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Benua Loop Trail & Green Mansions Trail

Updated: May 25


Clear Creek Metro Park - Benua Loop Trail & Green Mansions Trail

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"Ruin is when man-made has become part of nature." ~ Marco Casagrande


Clear Creek Metro Park Benua Loop Trail & Green Mansions Trail


Clear Creek Metro Park is a beautiful park that has something for everyone. From flat trails and rugged trails to fishing and picnicking. The area is breathtaking and contains prairies as well as thick forests.


Beuna Loop and Green Mansions Trail Sign Clear Creek Metro Park Rockbridge Ohio Hocking Hills

Clear Creek Metro Park has several trails. All with varying amounts of elevation change. The Benua Loop Trail is an easy to intermediate level trail. To get to the Green Mansions Trail, you must hike the Benua Loop Trail.


To reach these trails you will need to park in the parking lot located behind the Clear Creek Metro Park Starner House Park Office. From this parking lot, you can also visit Written Rock.

Beuna Loop and Green Mansions  Clear Creek Metro Park Trail Sign Rockbridge Ohio Hocking Hills





Benua Loop Trail in Clear Creek Metro Park

The Benua Loop trail is approximately a 1.9 mile loop. It is all natural except for a couple of bridges. It is an easy to navigate trail that is surrounded by trees and features a large lake.


Beuna Loop Trail Clear Creek Metro Park Rockbridge Ohio Hocking Hills Entrance Sign Fishing Access 8

The Beuna Loop trail starts by crossing over a large cement bridge. This bridge is known to flood when there has been a lot of rain. If it is flooded, there are no other public ways to get to the trails.


Beuna Loop Trail Clear Creek Metro Park Rockbridge Ohio Hocking Hills Concrete Bridge Fishing Access 8

Once you cross the concrete bridge, you will begin down a small path that is fairly flat. You then come up upon a small bride. After the bridge, you veer to the right. On your left, you will pass a cabin that needs some work done to it.


Beuna Loop Trail Clear Creek Metro Park Rockbridge Ohio Hocking Hills Old Bridge Fishing Access 8
Beuna Loop Trail Clear Creek Metro Park Rockbridge Ohio Hiking Hocking Hills rail Entrance
Beuna Loop Trail Clear Creek Metro Park Rockbridge Ohio Hocking Hills Hiking Trail Old Cabin

From the cabin, you can go left up the hill or right down a hill. Heading to the right will take you to The Green Mansions Trail (aka Clear Creek Mansion to the locals). The right will take you to Lake Emily. However, since the trail is a loop, you can go either way and see it all.


If you choose to go to the left, the trail continually heads upward. It goes up and up and up.


Beuna Loop Trail Clear Creek Metro Park Rockbridge Ohio Hocking Hills Hiking Trail Hill

Beuna Loop Trail Clear Creek Metro Park Rockbridge Ohio Hocking Hills Hiking Trail Rock Outcroppings

Once you make it to the top, you will come upon another sign. From there you can go left and visit the Greens Mansion. To the right, you can head to Lake Emily.


Beuna Loop and Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park Rockbridge Ohio Hocking Hills Entrance Sign

Continuing right on the Benua loop trail, you will find yourself on a wide trail that was once an old road. It winds its way down to Lake Emily.


Beuna Loop Trail Clear Creek Metro Park Rockbridge Ohio Hocking Hills Old Access Road Logging Trail
Beuna Loop Trail Clear Creek Metro Park Rockbridge Ohio Hocking Hiills Old Access Road

Lake Emily is absolutely beautiful. It would be a great place to have a picnic or enjoy some fishing. There are no swimming, kayaks, or flotation devices permitted on/in the water.


Beuna Loop and Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park Rockbridge Ohio Hocking Hills Lake Emily No Swimming

Beuna Loop and Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park Rockbridge Ohio Hocking Hills Lake Emily
Beuna Loop and Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park Rockbridge Ohio Hocking Hills Green Mansion Marker Lake Emily

Green Mansions plaque located at Lake Emily at Clear Creek Metro Park

Information is taken directly off sign:

Green Mansions

1930-1992

Green Mansions was the home of W.E. Benua and Emily Platt Benua, who explored these hills and valleys. Throughout their lives they learned about the natural world and shared their love of this place with their children and friends. The Benuas have created a living legacy through their generosity that will benefit wildlife and people for generations.


“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” John Muir





From Lake Emily at Clear Creek Metro Park the Benua Loop trail heads down over the manmade dam. The trail then gets easy again. It is fairly flat with very few inclines or declines.



Green Mansions Trail in Clear Creek Metro Park

At the split on the Benua Loop trailhead left to explore the Green Mansion Trail and ruins. The path is wide and easy to navigate.


Beuna Loop and Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park Rockbridge Ohio Hocking Hills Logging Road to Cave

Beuna Loop and Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park Rockbridge Ohio Hocking Hills Cave

For the most part, the trail declines all the way to the Green Mansion. To get back to the Benua Loop Trail, you must walk the trail back.


Beuna Loop and Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park Rockbridge Ohio Hocking Hills Benua Family Home The Ruins

Greens Mansion aka Clear Creek Mansion

The once beautiful home of William and Emily Benua is now only just a ruin.

Beuna Loop and Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park Rockbridge Ohio Hocking Hills Benua Family Home Sign
Beuna Loop and Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park Rockbridge Ohio Hocking Hills Construction of the Benua Family Home
Beuna Loop and Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park Rockbridge Ohio Hocking Hills Benua Family Home

Information is taken directly off sign:

The structural remnants before you are what remains of an impressive home built by William and Emily Benua in the early 1960’s. It was around this same time that the dam was constructed to create Lake Emily in the valley below the home. The Benua’s originally purchased 216acres in this area in 1930; the property was free of structures and a majority of the land had been logged and cleared of all marketable timber. In 1934 a cabin was added to the property where the family spent many weekends and time during the summer. From 1947-1954, William and Emily Benua purchased land holdings in both Hocking and Fairfield County eventually growing the size of their property to over 1200 acres. While the Benua Family owned the land there was extensive planting of white and red pine. Mr. Benua was a known conservationist in Hocking and Fairfield County. During the 1960s, he was instrumental in preventing the construction of a reservoir by the US Army Corp of Engineers in the Clear Creek Valley. In 1991, the will of Emily Benua donated 661 acres of the land to The Nature Conservancy which was later transferred to Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks. William and Emily Benua’s conservation efforts during ownership have significantly contributed to the preservation and beauty of Clear Creek Metro Park.


The home and surrounding area is referred to by the Benua family as “Green Mansions.” The name was inspired by the book Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest written by William Henry Hudson in 1904; it was a favorite book of Mr. Benua’s.




Beuna Loop and Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park Rockbridge Ohio Hocking Hills Benua Family Home View of Lake Emily from Back Patio
Beuna Loop and Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park Rockbridge Ohio Hocking Hills Benua Family Home Back Patio
Beuna Loop and Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park Rockbridge Ohio Hocking Hills Benua Family Home Back Yard

Written Rock at Clear Creek Metro Park

While you are visiting the Benua Loop Trail and the Green Mansions Trail at Clear Creek Metro park check out Written Rock. There is a very short trail from the parking lot that will take you over to a large sandstone formation.


You can find out more about Written Rock HERE.


Beuna Loop Trail Clear Creek Metro Park Rockbridge Ohio Hocking Hills View of Written Rock from Parking Lot


Birding

Clear Creek Metro Park is a birding hotspot. According to eBird there have been over 180 species of bird spotted at the park. With 20 of these being breeding warblers.


Additional Hiking Trails & Other Attractions at Clear Creek Metro Park

Other trails located at Clear Creek Metro Park:


Creekside Meadows Trail

Fern Trail

Hemlock Trail

Chestnut Trail

Tulip Tree Trail


Parking

The parking lot for the Benua Loop Trail is located behind the Clear Creek Metro Park Starner House Park Office. It is a gravel and dirt lot that does get muddy.


From the Benua Loop Trail/ Green Mansions Trail parking lot you can also reach Written Rock.


Beuna Loop Trail Clear Creek Metro Park Rockbridge Ohio View of Written Rock from Parking Lot

Our Thoughts

We love Clear Creek Metro Park and visit often. The Benua Loop Trail and Green Mansions Trail are perfect additions. The park is huge and there is a trail for everyone. From the very easy Creekside Meadows Trail to the challenging Chestnut and Cemetery Ridge Trails.


Unlike the Creekside Meadows Trail, the Benua Loop Trail is very quiet and serene. It is a great trail to get away from it all and see a bit of local history.

The trail is not a hard trail to complete. However, it is just hard enough to give your legs a little bit of a workout.


What the Hike, The Hiking Journal, Adventure Awaits




What You Can Expect at Clear Creek Metro Park Benua Loop Trail & Green Mansions Trail

Please note that trail rules and regulations can change at any time. The following information was in effect for the Benua Loop Trail and Green Mansions Trail as of May 2022.


Benua Loop Trail & Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park

There are no bathrooms located at this parking lot. However, there are bathrooms located elsewhere throughout the park.



Benua Loop Trail & Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park

Bicycles are not permitted on the Cemetery Ridge Trail.




Benua Loop Trail & Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park

Clear Creek Metro Park is an Ohio birding hotpsot.




Benua Loop Trail & Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park

Two bridges.




Benua Loop Trail & Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park

Concealed carry is permitted.



Benua Loop Trail & Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park

Pets are not permitted on the Benua Loop Trail or Green Mansions Trail.




Benua Loop Trail & Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park

Trail is natural and can get muddy is spots.




Benua Loop Trail & Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park

Limestone parking lot has roughly 8-10 parking spaces.



Benua Loop Trail & Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park

There is a picnic table located at Green Mansions and one on the dam.




Benua Loop Trail & Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park

There is no playground.




Benua Loop Trail & Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park

There are no benches along the trail.




Benua Loop Trail & Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park

A lot of shade.



Benua Loop Trail & Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park

No shelter house.




Benua Loop Trail & Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park

Trails are easy to see.




Benua Loop Trail & Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park

Trail is easy to moderate.




Benua Loop Trail & Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park

There are no trash cans.


Benua Loop Trail & Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park

Clear Creek and Lake Emily




Benua Loop Trail & Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park

No ADA parking spots.




Benua Loop Trail & Green Mansions Trail Clear Creek Metro Park

There are several fishing access spots located along Clear Creek. You can also fish at Lake Emily.





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