Ohio Symbols Series  LbNA # 16315

Placed DateJul 4 2005
LocationCincinnati, OH
Planted ByFly    
Found By Justin's Gang
Last Found Oct 21 2006
Hike Distance?

This is a series of four letterboxes in Caldwell Nature Preserve, 430 North Bend Road. If coming up Winton Rd. from Spring Grove Cemetery, turn right on North Bend. North Bend forks left about a block from Winton. Continue along North Bend past St. Xavier High School and past Caldwell drive on your left. Turn into Caldwell Nature Preserve parking lot.

I carved this series in honor of my adopted state. This is a gorgeous hike in some rolling, wooded terrain, about a mile and a half. Notice that the Sierra Club has removed some of the non-native and very pervasive Asian honeysuckle in some parts of the forest, opening up the forest floor and restoring it to its natural beauty. Also, you won't see much poison ivy here. Bring a compass, ink pad (preferably red), and pen.


(Ohio chose the scarlet carnation as its state flower in 1904. This flower was a favorite of President William McKinley and was adopted by the state legislature partly because it represented a token of love and reverence for the Ohio-born president.)

Start at the Caldwell Preserve building. Standing at the EVENTS sign, take a bearing of 100 deg. Walk to the corner of the building and take the paved trail ("H"). Keep on the paved trail, past the overlook on the left, until the pavement ends. Continue on down the steps. You will come to a trail marker post. Take "E" across the bridge, climb over the big log, and go down some more steps to a stream. Look to your left, and you will see a fallen tree lying across the stream. The Scarlet Carnation is under the large end of the fallen tree on your side of the stream.


(The Ohio state bird is the Cardinal. The Northern Cardinal is an easily-spotted red bird from the Eastern USA. The Cardinal was named by early American settlers, after Catholic cardinals who dress in bright red robes. These birds are strongly territorial and have a loud, whistling song.)

Return up the trail and across the bridge to the trail marker post. Take the "C" trail. You will cross a little bridge, walk some more, and cross another little bridge that has steps on either side of it. When you come to the trail marker post, take the trail that leads due North. Walk along, take some more steps, and walk along some more until you come to another trail marker post. Take the trail that leads East. Walk a good distance along a ridgeline, and you will come to a little trail leading to an overlook on your right. Take a few moments to savor an unspoiled portion of the Mill Creek Watershed. Continue along the main trail until you come to a set of benches on your left. Sit on the middle bench and take a bearing of 345 deg. The Cardinal is behind that tree under some leaves and bark, about 3-4 paces from the trail (one pace = two steps, or about 5 feet).


(The Ohio state insect is the Ladybug. These shiny insects are usually red with black spots or black with red spots on the wing covers. The number of spots identifies the type of Ladybug. As Ladybugs age, the color of the spots fade. These tiny predators are usually very welcome in gardens because Ladybug larvae and adults eat aphids, mealybugs, and mites, which are garden pests.)

Continue along the main trail. This is perhaps the longest leg of your journey, so be not afraid and just watch for the landmarks. You will come to a trail branching off to your left – ignore it and continue along the main trail. You will cross a little bridge with steps on either side. Keep walking along and you will see another trail branching back to the left (ignore that one, too). In the fullness of time, you will come to a decision point with a trail marker post ("Paw Paw Loop"). Take the trail that leads in the direction of 230 deg. At 20 paces down the trail, you will come to a long set of descending steps. Walk down to the 23rd step and look directly to your left. The Ladybug is behind the large tree under a large piece of bark, about 4-5 paces from the trail.


(The Ohio state mammal is the White-Tailed Deer. The White-Tailed Deer is a long-legged, fast-moving mammal. The genus and species of the White-Tailed Deer are Odocoileus virginianus. This deer is found over most of North and Central America and northern parts of South America.)

Continue down the steps and along the trail, cross the bridge, take the steps beside the stream, and continue along the trail. You will come to another small wooden bridge. From the middle of that small bridge, take a bearing of 290 deg. Walk 8 paces to a fallen tree lying in a NE-SW direction. The White-Tailed Deer is nestled behind the fallen tree, next to a standing tree, and next to a geocache box (which I found by accident).

Return to the bridge and go to the intersection with the trail marker post. Take the trail that leads toward 120 deg. Go down some steps, over the bridge, and take the trail forking to the right. This trail will take you directly back to the parking lot.

I hope you have fun – please email me if you find them!