Hiking Hocking Hills

One of the places the kid often raves about it Hocking Hills.  He’s been there quite a few times since moving to Columbus and he always has a great time.  With more than 10,000 acres of state parks there are a ton of things to see.

I was super excited when he took the day off of work on Friday and we headed there.

Hocking Hills

I didn’t bring trail shoes with me so I just wore a pair of regular running shoes.  It wasn’t too cold that day so a sweatshirt was all I needed.  Luckily I had brought my Columbia backpack on the plane with me and also, luckily, the kid offered to carry it after about 15 minutes.  Bonus!

Hocking Hills State Park has five separate sections: Old Man’s Cave, Cedar Falls, Ash Cave, Cantwell Cliffs, and Rock House.  The only part we didn’t visit is Whispering Caves which is located on the Hemlock Bridge Trail and we didn’t have the time to do that one.

Old Mans Cave Old Man’s Cave is named for a hermit, Richard Rowe, who used to live there.  His family moved to the Ohio River Valley around 1796 from the Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee.  Richard and his two hound dogs traveled through Ohio along the Scioto River in search of game. On one side trip up Salt Creek, he found the Hocking Region and he lived out his life in the area.  He is buried beneath the ledge of the main recess cave.

Old Man's Cave

We hiked through all of the trails in just over five hours.  In all I believe we walked a little over 12 miles.

hiking hocking hills

Some of the trails were a bit steep and the kid said that people die here almost every year.  We researched the park before heading out and were very careful while hiking and I cannot stress to you how important it is to pay attention.  We were extremely careful and still managed to trip a few times.

Hocking Hills Hocking HIlls

The trail markers were easy to follow and we never got lost which was a big fear of mine because typically I can’t find my way out of a hole.

top of the mountains

hocking hills

hiking

It got fairly warm later in the day and I switched into a lighter jacket.  The kid went with short sleeves but I was not that brave.  It’s still Ohio and this Florida girl was cold.

lake at hocking hills

The kid and I hiked around this entire lake, and I am here to tell you it was a lot longer than it said on the marker!  We didn’t mind but I don’t think anyone had hiked around it in a while.  There were some parts that were particularly muddy but we rallied.  The had stocked the lake with over a thousand rainbow trout the week before so there were some guys out fishing.  I was a little jealous when I saw two of them with a stringer of 9 fish!


hocking hills

hocking hills suspension bridge hocking hills gorge

It was so beautiful and I couldn’t help but take a thousand pictures.  Unfortunately, we had to take a break and delete some apps on my phone because I kept running out of space!

waterfall in hocking hills

waterfall

The water in Hocking Hills State Park is the most beautiful color you’ve ever seen due to the minerals in it.  You can’t swim at the waterfalls but they sure are spectacular to look at.

Hocking HIlls Waterfall

cliffs

The kid said that he has never gotten his friends to hike the entire thing so he was pretty stoked that I wanted to.  I wish we could have seen the last part but it was already 5:30 in the afternoon and we had to drive back to Columbus.  I told the kid the next time I visit we have to go back so I can cross it off my list.

I know, I know, I’m killing you with all the pictures but I couldn’t help myself.  It was just such an incredible place.

Here’s one last one because I just can’t help myself.

hocking hils water

There is a lot of walking up and down so if you’re not used to that it might be a bit hard to see all of the parks on your first visit.  The kid and I love to hike and we’re in pretty decent shape but we had some very sore calves the next day.

If you’re ever in Southeastern Ohio I highly recommend this place and in case you are a proud owner of a four legged friend, the park is pet friendly.  The next time I come, I’m bringing Hank.

When is the last time you went hiking and where did you go?

Cabin life, part two.

Yesterday I told you all about my new running trail because I was so excited I just couldn’t wait.  Today I want to tell you about the rest of our weekend and I promise it was equally cool, but first a little history lesson.

Back in the 60’s and early 70’s the real estate industry wasn’t regulated in Florida and some land developers were able to sell lots that were divided on paper but never accepted as subdivisions by the county commission.

suburban estates brochure

An ad from the 60’s for Suburban Estates Land.

Some of these lots were located in areas that were completely covered in water and some were located in thick cypress swamps rendering them useless to anyone who hoped to build on them. These subdivisions became known as ‘paper subdivisions’ and Suburban Estates, at 10,000 acres, was the largest.

suburban estates ad from 60s

Suburban Estates in the 1960’s

Fast forward to today and Suburban Estates has become a favorite of ATV riders, motorcycle riders, hunters and many other sportsmen. If you own property in Suburban Estates, you can pretty much explore most of the 10,000 acres. We have a club, SEPA (Suburban Estates Preservation Association), and they maintain the security gate, the security cameras, the trails, and the drainage ditches plus a few other things.

riding trails in suburban estates

But what I love most about Suburban Estates is that is looks pretty much exactly like it did in the 60’s and 70’s.

trees and palms

Gully
When we go out we do a lot of ATV riding and muddin’.

muddin

4 x 4 Florida

The jeep before we gave it a mud bath!

4 x 4

A typical mud hill

We also have our very own shooting range and there is one located just around the corner from our property so we can shoot whenever we feel like it.

There are 2 areas that you can swim in. We call them South Beach and North Beach. In fact we have names for a lot of the areas within Suburban Estates such as ‘the drunk tree’, ‘big sandy’, ‘North Swamp’, ‘mud hole’, you get the picture.  Anyway, here we are at South beach.

me in holopaw

Nature lover for life!

south beach suburban estates

Little Aubrey swinging from a tree.

Here is what the tree looks like when you drive up to it.  It’s rather large.

South Beach Suburban Estates

The tree blocks off an entire area of South Beach.

There are also tons of riding trails regardless of the type of vehicle you are in but
I happen to be quite fond of all the plants, berries and trees.

florida wildflowers

Wild Flowers are all over the trail and I always pick a few. I can’t help myself.

berries

Wild Berries. We actually have blueberry bushes at our cabin. They are hella thorny though.

shaded trails

It’s so serene here. I could run or walk this trail for days.

dogs running

The dogs love it here!  Here they are on my new running trail with Aubrey.

sunsets

Sunsets are beautiful here. #UnspoiledFlorida

And that my friends is our beloved Suburban Estates.  I wish you all could experience it and hopefully my pictures are an accurate representation.

Are you a nature lover?  (I am, for life!)
Do you have a place that you love to go to that is unspoiled?  (Please tell me about it, I love learning about places that have been untouched by technology and industry.)