September 22, 2014

Medina
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Teaching on the trail in Medina County

With the sun shining and tem­peratures in the mid-60s, about 50 people attended a hike through Princess Ledges Nature Preserve in Brunswick Hills Township on Sunday to learn about sandstone rocks and geol­ogy from the Medina County Parks Dis­trict.

Dan Bertsch, chief naturalist for the parks district, narrated the hike with tales of wildlife from more than 300 million years ago.

Dan Bertsch, chief naturalist for the Medina County Parks District, speaks to the group of hikers about the sandstone ledges found in the nature preserve. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY JENNIFER PIGNOLET)

Dan Bertsch, chief naturalist for the Medina County Parks District, speaks to the group of hikers about the sandstone ledges found in the nature preserve. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY JENNIFER PIGNOLET)

“Ohio, at one time, was a huge saltwa­ter ocean,” Bertsch said. “The rocks tell the stories.”

He showed fossils of salt water animals, which he said proves Ohio was once an ocean.

“Ohio’s a good place to look for fossils,” he said, “because of it being an ocean at one time.”

Bertsch explained the history of the park and the numerous uses for sand­stone as a structure for buildings because of its strength.

Princess Ledges, he said, is named after the daughter of a man who used to own the property.

The mile-long hike was part of a pro­gram called the Natural Discoveries Hik­ing Series. The hikes, open to anyone ages 7 and older, take place Sundays at 3 p.m. and Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and tour dif­ferent areas of the county.

Hikers can keep track of their trails with the groups and work their way up to earning a hand-carved walk­ing stick from the parks department, Bertsch said.

Volunteer Katie Krosse, of Wadsworth, said she has been on close to 40 hikes.

She said there are about a dozen people who attend a hike at least once a week.

“It gets you out on these beautiful days,” Krosse said. “Also, you learn something new every time.”

For information about future hikes and other events through the Medina County Parks Department, call (330) 722-9364 or go to www.medina­countyparks. com.

Contact Jennifer Pignolet at (330) 721-4063 or jpignolet@medina-gazette.com.