49th Annual Hocking Hills Winter Hike, January 2014

We participated in the 49th Annual Hocking Hills Winter Hike yesterday. This was our fifth time participating in this winter hike that runs from Old Man’s Cave to Rose Lake, Cedar Falls, and ends at Ash Cave for a total distance of 6 miles. A bus returns participants to the starting point.

Hocking Hills: Ash Cave
Ash Cave, near the end of the hike.

The weather for this hike was grey skies with snow flurries in the morning. Temperatures for nearby Logan, OH were as follows:

7 AM 10 AM 1 PM
11° F (-12° C) 15° F (-9° C) 19° F (-7° C)

Over 3,000 people participated in this year’s hike. Turn-out was down from prior years, perhaps some people were put off by the low temperatures. Nevertheless Hocking State Park was decked out with a festive blanket of snow, many decorative icicles, and ice crusted waterfalls.

Near the beginning of the hike an ODNR naturalist introduced hikers to the screech-owl below. The following photos are in the order in which they were seen during the hike.

Birds: Screech Owl
Screech owl
Hocking Hills: Devil's tub
Devil’s Bathtub
Hocking Hills: A-frame bridge
Hikers passing under the A-frame bridge.
Hocking Hill: Icicles on cliff
Icicles hanging from cliff face.
Hocking Hills: Hikers waiting to go through tunnel
Going through first tunnel.
Hocking Hills: The Sphinx
The Sphinx head.
Hocking Hills: Old Man's Cave
Old Man’s Cave.
Hocking Hills: Old Man's Cave
Going through tunnel to get into Old Man’s Cave.
Hocking Hills: Old Man's Cave
Hiker taking in the vista from Old Man’s Cave.
Hocking Hills: Old Man's Cave
Looking out from Old Man’s Cave.
Hocking Hills Winter Hike: Warming up near campfire
Back on top, hikers warm themselves by a campfire.
Hocking Hills: Crossing A-Frame Bridge
Now hikers cross to the other side of the gorge via the A-frame bridge. This trail will lead to Rose Lake.
Hocking Hills: Hikers on their way to Rose Lake
Almost at Rose Lake.
Hocking Hills: Rose Lake
Winter view of Rose Lake.
Hocking Hills: Iron bridge with sphinx head emblem
Iron bridge with sphinx head emblem; the sphinx head is a rock formation pictured previously in this post.
Hocking Hills: View from Iron Bridge
View from iron bridge; this creek eventually pours over Cedar Falls.
Hocking Hills: Fire tower
The Fire Tower is between Cedar Falls and Ash Cave.
Hocking Hills: Posing with Smokey the Bear
Smokey the Bear was posing with hikers near the Fire Tower.
Hocking Hills: Cedar Falls
Cedar Falls.

As usual, the half-way point at Cedar Falls featured corn bread and hot navy bean soup. The hardy hikers and their dogs (there were many dogs taking part this year) all seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Hocking Hills Winter Hike: Police dog on insulated pad
Although we saw many dogs engaged in recreational hiking, this one is on duty. The dog’s handler provided it with a mat to protect it from the cold ground.
Hocking Hills: leaving Cedar Falls
Leaving Cedar Falls.
Hocking Hills: Ash Cave
Arriving at Ash Cave.
Hocking Hills: Ash Cave
Hikers at Ash Cave.
Hocking Hills: Between Ash Cave and Parking Lot
Between Ash Cave and the bus stop; the bus will take us back to the parking lot by the Visitor’s Center near Old Man’s Cave.

Once again our thanks to the staff of ODNR and the many volunteers that worked hard in cold conditions to make this year’s hike a success.

Additional Information

© Deborah Platt, Robert Platt and TrekOhio.com 2014
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8 Responses to 49th Annual Hocking Hills Winter Hike, January 2014

  1. Beautiful shots! I’m impressed that your camera keeps working when it’s so cold…mine does NOT like the cold, even with fairly new batteries.

    • Deb Platt says:

      Karen, I think that I was just lucky. My husband’s camera just plain up and died. Although we were sad to see it go, at least it was an older point-and-shoot that had served us for a few years.

  2. Loved this one! Beautiful. I mentioned it in my Jan 20th post – http://aquilasorchard.blogspot.com/ You guys sure make me wish I could visit Ohio!

  3. What a gorgeous place! That Devil’s Bathtub shot makes me dizzy looking down in it, lol.

  4. Sartenada says:

    There were a lot of beautiful winter hike photos. Here, where I live, we have a little snow, but in the North plenty of.

  5. Cathie says:

    Your photos are beautiful! Do you mind saying what type of
    camera you use?

    • Deb Platt says:

      Thanks so much, Cathie. :-) All the photos in this post were taken with a point-and-shoot: a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20. However I’ve done some post-processing on all of these photos as well. I don’t think the auto white balance works as well in winter. The white snow tends to make everything else look too dark. So after I’ve loaded the photo onto my computer I adjust the white balance, and I also do what’s called “tone mapping” to bring out some of the detail that was hidden in shadow originally. People can do this sort of thing with Photoshop, but I use a free, open-source program called, Gimp. I really like the free part, but it took me awhile to get a handle on using it.

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