Posted in Hiking

48th Annual Hocking Hills Winter Hike, January 2013

We participated in the 48th Annual Hocking Hills Winter Hike today. This was our fourth time doing this winter hike which runs from Old Man’s Cave to Cedar Falls and on to Ash Cave, a distance of approximately 6 miles.

Smoke from a nearby campfire was catching sunbeams at Ash Cave.




By the end of the hike, temperatures reached the mid-40’s (7° C) with sunny, blue skies. The only thing missing from this year’s winter hike was winter! A few small patches of snow and a few small icicles were the only real signs of winter. However, there was plenty of water in local streams, resulting in splendid waterfalls – particularly so at Ash Cave. And the turn-out was very strong for the hike.

Cedar Falls
A state park official introduces us to a big Great Horned Owl.
Another state park official introduced us to a tiny Screech Owl.
Ash Cave. The sun was shining through branches casting stripe-like shadows on the falls.
Ash Cave
Devil’s Bathtub
Old Man’s Cave
Old Man’s Cave
Rose Lake
A shoreline at Rose Lake; I’m so grateful for the evergreen trees in winter.
Walking across the dam at Rose Lake
The fire tower is closed during the annual winter hike to keep the crowds moving along.
One of many bridges
People lining up waiting for the hike to start.

I’d like to close by thanking the many volunteers and state officials who make the annual winter hike in the Hocking Hills such a success.

Update: Ohio State Park Naturalist, Erin Shaw, has reported on Facebook that 4,308 people participated in the hike this year. Attendance was depressed last year due to a freezing rain the night before (2,265 participants). The turnout in 2010 was 5,417, making 2010 the record year.




Additional information

More on the Annual Hocking Hills Winter Hike

© Deborah Platt, Robert Platt and TrekOhio.com 2012 to 2017


21 thoughts on “48th Annual Hocking Hills Winter Hike, January 2013

    1. Old Man’s Cave is named after a hermit (Richard Rowe) who used to live there in the 19th century.

      Cedar Falls was named by early settlers after the nearby cedar trees. The settlers apparently failed botany as the trees are hemlocks.

      Ash Cave was named after piles of ashes discovered there by early settlers. Native Americans may have used the recess cave for shelter or ceremonial purposes.

      Devil’s Bathtub is named due the oval shaped pool with swirling water. The Hocking Hills region bills itself as the “Hot Tub Capital” of the mid-west with a large number of rental cabins all equipped with hot tubs (it’s a “cottage industry”). You’d think locals would have petitioned to rename the feature “Devil’s Hot Tub”

      1. Hahahah!!! Love it. Cedar, Hemlock? What’s the difference? And now I have a visual of Eddie Murphy singing “Hot Tub” around this beautiful natural vista. Ah, the mind….

        Fascinating, the naming of these places…. One could write a book. I’ve seen some great ones across the country.

  1. Deb, I was able to download this through facebook and the original link. Do you also walk in the Columbus Metro Parks Hikes? If so, maybe we will see you there this coming weekend. Thank you again!

  2. Thank you so much, we would love to have a copy of this photo. I tried to use the link but it wasnt wanting to upload for me. Facebook would be great and I could get a copy there. Again, thank you so much for sharing this copy.

  3. Great Pictures! My husband, his friend and I are in the first one. I saw it and thought those people look familiar! We also got a few pictures of the sunbeams, so pretty yesterday.

    1. Cindy, thank you for stopping by and commenting! I’m glad that you enjoyed the post. The people participating in the hike always seem so friendly. I’m sure we would have enjoyed chatting with you.

    1. Thank you, Karen! We had a great day. The naturalists employed by the state of Ohio typically bring a raptor or two to annual hike, and it’s a great opportunity for people to get a close look at them.

  4. OMG, how wonderful place! I had to scroll down very slowly because every single photo is so great and it started from the first photo! Thank You this very interesting post!

    1. Sartenada, thank you for your kind words about the photographs. I’m so glad that we had an opportunity to go on this hike. We had a lot of fun and the scenery was so beautiful.

    1. Jane, thanks! We probably should be stretching before hiking, but we typically just start out slow and then walk more briskly after our muscles have started to warm up. It’s surprising how warm you can get, even in winter, if you hike long enough or are going up enough hills.

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