 m) high with ground fissures as deep as 60 feet (18 m).[2]

There are approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) of main hiking trails, as well as many unmarked and more dangerous paths. To mark off the trails, a color-coding system is used on the rocks and trees. White is moderately easy, yellow and blue are medium difficulty, and red is extremely difficult, with some climbing of rocks involved.

The beech-maple forest harbors a few tree species that are more common in cooler climates: yellow birch, Canadian Hemlock and Canada yew are common there. Some of these trees cling to the rock faces, their roots pushing into every available crevice. In the shelter of the roots and shaded by the leafy canopy above, ferns such as the Christmas fern and maidenhair fern grow in abundance. Others such as the marginal shield fern, grape fern, wood fern, and common polypody are more unusual for this part of the state.

The leafy canopy is home to a variety of songbirds, while small mammals such as skunk, raccoon, and fox squirrels inhabit other areas of the park.

The park is open from dawn until dusk. Because of the cliffs and hazards along the trails, night hiking is not recommended due to the decreased visibility.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Flesher, Joshua S. "Going out on the Ledges: Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park and quarry offer hiking, swimming, concerts", Tribune Chronicle (Warren, Ohio), 5 August 2009.
  2. ^ Thomas, Lillian. "Hitting the Trails: Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10 June 2005.

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