Hocking Hills is no doubt one of Ohio's most beautiful parks. It is stunning year round, but I was fortunate enough to visit a couple of months ago in the midst of our crazy winter. There was a fresh coat of snow on the ground, and there were icicles every which way you looked. Not to mention the beauty of the frozen waterfalls! The trails were a little too icy to be able to hike much, but I was able to visit a few sites. Ash Cave was the first stop:
It was just unreal how beautiful it was. Ash Cave is actually Ohio's largest recess cave too, which is pretty cool. This is probably the most accessible attraction in the park, which makes it a must-see. It only takes a few minutes to walk the trail to the falls, but you may want to stick around and explore for a bit.
The other stop was Old Man's Cave. While we couldn't make it all the way down the trail to Old Man's Cave, we did see Upper Falls and Devil's Bathtub. I'm looking forward to going back soon so I can explore Old Man's Cave more, though. When I went, the snow/ice combo had created icy slides down to the caves, and since I didn't have crampons, I wasn't going to risk it.
Here's a shot of the Upper Falls:
I didn't realize while taking this, but I was standing on what is normally a body of water, but it was completely frozen!
I was only able to visit Hocking Hills for a few hours in the afternoon, but there is so much to see, it is definitely worth visiting for a couple days! I'm looking forward to heading back and checking out more of the trails, sans ice, and possibly camping for a night!
If you're planning on visiting for a weekend, or even a few days with friends, family or coworkers, check out Old Man's Cave Chalets for a place to stay. You know how much we love supporting local businesses, and OMCC is just that. They've been around for 25 years and are the original cabin rental company in Hocking Hills. Family run, they offer cabins of all sizes to accomodate just about anything you'd need! So whether you want to share the beauty of Hocking Hills with your significant other, or your whole family, OMCC can accomodate 2-20 people in their cabins and lodges. Hot tubs are an added bonus. And trust me, in the winter you will definitely want a hot tub...I would have killed for one after my day of exploration.
If you haven't been to Hocking Hills yet, just go. It will certainly make you a little prouder of where you're from! And you can prove to those whose doubt Ohio's beauty that Ohio is the place to be :)