When we ran back to Ohio in June to celebrate my mom’s birthday, we took at walk at the nearby Gorman Nature Center. Even though it is only a few miles from their home, my parents had never been there before. We enjoyed the walk and the visit so much, however, that my dad decided to volunteer at the Center and now he works at the Gorman Nature Center one morning a week.
Last Thursday Tom and I took the opportunity to visit Dad at “work.” Dad is basically the greeter for the Gorman Nature Center. He can answer questions about the center, show off the animals inside the center, and give away or sell the books and brochures in the very small information area.
Dad enjoyed showing us around the inside of the Gorman Visitor Center. There is a large room with a surprising variety of animals. The room is home to a kestrel, owl, a variety of snakes, turtles, and the largest frog I ever saw. Dad handles the fox snake, which is one of the smaller (and non-poisonous) snakes. The rat snake is too big and the copperhead and timber rattlesnake are too dangerous. But the fox snake is a cute and curious little guy. There are also quite a few stuffed animals and very nice displays of trilobites and agates. Dad introduced us to several of the people who work at the center, including the Director of the Richland County Park District. The park district only contains two parks: The Gorman Nature Center and the Richland B&O Trail.
After Dad showed us around inside, Tom and I headed outside to hit the trails. The Gorman Nature Center has 150 acres and five miles of hiking trails. The hiking trails take you along a variety of land: ponds, creeks, springs, ridges, and valleys. We decided to hike out to the yellow trail. The trails are not particularly well blazed. It is easy to see where a trail is because so many people have walked there, but you aren’t sure what trail you are walking on. We started the loop of the yellow trail and lost it about halfway around. We weren’t lost because the area isn’t that large, but it took us a while to get back to something we knew was one of the trails. There are several ATV trails outside the nature center grounds and we walked on one of them for a little while.
The Gorman Nature Center is located between Lexington and Mansfield Ohio and is a nice place to explore and stretch your legs. It would be convenient to visit if you wanted a natural place to go after spending time at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. If you happen to visit on a Thursday morning, say hello to the handsome man in the office and tell him Karen sent you.