A W Marion State Park

I recently walked the 5-mile trail around Lake Hargus, the central feature of A W Marion State Park, in Ohio’s Pickaway County.

The rolling woodlands and quiet waters of A.W. Marion State Park offer visitors a welcome escape from the rigors of everyday life. This small (309 acres) but unique park offers a variety of recreational activities while maintaining a quiet atmosphere of natural serenity. 

I found this blurb from the park website to be very true.  The park is near Circleville Ohio, yet is remote enough, nestled in the till plain country of eastern Ohio, to be peaceful and quiet when I visited.

My visit- on the last day of October- coincided with central Ohio’s peak autumn tree color fashion show.  Here are some pictures!

(how the marina area looked last month)

…and now

Mallards approaching, looking for some food

Birds could be seen in the park area:

a young Chipping Sparrow, part of an autumn flock

a White-Breasted Nuthatch

Cardinals love the Honeysuckle berry thickets

a female Bluebird

Autumn colors were evident:

…and two lonely swallows wheeled overhead, very late in the season for them.

Was that an island out in the lake?

the path took me out onto the dam causeway

a Woolly Bear Caterpillar crawled across the path-  I wrote about them years ago, here

Some wildflowers still bloomed along the causeway, most likely because the nearby water is warmer than ground or air.  Jerry over at Quiet Solo Pursuits pointed that out to me years ago.  I haven’t forgot!

coming down off the causeway

an autumn sparrow lurks in the thickets- October is a big sparrow month for birders

it was time to enter the forest that surrounds the lake

the majority of the trees were Maples, their leaves predominantly yellow

the path followed the shoreline much of the time

occasional outcroppings of slate rock were seen

…and a fern here and there.

Trees that were spotted include…

many Maples


Sycamores, with their hollowed-out trunks


Black Walnuts, often bare of leaves by now, but leaving behind many walnuts- it’s been a banner year for them, I was nearly hit by some falling from a good height

PawPaw trees in large colonies

Sasafras trees  with their lobed leaves

I spotted this lone Osage Orange fruit

there were many ravines crossed by foot bridges

occasional wooden stair steps helped with the steeper slopes

there were a few small benches scattered throughout the woods next to the footpath

a few streams needed to be forded

the path went through a camping area

Knotweed (also called Lady’s Thumb and Smartweed), an autumn wildflower, was seen here and there in the woods

…as were the occasional birds:

Winter Wren

Tufted Titmouse

Blue Jay

glimpses of the lake could be seen

and the Hargus River

the view of the lake opened up as I neared the end of the circular path

my most interesting bird of the day- a Great Egret on an island out in the lake- late in the season for this one!

this Indian (Mock) Strawberry caught my eye in the grass

I was favorably impressed with this park- ODNR does a good job with them

it would be neat to own a house with a state park for your yard!

I enjoyed the day’s outing.  I hope my pictures give some indication of why.  Enjoy this glorious season before wintertime arrives!