Category Archives: Hocking Hills State Park

Just Add Water

Cooling down at Inniswood Metro Park
Cooling down at Inniswood Metro Park

Invariably, water is always the game changer.  The deciding factor.  The extra plus weighted into the yes column.  Almost any park or outdoor venue can be a good destination for my kids, but when you add water?  It becomes the better choice.

Our favorite hikes in southern Utah a couple of summers ago were the wet hikes.  Edging carefully up slate waterfalls and through canyon streams, swimming along the way in natural pools… those moist moments elevated extraordinary scenery into extraordinary experiences that grew us in new and delightfully freeing ways.  A shameless wordsmith might say that they saturated us with remarkable memories.

Even in frigid winter, we’re drawn to the frozen falls and iced over trails of the Hocking Hills in southern Ohio.  Maybe it’s that changeable aspect of water that invites us closer.  It’s duality fascinates us.   Eroding and building.  Freezing and thawing.  Ebbing and flowing. Changing the earth, changing itself.  All the while sending leaves, logs and rocks on whimsical journeys…

Columbus Things To Do


In Town Tourist: Rock House

Situated in the side of a sandstone cliff,  the Rock House has a colorful history stemming from its concealed location.  Horse thieves, murderers, bootleggers and Indians once crept through the 200 foot long recess.  Today visitors to the Hocking Hills near Logan, Ohio can walk the dark expanse that once protected both the criminal and the innocent alike.

Hand carved shelves functioned as turpentine stills to area Indians who extracted sap from pitch pine wood by building fires atop the wood and a layer of sandstone.  Unsavory cave inhabitants in later years led to its local nickname:  Robbers’ Roost.

Seven window-like openings in the Blackhand sandstone allow limited amounts of light into the cave (which is the only true cave in Hocking Hills State Park), but it took a camera flash to discover the vibrant reds and oranges of the Rock House’s interior.

Columbus Things To Do


In-Town Tourist: Frozen Falls in Hocking Hills

Verdant ferns and mosses nipped at the frosted edges of receding snow.  For the moment winter was in steady retreat, sending occasional drips of icy meltwater to the back of the neck or tip of the nose from sandstone overhangs and swaying hemlock branches.

We took advantage of warmer weather and a non-school day to hike in the Hocking Hills this week.  The temporary thaw didn’t extend to all sections of trail -we still did plenty of slipping and sliding, hanging onto rails and trees in spots to keep at least one foot in contact with the ground, but it was renewing to wander the woods without the shivers of the past few weeks.  And it was almost magical to see frozen falls transforming back into waterfalls again.

Columbus Things To Do


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