“Pond’s book details the local wonders of Ohio’s 1,200-mile Buckeye Trail and its history…. The text is imbued with an appreciation for the need to just get out and commence a walk through the world. The aim in writing such a book is to catalogue the various species of wonder close at hand and enable the reader/hiker to compile his or her own life-list of ah-has and eurekas. Pond succeeds at this and much, much more.”
“Three dozen side trips from the Buckeye Trail (BT) are described in a wealth of ecological, geological, and historical detail…. Meticulous maps and tantalizing photographs accompany the lucid and engaging text…. Pond has selected stopping places on the BT from which interesting short excursions can be made, in the 2- to 6-hour range. Most are easy, leisurely walks leading to scenic landmarks and other places of interest.”
On the Fringe
“In following Robert Pond through the pages of Follow the Blue Blazes, I find myself at turns in the company of a sharp scout, a kindly neighbor, an inspirational teacher, and—if I may say so—a kindred spirit to the likes of Thoreau and Robert Louis Stevenson.”
Steven M. Newman
“While (Follow the Blue Blazes’s) main purpose is that of a trail guide to the Buckeye Trail, it is also a fascinating history of the Buckeye State.”
Northern Ohio Bibliographic Society Newsletter
Unique among hiking trails is the one that forms a complete loop around the state of Ohio. That 1,200-mile trail is called the Buckeye Trail. Showing the way on tree trunks, rocks, and other natural signposts are the blue painted markings called “the blue blazes.” In Follow the Blue Blazes, the reader embarks on a journey to discover a part of Ohio largely unseen except along this great path.
Beginning with the startling rock formations and graceful waterfalls of Old Man’s Cave in southern Ohio, and leading clockwise around the state to visit expansive forests, lovely parks, ancient mounds, historic canals and battlefields, and scenic river trails, experienced trailsman Robert J. Pond provides a captivating look at each section of the trail.
Each chapter features an overview of a 100-mile section of the trail and three self-guided featured hikes. The overviews, with accompanying maps, may be read consecutively to acquaint the reader with the entire course of the blue blazes. But most readers will best enjoy the Buckeye Trail by taking the guide along on featured hikes. Each hike is supported by a detailed but easy-to-follow map and includes explicit directions to trailheads and approximate hiking times.
In addition to many outlying areas, the extensive Buckeye Trail is accessible in or near Cincinnati, Dayton, Toledo, Cleveland, and Akron. Robert Pond has supplemented each description with interesting details about the geology and the diverse habitats of flora and fauna. Readers, too, can enjoy the beauty and wonders of Ohio if they Follow the Blue Blazes.
Robert J. Pond is an Ohio native and Ohio State University graduate with a career as an instructor and administrator at Central Ohio Technical College. He has thirty years of involvement with the Buckeye Trail.