Into Hocking Hills
Logan Travel Blog› entry 26 of 26 › view all entries
I like to try to break up long drives if I can. Unfortunately, I also like to avoid visiting places within an hour or two of home that could be little day trips on their own so that meant I was not going to get too close to home before stopping but oh well!
My choice of stop on this multi-hour drive home was Ash Cave in Hocking Hills State Park. Armed with only my state map (yes, that's right, no GPS--although I also lost cell phone reception through here) and no printed directions), I navigated my way along the backroads of Ohio. At one point the road that appeared straight on the map basically deadended into another road and I had to guess right or left. I picked left and a few miles later discovered that this was somehow still the same road I had started on.
I parked on the opposite side of the main road from the trail and then joined a cluster waiting to cross over the narrow bridge and then the road. Here I glanced at a trail map and went for the uphill, less crowded route. I felt a little smirk as I set off and overheard someone say--Wait, I want to go her way. I enjoyed the peaceful trek which wasn't too hard, just one scramble over some rocks.
Up at the top I got my first glimpse of the waterfall but its full power was still masked. I followed the trail a little bit farther to get a look at where the water slipped over the edge to fall down and then backtracked to the stairs that led down to the the cave and the end point of the waterfall.
Can I just say wow! The waterfall is thin but rather tall and lands in a shallow pool that people can actually walk into. No watery frolicking for me with the chilly air and long drive ahead but seveal others enjoyed along with a few canines. The cave does not reach back far but is wide open and really does catch your breath. I took my time to walk along the ledge that slowly brought me down from a higher segment to the "ground" level near the waterfall's pond. It was neat to be behind the waterfall and then to its side. I did get a little bit of a spray but nothing bad.
I noticed some people climbing a rocky hill in front of the waterfall and couldn't resist the challenge. A quick move or two and I was also on top for a different perspective on the falling water from through a few tree branches. Apparently there was an easier way to get to the top of this hill and I opted for that path to get back down.
I followed the flatter path back out to the parking lots and my car. The hike had definitely been worth the detour.