YELLOW SPRINGS — Beginning Friday, Feb. 26, Glen Helen will close for the spring season. According to park representatives, this is done every year to allow the wildlife there to recover from the cold winter months.
“As the temperature warms up after the cold days of winter, the Glen is at its most fragile. To protect the plants and animals of the preserve, and to keep trails from getting endlessly widened, Glen staff will close trails as necessary,” ranger Susan Smith said in a statement.
Springtime is a fragile time for the nature preserve, as the frozen ground starts to melt. The ground will melt at the surface, but stay frozen deeper into the earth. Hikers on these paths can turn the trails to mud, and subsequently widen them by trying to avoid the mud. This can be damaging the surrounding plant life.
”To protect the Glen, our trails will be closed to the public until they are sufficiently thawed,” rangers said. “We have seen trails widen by as much as four feet over the course of a single day. We’ll reopen the trails as soon as we can, and welcome your visit then.”
The Glen Helen land stewardship staff will determine when it’s safe to reopen the trails. If the weather warms up quickly, closures may only last a day or two.
Visit glenhelen.org, or visit the Glen Helen Facebook page for regular updates.
Park staff recommended other trails to check out while the closures are in effect. The Little Miami Scenic Trail is a paved hiker/biker path and runs past the Glen. Cedar Bog State Nature Preserve, located 20 minutes north of Yellow Springs, has a boardwalk through its unique wetlands habitat. Finally, Siebenthaler Fen, on Fairground Rd. in Fairborn features a boardwalk through a wetland.