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