Hocking Hills State Park

Recently, Matt and I went to the Hocking Hills State Park for a long weekend. We try to spend a weekend in this region of Ohio every few years. It’s close enough that we can drive to it in just a few hours and far enough away from the daily grind that we can breathe in a bit of country air and relax. With activities like hiking, canoeing, fishing, zip-lining or just relaxing by a fire in a cozy cabin, Hocking Hills has something for everyone.

This year we decided to hike from Cedar Falls (the highest volume waterfall in the area) to Ash Cave (the largest recess cave in Ohio) and back to Cedar Falls. Round trip (with a side trip to find a bathroom) the hike was about seven miles. The trail we took was marked with blue blazes which indicate it is part of the 1,444 mile Buckeye Trail that winds around Ohio.

Bridge to Ash Cave

One of the highlights along the trail is the awesomely tall Ash Cave Fire Tower.

Ash Cave fire tower

This tower is 80 feet of open stairs, groaning metal and railings of insufficient height if you are over 5 feet tall. It is open to the public to climb (no more than 6 people at a time, please). I climbed it immediately and leaned over the edge to take pictures of (and kind of freak out) Matt.

Matt from the tower

The view from the top was worth it.

View from top of Ash Cave fire tower

Ash Cave is my favorite places to visit in the Hocking Hills area. It’s the largest recess cave in the state and, when there has been a bit of rain, it hosts a 90 foot waterfall. The day we visited, the waterfall was just a trickle but that didn’t detract from the impressive size of the cave.

Ash Cave waterfall

It’s believed the early inhabitants of this area used the cave for shelter. I can think of worse places to live.

Looking out of Ash Cave

Do you have a special place you like to go to get away from it all? I’m looking for other vacation spots and would love to read about your ideas in the comments section!

 

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