Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Hiking in the Hills PhotoJournal

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Since we had a day off yesterday, we made plans to go on an explore with our son and his family. We decided to go for a hike at Hocking Hills State Park. The weather was perfect―warm, sunny and clear, but not muggy or too hot. We got started a little later than originally planned, but arrived at Hocking Hills around 11a.m. We chose to stick around the Old Man's Cave trail and save the longer Whispering Cave trail for another time. 

Come along and see some of the sights!

By the way, that was just some random guy
standing on the 'floating' bridge - not anybody
we know!

Can you see the face in this rock?
There are at least two different faces,
depending on how you look at it.

There were many ledges and overhangs like this one. Just wait for the next one!

As you can see, the sign didn't stop anyone!

I didn't go wading though Harrison and Veronica did.

We were very puzzled by this . . . rectangle? It looked very deep, but the water was really only an inch or two. We joked that this was actually the Devil's Bathtub, which is a feature near the falls that we could not see. I'm not entirely sure, but I think maybe the Bathtub is in the ledge just above the waterfall.

But just past those falls, we started the climb to the bottom of this overhanging ledge. 

From the views above, it looks like a cliff, but when you can see the waterfall over the edge, you realize that the cliff is actually a huge overhang.

We should have counted the steps. There were a LOT, and the stone ones were not all even in height.

This photo is skewed - those are stairs, but they don't go stright up like it appears!

Finally, we reached the Old Man's Cave, so named because an old homesteader lived there in the late 1800s. 

It is huge. And beautiful. We agreed it would be an amazing place to shelter and watch the snowfall or a rainstorm. If I was a homesteader, I would definitely take that spot if I could.

It was time to get something to eat, so we drove into town to find a restaurant. We considered going back to Hocking Hills and taking the shorter Ash Cave trails, but at my husband's suggestion, we went instead to Rockbridge State Nature Preserve. The website promised a natural bridge and indicated a relatively easy hike. 

The trailhead is very unassuming. A gravel walkway leading to boardwalks along a meadow. But once we reached the trees, the terrain changed. The trail was rough in places and very hilly!

The trail wasn't very well marked―it was clear where there was a trail and the trees were blazed, but we didn't have a map, and we only came across one sign directing us towards the natural bridge. We definitely had to work for it, but once we caught sight of it, it was quite impressive!

One understands why there are warnings to stay ON the trail at all times!

Poppy and Veronica making Nonny and Mommy a bit nervous!

We were able to climb down to see underneath the bridge as well. Cliff swallows sighted!

Another group selfie on the trail back.

Last look at the meadow meant we'd almost made it back to the car! Another family group had just arrived at the trailhead, so we answered some of their questions and told them the best trail to reach the bridge, hopefully making their hike a little easier than ours!

Have you visited either of these state parks or any like them? Leave a comment and let me know!

This post will be linked at Pictorial Tuesday, hosted by Peabea Scribbles.

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Joanne said...

Those both look like wonderful hikes! I have not hiked at either but I did Pin them to save in case I'm ever in Ohio again.

Laura B said...

This is such a scenic location! Absolutely stunning photos!

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