A day of breathtaking autumn beauty

Logan Travel Blog

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Haggy is excited to be going back to Hocking Hills.

Dan and I have been planning for a couple weeks to get back down to Hocking, just for a day this time.  I had been carefully watching the “leaf peeper” website and pictures to find out that the weekend of October 16th would be considered “peak”.  It’s a little over 2 hours to the heart of hiking.  Sunday was completely out because it was my week to play organ for church.  That left Saturday.

 

The day was cloudy, a bit rainy, and cold.  Luckily, Dan and I had purchased cold weather running gear that quickly became cold weather hiking gear.  Despite the clouds and sprinkles, we were off.

 

Upon approaching Columbus, the clouds got thicker and much more menacing.

A few clouds won't ruin Haggy's trip.
 We were getting worried.  East of Columbus, the leaves were still pretty green, and we got more worried.  However, like magic, as soon as we crossed the “Welcome to Hocking County” sign, the leaves turned from green to brilliant shades of gold, orange, and red.  It was like Hocking County was saying “We’re the prettiest county in Ohio and we’re going to prove it.”  It really was like driving into another world.

 

We stopped at the shopping center to get Dan some good hiking boots.  The little outlet store had brand names for really cheap.  He picked up a good pair of Carhart hiking boots for only $59.

Leaves from the car.
 For the quality, it was a great deal.

 

Our last trip, we didn’t get to Cantwell Cliffs.  They sit a little out from the other sites.  We also didn’t get to the Natural Rock Bridge.  We tried to find the Rock Bridge, but only succeeded in driving around the little town for awhile.  We didn’t give it an overly good shot, because we were more anxious and curious about Cantwell Cliffs.  We figured we might as well save one or two things new for next time.

 

We parked at Cantwell and went for our hike.

Leaves from the car.
  We took the shorter, moderate path due to being down only one day.  It was extremely beautiful.  I really struggle to put this place into words other than heavenly.  I’ve been a lot of beautiful and very memorable places in my 31 years, but this really does take the cake.  The jungles of Grenada are amazing, Paris at night is awesome, standing on the side of the Rocky Mountains staring up into a crystal clear sky will take your breath away; but nothing, NOTHING makes me feel as close to God as Hocking Hills, Ohio.  I get a very warm, fuzzy feeling when I’m there; like coming home to a place I’ve been only twice.  If money were no object (which places aren’t crazy expensive, Dan and I just don’t have the means to get another house), we’d have a little cabin in the hills where we could spend 12 hours hiking in the summer and snuggled up by a fire in the winter.  *sigh*  Someday…

 

The top rim of Conkle’s Hallow fit the definition of awesome perfectly.

Leaves from the car.
 The views were spectacular.  After we hiked the 2.4 mile rim, we took the half mile hike into the center of the Hallow, which we didn’t do last time.  It was really something because we got an idea of just how high the outer rim really is.  It as also really something to see the massive boulders of black sandstone that had fallen over the eons of time from the top.  You could see where some had landed and split.  I’m a closet geology nut; so we probably spent a little more time than the average hiker marveling over the rock formations and the power of gravity and time.

 

At Conkle’s, there was a small encampment, which was very neat to see.  I don’t get into these as much as some, but I do like history so we spent some time talking to the actors and snooping around the camp.

 

Off to Cedar Falls, which was just as beautiful as I remember it.

Leaves from the car.
 This time, there was a bit more water coming down from the falls.  Our leaf shower happened again, only this time, there were a dozen or so people to witness it.  It was neat because people started pointing all around them and the place got dead silent as everyone just lived in the almost perfect moment.  All really was right in the world for just a minute as we were blessed with our own little show.

 

After Cedar Falls, it was getting colder, darker, and rainier.  We decided to call it a day.  Overall, we got in just about 5 hours in the area.  We took our time to enjoy the sights.  I’m not a fast hiker by any means for a couple reasons.  1. I take time to look around and I can’t look around and walk on a bumpy, root-filled path at the same time without bodily harm.  2.

A beautiful little road near Rockbridge, OH.
I plan my steps when climbing VEEEERRRY carefully.  I learned many years ago on the Appalachian Trail the hiking mantra “Look, Plan, Aim, Plant”.  So, when scaling up or down more than 3 feet or so I look for a solid place, plan out exactly where my foot will go (and test the sturdiness of a rock if necessary), aim at the exact spot where I want to land, and plant my foot.  I haven’t fallen yet; it just takes some time.

 

We ate at this nice Dutch restaurant just on the outskirts of Logan.  We also walked through a couple craft shops until it was time to head for home.

 

We’re already planning on a return trip to see various sights in the winter.  If we didn’t have a cruise coming up, we’d probably stay a couple nights over a weekend down there when there’s snow on the ground.

Leaves from the car.
 Without a doubt, I’d head back to the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls (See my previous Hocking Hills blog for more detail.)  I almost ALMOST turned into their parking lot and told Dan that my car died and we were staying…

 

I noticed that I apparently got a real kick out of photographing steps the day we went down.  I have lots of “stairs” pictures.  I like to take pictures of them, but climbing them isn’t as fun.

 

Note on the squiggle road sign - The squiggle sign CRACKS ME UP!  I told Dan that they just need one giant one of these when you come into the county because all the roads look like this and these signs are EVERYWHERE.  They could have saved some money and just made a big one and said "This applies to every road in this county."

 

Until winter (unless I’m just itchy enough to head down earlier.)  I hope you enjoy the pictures.  They really don’t do the area justice.  There’s nothing in the world like being there.  I’m convinced that no matter how amateur of a photographer you are, you can’t take a bad picture at Hocking Hills.

osgoodst says:
hey i used to live out here
Posted on: Oct 22, 2009
FishAtHeart says:
Beautiful pictures and a very nice blog of the area! Always enjoy pictures of the autumn season. The color is wonderful, and you have captured the beauty - truly God's country!
Posted on: Oct 19, 2009
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Haggy is excited to be going back …
Haggy is excited to be going back…
A few clouds wont ruin Haggys tr…
A few clouds won't ruin Haggy's t…
Leaves from the car.
Leaves from the car.
Leaves from the car.
Leaves from the car.
Leaves from the car.
Leaves from the car.
Leaves from the car.
Leaves from the car.
A beautiful little road near Rockb…
A beautiful little road near Rock…
Leaves from the car.
Leaves from the car.
Leaves from the car and an infamou…
Leaves from the car and an infamo…
Golden ferns
Golden ferns
Leaves from the car.
Leaves from the car.
Leaves from the car.
Leaves from the car.
Leaves from the car.
Leaves from the car.
Cantwell Cliffs
Cantwell Cliffs
Cantwell Cliffs
Cantwell Cliffs
Here I am decending into the botto…
Here I am decending into the bott…
Haggy shivers on a rock at Cantwel…
Haggy shivers on a rock at Cantwe…
Cantwell Cliffs
Cantwell Cliffs
Cantwell Cliffs
Cantwell Cliffs
Random guys foot.
Random guy's foot.
One of many step shots of the da…
One of many "step" shots of the d…
steps
steps
steps
steps
and steps again
and steps again
WILDLIFE!  Hello wollybear!
WILDLIFE! Hello wollybear!
Dont worry Wollybear... Haggy is …
Don't worry Wollybear... Haggy is…
Cantwell Cliffs
Cantwell Cliffs
This little narrow passage is call…
This little narrow passage is cal…
It really is a squeeze.
It really is a squeeze.
Looking up Fat Womans Squeeze
Looking up Fat Woman's Squeeze
Dans coming to give it a try
Dan's coming to give it a try
Looking up.
Looking up.
Okay, even tall skinny boys find i…
Okay, even tall skinny boys find …
Cantwell Cliffs
Cantwell Cliffs
Cantwell Cliffs
Cantwell Cliffs
Cantwell Cliffs
Cantwell Cliffs
Neat roots at Cantwell Cliffs
Neat roots at Cantwell Cliffs
Cantwell Cliffs
Cantwell Cliffs
Cantwell Cliffs
Cantwell Cliffs
Cantwell Cliffs
Cantwell Cliffs
Pretty barn
Pretty barn
Encampment at Conkles Hollow
Encampment at Conkle's Hollow
Encampment at Conkles Hollow
Encampment at Conkle's Hollow
Encampment at Conkles Hollow
Encampment at Conkle's Hollow
Encampment at Conkles Hollow
Encampment at Conkle's Hollow
Encampment at Conkles Hollow
Encampment at Conkle's Hollow
Encampment at Conkles Hollow
Encampment at Conkle's Hollow
Encampment at Conkles Hollow
Encampment at Conkle's Hollow
Encampment at Conkles Hollow
Encampment at Conkle's Hollow
I love this hike.
I love this hike.
Seems dangerous (over 200 ft. up) …
Seems dangerous (over 200 ft. up)…
colors everywhere
colors everywhere
the gold was amazing
the gold was amazing
watching our leaf shower
watching our leaf shower
Beautiful
Beautiful
I love this path
I love this path
Good job holding up that rock, Dan.
Good job holding up that rock, Dan.
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photo by: PhinsAndGills