Although reindeer don’t live in Ohio now, it was a different story during the last ice age.
Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve is a scenic narrow gorge located in Hocking Hills State Park. Two trails are available to hikers. The upper trail is the Conkle’s Hollow Rim Trail. This is a spectacular loop trail that follows along the rim of the cliff walls affording a view of the valley and the cliff on the other side. A word of caution: this trail is moderately strenuous and not at all suitable for small children. Enjoy the view, but stay away from the cliff edges! The overall hike is about 2.5 miles and passes several seasonal waterfalls.
Above you see a little green hill rising above the surrounding plain. This is a man-made structure. The first time I came across anything like this was while reading Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. There is a dramatic passage in the Fellowship of the Ring when the hobbit heroes are passing through the “Barrow-downs”. Tolkien’s barrows were mounds like the one above; they had been the final resting place of the ancient men of the first age. In the novel the barrow-downs had been a peaceful place until cursed by the Witch-king of Angmar who sent evil spirits, the barrow-wights, to haunt the once great tombs. So that’s my literary reference for places such as this.
My family went for a hike in Ohio’s Mohican State Park this weekend, and I noticed a number of flowers that were just beginning to unfurl.
Rose Lake is in the Hocking Hills State Park. The lake’s also known as the Hocking Hills Reservoir. When hiking between Old Man’s Cave and Cedar Falls, Rose Lake marks the halfway point. The annual Hocking Hills Winter Hike follows this very path every January, so depending on the weather it will be frozen or partly frozen then.
Rock House is one of the smaller parks of the Hocking Hills State Parks, but it contains … yes, you guessed it … a rock house. The Rock House is a real cave inside a cliff of Blackhand sandstone. It consists of one large (long) rectangular room with a couple of entrances and several “windows”. One of the windows overlooks a cliff with a seasonal waterfall.
Cantwell Cliffs is located in the Hocking Hills State Park off of SR 374. Amenities include a parking lot, somewhat primitive rest facilities and two picnic shelter areas.
From the parking lot a trail leads down a series of earthen steps to a cliff edge. To the left steps descend through a narrow staircase carved into the rock. To the right a trail continues along the cliff rim. Choose either direction as the trail is a large scenic loop.
Hayden Falls Park is part of the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, but it’s in Dublin, Ohio. You could drive past it without ever realizing it’s there, but it’s well worth a stop. The waterfall is about 35 ft high (10.7 meters) and fed by Hayden Run Creek which empties into the Scioto river.
Hocking Hills State Park is the most popular park in Ohio, and Old Man’s Cave is the most popular location in the park. Old Man’s Cave is not a cave in the traditional sense of an underground limestone cavern. Instead it is a deep gorge with a large, overhanging lip made of erosion-resistant, blackhand sandstone. The stream that runs through the gorge is marked by a series of waterfalls and rapids. This region is known as “Old Man’s Cave” because one side of the gorge has a recess cave where an “old man” used to live. The old man was an 18th-century hermit named Richard Rowe.