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View Alum Cliffs Gorge and More in Sunday’s Walk in Ross County’s Buzzard’s Roost

A view over Alum Cliffs gorge, with Paint Valley beyond, from the Ross County Park District's website.

Ross County — The next walk at Buzzard’s Roost preserve, to the most dramatic parts of the park west of Chillicothe, is tomorrow.

The walk on the South Point Lookout Trail will include a small waterfall, cliffside views, an overlook of Paint Creek, lots of deciduous trees, as well as hemlock trees. The two-mile-loop unpaved trail is considered moderate, with some inclines and uneven terrain.

The Earl H. Barnhart Buzzard’s Roost Nature Preserve is at the end of Red Bird Lane, off Polk Hollow Road, beyond the west edge of Chillicothe from U.S. Route 50 or Plyley’s Lane.

The Ross County Park District cautions that you hike at your own ability and risk. Bring water, and wear sturdy shoes. You may want a walking stick or hiking poles for this trail. Because of all of our recent rain, plan on a lot of mud!

Find more scheduled walks on the park’s webpage:

“The Earl H. Barnhart “Buzzard’s Roost” conserves nearly 1,200 acres of the most rugged and scenic country in this area. The first 373 acres were generously donated by Jean Barnhart in memory of her late husband Earl in 2000, for whom the park is named. Since then, over 5 miles of forested hiking trails have been constructed. Hikers visit from the county and beyond to venture past ponds, vernal pools, the crumbling remains of old homesteads, and deep, wooded ravines.

“A walk on the renowned South Point Lookout Trail offers magnificent views of the vertical cliffs of sandstone and shale that descend into Paint Creek Gorge. Paint Creek did not always flow through this valley, but when a dam of ice and sediment blocked Paint Creek’s original course a couple of miles from here during the last glacial maximum, Glacial Lake Bourneville was formed behind the dam and eventually overflowed through a low saddle in the hills. The meltwater that flowed over the spillway carved out the present-day Paint Creek Gorge. The spectacular cliffs of sandstone and shale have been eroding for 25,000 years!”

Events and more are also posted on the Park District’s Facebook page.

A map to Buzzard’s Roost west of Chillicothe in Ross County.