For those who enjoy the outdoors and getting back to nature, your day begins at Culberson State Nature Preserve, a 238 acre preserve that is one of the few examples of the "white swamp forest" which once covered the uplands of southwestern Ohio. The forest grows on poorly drained, "white clay" soil which formed on the glacial materials deposited during the Illinoisan glacial period. The swamp forest is dominated by red maple and pin oak with substantial stands of shagbark hickory, shellbark hickory, swamp white oak, American elm and sweet gum. Camera buffs, and bird watching are a favorite at Culberson. After leaving Culberson, it’s on to Cowan Lake State Park for a special lunch in the commissary. After a little rest and nourishment, the park’s naturalist will reveal the story about the lake and how it was used for missile testing, and then it’s on foot to discover the beauties of Cowan. The park provides four miles of hiking trails. A Lotus Cove self-guided trail provides a boardwalk view of an American Lotus (water lily) colony while the Emerald Woods Trail meanders through a mature beech forest. Next it’s on to the marina for a Cowan Lake pontoon tour which takes in many of the lake’s coves. It’s time to check in at your hotel and rest up before a dinner at the Spillway Lodge. Get a good night’s sleep because following breakfast the next morning at the hotel, a new day begins with a trip to Collett Woods Nature Preserve, which covers 60 acres. The preserves’ forest is dominated by American Beech, Sugar Maple, White Ash, White Oak, and Black Walnut. Wild Black Cherry, Hackberry, and Shagbark Hickory are also found in limited quantity. Over 58 species of birds are known to breed within one mile of these woods with at least another 100+ species migrating through the preserve in the fall and spring migration. It’s time for lunch at Young’s Jersey Dairy, with home-style cooking. After lunch it’s on to Yellow Springs and a visit to the Glen Helen Nature Preserve, 1,000 acre nature preserve with hiking, raptor center, and trailside museum.