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The most scenic park in Western Ohio.

That's what the Ohio Department of Natural Resources says about John Bryan State Park, and I'll agree after my time there Monday. Even in the bare pre-spring dinginess -- when tan and gray blend together and yearn for green -- it was stunning. I walked about six miles along the Little Miami River and atop the limestone cliffs of Clifton Gorge, a low-impact trip that would be perfect for families or novice hikers.

John Bryan is also known as a great place for weekend tent camping. You could set up shop at one of the numerous electric and non-electric sites available for rent, then spend a day fishing and walking around. The sites seem nice, though the men's bathrooms didn't have a sink or Purell. In a pinch, grab some from the wall of the ladies' room next door.

If you've only got a few hours to while away, bring lunch to enjoy on one of the numerous grassy knolls that look perfect for picnics. (Note: I recently started dating a very pretty girl, so just about anywhere with grass looks nice for a picnic.)

[Homepage] [Full Venture story]

It's definitely a great place to watch the spring unfold. The wildflowers are popping up, and the water should be rushing well this weekend after the rain. To learn more about this awesome day-trip spot, check the photos after the jump...

View larger image

The most scenic park in Western Ohio.

That's what the Ohio Department of Natural Resources says about John Bryan State Park, and I'll agree after my time there Monday. Even in the bare pre-spring dinginess -- when tan and gray blend together and yearn for green -- it was stunning. I walked about six miles along the Little Miami River and atop the limestone cliffs of Clifton Gorge, a low-impact trip that would be perfect for families or novice hikers.

John Bryan is also known as a great place for weekend tent camping. You could set up shop at one of the numerous electric and non-electric sites available for rent, then spend a day fishing and walking around. The sites seem nice, though the men's bathrooms didn't have a sink or Purell. In a pinch, grab some from the wall of the ladies' room next door.

If you've only got a few hours to while away, bring lunch to enjoy on one of the numerous grassy knolls that look perfect for picnics. (Note: I recently started dating a very pretty girl, so just about anywhere with grass looks nice for a picnic.)

[Homepage] [Full Venture story]

It's definitely a great place to watch the spring unfold. The wildflowers are popping up, and the water should be rushing well this weekend after the rain. To learn more about this awesome day-trip spot, check the photos after the jump...

View larger image Rock climbers have blazed trails just below amazing rock features, but it's best to stick to marked paths. These cliffs are visible from the Pittsburgh-Cincinnati Stage Coach Trail.

View larger image I'd suggest stopping at the eastern footbridge for a nice riverside lunch. From here, you can explore more of the park or enter the Clifton Gorge Nature Preserve.

View larger image A series of rope anchors along the North Rim trail is perfect for rappellers and rock climbers. Call the park office to grab a spot.

View larger image Beautiful moss, wildflowers and vines are bursting from the granite and limestone faces that dot the park. Should be prime viewing through the middle of April.

View larger image The Little Miami River runs from Clark County to the Ohio River, carving land along the way. It's said to provide choice habitat for bass and panfish. Walk the South Gorge trail to scope out a great hole.

View larger image Another great from the Little Miami. I've heard that Clifton Gorge Nature Preserve has even better vistas, overlooks and waterfalls. I'll try that later this summer.

View larger image For the most part, the trails at John Bryan are wide and smooth. It's a great place to see beautiful rock formations without the hills and climbs of the Hocking Hills.