Finding Our Way Around The Wild & Wonderful Pierce Township Nature Trail

The Pierce Township, Ohio, Nature Trail is easy to find, right off Locust Corner Road with a convenient gravel parking lot, but finding our way around the trails was another story.  Located at 871 Locust Corner Rd., Cincinnati, Ohio, 45245, it is just down the road from the Pierce Township Park that has a paved walking trail, a playground, picnic tables, sports fields, and more.  We chose to explore the more natural setting of the Nature Trail, and were pleased to have had a full nature experience.

picture of nature trail park

We arrived on Saturday, November 4, 2017, around noon, with a temperature of 55 degrees, cloudy, with very little wind.  The trail begins as a wide mowed path through a large field of high grass heading toward the woods that surround the field.  This stretch runs along the yards of some houses that soon end, leaving nothing but quiet woods along side the trail.  About a quarter of the way around the field there was a bench to sit on, although it was leaning dangerously to one side.  At about one half mile there is a fork in the trail where you can continue around the field or turn right and go into the woods.  We went into the woods where the trail became muddy in spots, and besieged with large molehills, and completely immersed in the woods.

picture of trail..


We walked further and came to other forks in the trail, and continued walking deeper in the woods, confident that we could find our way back easily because of a large cell tower situated in the park that was easy to spot no matter where you were.  There were sign posts erected at the forks in the trail, but there were no signs on the posts, so we couldn’t follow a particular trail.  As we walked further the trail became challenging with high grass and branches in it, we lost sight of the cell tower, and soon came upon a high fence that surrounded a couple of large oil tank buildings.  We thought the trail would circle back to the field, but it did not, and we turned back at this point, not sure exactly how to get back to the field.  After climbing through some brush, we finally saw the tower, and made our way back to the trail that surrounds the field.  As we got closer to the parking area, we found another bench along the trail.

picture of trail
It’s easy to lose sight of the cell tower in places…

Restrooms:  There were no restrooms anywhere on the trail.

Traffic Noise:  The trail was very quiet without any traffic noise, although we could hear someone using a leaf blower in their yard, and we could hear repeated guns shots in the distance that we assumed were from folks doing some target shooting nearby.

picture of trail

Historic Points Of Interest: Clermont County was established in 1800, and eventually was divided into 14 townships. Some townships were named after local villages, like Batavia and Williamsburg, and some were named for famous people of the time. Franklin Township was named for one of the founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, and Wayne Township was named for General ‘Mad Anthony’ Wayne, who opened Clermont County to settlement. Washington Township was named for President George Washington, and three townships were named for sitting presidents, Monroe Township for President Monroe in 1825, Jackson Township for President Andrew Jackson in 1834, and Pierce Township for President Franklin Pierce in 1852.

picture of President Pierce
President Franklin Pierce

Overall Rating:  We had a wonderful time on our nature walk despite finding the trails confusing.  We were the only people there, and along with the lack of a port-a-potty and signs on the trail, we got the impression that the trails were rarely used and neglected.  There was a map of the trails at the parking area showing several different loops around the field, one of which leads to a picnic shelter that we could not find.  All in all we enjoyed our walk as we immersed ourselves completely in nature exploring the woods old-school with just our wits and Mother Nature guiding us along our little adventure on this fine Fall day.

picture of trail
Helpful sign at beginning of trail…

A Real Walking Treat At Gauche Park

If you haven’t heard of Gauche Park, it’s not because it’s nothing special, in fact, it is very special and is well worth a visit. Located at 410 South Broadway St., Owensville, OH, 45160, a ‘Gauche Park’ street sign identifies the turn off South Broadway St. (Rt. 276), leading you to a nicely paved parking lot, complete with trash cans and a large shelter that is available to rent. There is a playground right off the parking lot as well, with large climbing equipment and swings.

picture of park entrance

We arrived at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 7, 2016. It was 80 degrees and sunny with a mild breeze. The trail is paved with asphalt and forks to the left and right immediately. We went left first to get a closer look at an old log cabin sitting on the property. The cabin was interesting but there were no information signs of any kind near it, the trail quickly circled back to the parking lot, so we turned around and headed the other direction.

picture of parkThe trail sloped up hill and circled a large grass area with trees lining the outside of the trail. Behind the trees were fields and the back of some houses including a stable where we could see a horse nibbling on grass. There were benches periodically along the trail, exercise stations, and frisbee golf equipment in the middle of the grass area, and everything was kept in excellent condition. With all those things to do, however, our only company was one jogger, so the butterflies, birds, dragonflies, and chirping cicadas made for a very scenic and calm walking experience.

picture of trail...
Restored log cabin along the trail…

The trail circled back to the parking lot with 1/2 mile marked at the end. We walked it three times to get in a good walk. The sloping up and down, stretches of shade, and wonderful condition of the trail made it possible to walk fast and get in a good work-out.

Restrooms:  There was a small brick building in the parking lot with men’s and women’s restrooms, but it was locked and could not be used.

Traffic Noise:  There was little or no traffic noise throughout our walk.

Interesting Features:  Besides the clean and well-maintained trail, picnic shelter, and parking lot, the permanent baskets for golf frisbee, also called disc golf, were pretty amazing.  Instructions and rules for playing the game were posted on a glass-covered sign.  The grass in this area was smooth, without weeds or sticks, and neatly mowed.

picture of disc golf basket
Disc Golf basket…

Historic Points of Interest:  The house alongside the entrance to Gauche Park belonged to Agnes Gauche. Agnes had served on Owensville’s City Council for ten years, and after her husband died, she donated her house and the nine acres behind it to Owensville. The village turned the land into a park named after the couple and the house now serves as the Owensville Historical Museum. That house was also the birthplace of John M. Pattison, the 43rd Governor of Ohio. Governor Pattison was the shortest serving Governor in Ohio, however, having died six months after being elected in 1906.

picture of museum
Owensville’s Historical Museum

Overall Rating:  Even though we weren’t completely immersed in nature, we found this a very enjoyable, clean, and convenient place to walk.  There was enough nature around us to clear our minds, giving us a break from our busy lives, while working up some exercise with a fast-paced walk.  Walking along with the sun on our shoulders, wind in our hair, and beautiful sounds of nature’s creatures around us was truly a delight for all the senses.

picture of trail...