It was cool and sunny on Saturday morning so we decided to take a look at fall foliage at Rock Stalls. Rock Stalls is a privately owned nature sanctuary run by Camp Akita. It is open to the public, and we last visited the site in February. It is a box canyon crisscrossed by small streams. There are also several, seasonal waterfalls along the rim.
We arrived early Saturday morning at the parking area which was completely empty. The descent to the floor of the canyon was colorful with the foliage slightly past peak color. We followed the loop trail in a counter-clockwise direction.
We finally arrived at the canyon floor and noticed that the streams had mostly dried up. This made hiking the bottom of the canyon a little easier, but also meant that the wonderful waterfalls we’d last seen in winter, were absent. We explored the canyon enjoying the recess caves, towering cliff walls, and colorful vegetation.
In our prior trip, we retraced our steps to exit the canyon. This time we chose to climb out on the opposite side of the canyon from the wooden staircase. To get out we had to get up on the tree-covered mound pictured below. It’s easier to do if you walk down the passageway between the cliff and the mound. You’ll find its less steep there.
Once you get onto the mound, you’ll see that it is a ridge that ascends up to the rim of the ravine.
Once you get near the rim, the earth-covered ridge turns into plain old rock. Someone has chiseled a few steps into the living rock, but these rocky steps are narrow and near a steep drop-off. I’m glad we didn’t try this route in winter time. It seems like it would be dangerous when covered with snow and ice.
After we left the canyon, we hiked back to the parking lot using a different route first climbing stairs and then a steep incline. The foliage along this part of the route were the most colorful of our hike. We arrived back at the parking lot to discover that it was now overflowing with cars. We left and drove off to find lunch and then off to another venue for more hiking.
- TrekOhio: Rock Stalls Natural Sanctuary – our original visit in winter. This post includes a description of the site’s location.
- TrekOhio: An Overview of Hiking Trails in the Hocking Hills
- TrekOhio: Hocking County Parks & Nature Preserves