Check out our new 2021 Outdoor Sanity Series! Each month has its own theme, with instructions for hiking and other activities included. At the start of every month, we will post updates on our webpage and our Facebook about the available activities for each monthly theme. As we venture into 2021 and COVID restrictions are hopefully lifted we will post potential events that would go along with the themes. January is the kick-off month.
- January Kick Off Month
- February Winter Hikes
- March Sounds of Silence
- April Giving back to the Earth
- May Feathered Friends
- June Aquatic Life
- July Pollinators
- August Accessible Trail
- Sept. Loop the Loops
- October Autumn Delights
- Nov. Giving Thanks
- Dec. Celebrating 2021
Let it snow let it snow let it snow! I know it sounds a little crazy but I love snow. I love being outside when it snows and the aftermath. Maybe not on the roads but definitely in the woods. Growing up in Western Ohio we would get a lot of drifting snow which created drifts! My favorite thing to do was to find a decent sized drift and start tunneling. Once I was able to get it large enough so I could crawl in and relax I would do just that and then lay there and listen to the silence. We had a small hill that led to the barn doors and I would get the grain shovel and sled down the embankment over and over again. As an adult, going home and looking at this slope cracks me up because it really isn’t that big, but it brought many hours of enjoyment to me as a child. I remember recess being filled with large cardboard pieces and many trips up and down the slope outside of the middle school. So I challenge you even if its just for 5 minutes or 5 hours get outside and play in the snow. It will be good for your soul! Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it SNOW!
This week, we are playing Go Find It, a scavenger game that is great for all ages!
It’s week 2 of Interacting with Nature and we are going pond dipping! Join us as we explore the wetland for frogs, tadpoles, and macroinvertebrates!
As the weather gets warmer, more people will be coming to enjoy the center. However, our traditional litter picker cannot occur due to social distancing restrictions. Instead, if you are interested in helping to leave the trails better than how you found them, bring along a bag on your next visit. If you see any trash on the trails, pick it up. When you are done, you can put your bag in the dumpster beside the restrooms on Conservation Drive. We can also provide supplies if you contact us in advance. Through email, info@
We ask that you continue to use the trails at the Norma Johnson Center. We are amazed by how many of you have continued to come out to the trails and the fishing ponds. We would like to remind everyone continue to practice social distancing. A friend of mine shared this picture the other day which wants me to say “Turkey Vulture” and spread out my arms when I am around others to remind all of us that I like you but we must keep apart.
As a reminder here are a few friendly trail reminders:
1. Please stay on the trails
2. If you bring a pet please clean up after it and keep it on a leash.
3. Our ponds are open to fishing, but it is catch and release and we ask that what you bring with you – leaves with you. For example fishing line and worm containers.
4. Our restrooms are closed. A port-a-john has been placed at the yellow pole barn parking area near the the Preservation Loop parking area.
5. Trail construction is going on – we are working on increasing the length of the accessible trail so some parts of the trail between the Preservation side and the Conservation side by SR 39 is muddy and exposed. A trail closed sign is posted but we have noticed hikers still using this trail. There are no hazards other than mud.
6. At the beginning of Conservation Drive staff have cut down dead pine trees and are now de-limbing and getting them ready to be taken away. We plan to plant bald cypress in this area.
7. No mobile vehicles shall use our trails except for our maintenance department. As a reminder, during this wet time we ask that visitors stay off the grass to keep from leaving muddy ruts along the drive way and in the parking areas.
8. More users sometimes means a possible increase of vandalism which we never like to mention or see at the Norma Johnson Center. If you witness other visitors breaking our rules please feel free to call the office 330.339.7976 or send us a message through Facebook. Increase use sometimes leads to others not taking care of our facility like we would like them too.
9. We continue to offer free public use to our facility. If you like what you see and would like to become a member of make a donation to our facility check our our website or trail maps for more information. Checks can be made to Norma Johnson Center and sent to 85 E Iron Avenue Dover OH 44622
10. It is tick season. So please take precautions and check yourself, fellow hikers and pets.
Lost and Found…Peacock
This may sound strange but…is anyone missing a peacock. Yes I did say peacock. Today our staff noticed this guy wondering the grounds. Please contact the office if you are the proud owner of this cute bird. On a side note this bird should be harmless when left alone.
“Start by doing what is necessary then what is possible and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” ~St. Francis
A New Norm for Now
This week has been crazy for everyone. Our norms have been changed without our consent. Everyone is trying their hardest to find normalcy at home with their spouses, children and work. Thinking about the positives of the week-the trails at the Norma Johnson Center have hikers galore. Social Distancing is happening, families are exploring and memories are being made OUTSIDE. Experts have been telling us over the last few years to get outside and play. I can say that has been happening at the NJC. Stay tuned for nature topics to be shared with your family. Keep up to date on our Facebook page Norma Johnson Center and watch for us to go Live. Otherwise, keep hiking, keep planning your adventures, stay safe and healthy.
The Norma Johnson Center trails are open to the public dawn to dusk. Dogs are welcome too but MUST be kept on a leash. If seen off the leash the pet owner will be asked to leave. Please be considerate of all users of the trails.
We will be following our local, state and countries guidelines due to the Covid 19 virus. These guidelines could change at a moments notice and must be followed as the changes occur.
That being said, the Norma Johnson Center trails are still open!
However, we asking that trail users try to keep 6 feet from others to promote good social distancing.
Our restrooms are closed at this time.
We ask that visitors try to avoid touching communal surfaces if you can.
We also encourage proper hand-washing techniques before and after your visit.
Stay safe and stay healthy.