This was the fifth hiking day (Sunday), and we took it out of sequence. We did this because Monday needed to be short since a reporter from the Stow Sentinel wanted to meet with us. There were a lot of road miles in this section and we knew we could do those fast. 13.6 miles to be exact. This connected us to where we began last year's hike. See 134 Buckeye Miles.
The day's hike was defined by the Chagrin River.
We began at Chagrin Boulevard Field where the Bridle Path/Buckeye Trail headed off along the river. Although in general, I don't think horses and hikers mix well, we saw only a few riders and we managed to not spook any of the animals. Obviously others use this trail too.
We did have about one trail mile in the Forest Ridge Preserve, and saw this lady, who is obviously very used to humans.
Next we walked through the village of Gates Mills, established about 1840. The trail uses another iron truss bridge to cross the river. This bridge was something of a mystery. It looks like a railroad bridge, but on the north side there was no where a railroad grade could have gone. Perhaps it was a narrow road bridge. Perhaps it was moved there to be a footbridge. No one we asked seemed to know. Puzzles like that drive me nuts. The only sign on the bridge said it was made in 1899 by the New Columbus Bridge Company.
Here's one of the historic buildings we walked past in Gates Mills. It's the Sheldon-Higgins Tavern, established 1840. It's now a private residence and very nicely kept up.
We continued into the Chagrin Reservation for a few more trail miles. We ate lunch on a bench (nice treat). But the joke of the day was on us. Just a few steps farther on we could have had a very, very nice private and cool lunch spot. There was a little grotto with paving stones and a larger bench, with a marker commemorating Arthur B. Williams, a naturalist who helped to develop and preserve these woods.
After lunch we trucked out the rest of the road miles, stopping at another crossing of the Chagrin River to watch a blue heron (we saw lots), and we finished our miles before 3 pm.
Total for the trip so far, 62.5
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