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COUNTY: Columbiana County
LOCATION DETAILS: I'm sorry, but it's been a rather fruitless search online for the bridletrail map. I know they have a pamphlet with the trails but I haven't found it online. So I'll try to describe how to get to the point.
You follow orange trail until you come to large opening that leads to a section of the creek. across from the opening you can see high cliffs. Cross it and you come to a large island, which you go right off of into a small trickle of the creek and onto a rather stony bed. Which you cross another creek to a forested area full of hemlocks. There is (or was, I haven't gotten down there this year) an old tree with a phone set in the middle. If you see that, you're on the trail. You just follow the trail until you come to a fork. In front of you is a straight path, usually mowed, stating no tresspassing. The right is a trail I've never really been on, and the left is the trail to the pines. Naturally you want to go left.
Go through the white pines, and when you come out of them there should be an old log lying on its side right in your line of sight. That would be the place.
NEAREST TOWN: Beaver Creek State Park
NEAREST ROAD: State Route 7
OBSERVED: My mother and I went riding that day. Weather was nice and clear, just the right temperature to take a leisure ride through the park. Even the wind was with us, blowing behind us and keeping the bugs off.
Since we didn't have anything to do that day we thought we'd take a longer trail. It's a stand of white pines. Not the one that leads to a campground, but one adjacent to a field. I don't remember the color designation or the exact name, we call it the hangman's trail due to a tree, but it may be the whispering pines.
I was deep in thought, not really paying attention to my surroundings. I turned to see if my mother was alright, seeing as she was quite a ways behind me. My gelding tensed, which instantly had me turning around to see what was wrong.
My first impression was an object standing vertically. I figured a tree top had fallen down and was being propped up by a log. I waited for Goke to figure this out and settle.
Boy was I wrong. It moved, we moved. Goke swirled around and went off at a dead run. He generally starts and stops, like running in place when he spooks. He stops, settles, and investigates. Even when a dog was attacking him he never ran so fast and so uncontrolled a gallop. He practically bulled over mom and her horse, and soon the mare was following and the two horses didn't stop until we were halfway back to camp. So whatever it was scared the shit out of him.
While Goke was running I still had my head turned looking at the object. It ran off towards the field, whether it exited the forest or not I'm not quite sure, we entered the pines blocking my vision.
A break in the forest directed sun in my face at the initial sighting, so more or less I got a blurred perception of the creature as we both changed position. But it was enough to tell me this was no deer or man.
One, whatever it was ran upright. The proportions looked wrong for a man, bulk in the wrong place.
Height was also an issue. We still use that trail and the landmarks are still there for comparison. Looking at the log it was standing behind I'd say it was 7-8 feet.
It was dark, but the 'halo' around it made the edges appear a dark chocolate.
Mom said I was white as a ghost and Goke was jittery for the rest of the ride. We must have been pretty shook up seeing as mom told a friend to explain what was wrong. It's just not in her nature to relate things such as this.
OTHER WITNESSES: My mother was around the bend of the trail, her view obstructed by undergrowth. Her mare was much slower than my gelding.
She thought the loud crashing was my horse bolting back, which was partially true. We just had extra help from the critter.
OTHER STORIES: After we came back mom related the tale to a friend. We didn't spend the night, we're close enough to trailor in and out.
Two days later we returned to ride and was greeted by our friend. Apparently someone else had seen a strange creature. It was described as having shaggy fur and had been swimming in the creek. The people had already left, weekend was over, so I was unable to ask for details.
I'm not sure exactly where it occured, only that it was an area by a creek parallel to the horse trails.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 3-4 oclock in the afternoon. The forest made it look later, around 7-8 oclock, with beams of sun sneaking between trees. It was probably in the sixties in the shade, nice day for a ride. Mostly clear skies.
ENVIRONMENT: Pineforest giving way to thick undergrowth. A farm borders on side and a steep hill on the other which leads to a wide creek.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Cory Miller:
Beaver Creek cuts across the unglaciated plateau of eastern Ohio and drains into the Ohio River north of East Liverpool. There are several uninhabited forest zones in this area which are well protected and harbor large herds of deer. Many sightings have been reported along Beaver Creek. The "Ohio Howl" recording comes from this same area.
About BFRO Investigator Cory Miller:
Cory Miller is a native of Columbiana County, Ohio. In addition to participating in several private expeditions and assisting expedition organizers in the field, Cory attended West Virginia Expedition 2006, Ohio Expedition 2006 and Eastern Ohio Expedition 2012.