Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Columbus Day Hike

On Columbus Day, Diana and I decided to head for the Hocking Hills to enjoy a day outside. Ohio often is overlooked as a place to find natures beauty, but the Hocking Hills region competes with some of the best places to see scenery and enjoy the outdoors.

It was a beautiful but warmer than normal fall day and the fall colors were coming into view. The air was fresh and that special aroma that is uniquely fall was in the air.

Our first stop was Ash Cave.

Ash Cave is the largest recess cave in the state. The photo you're seeing was taken from the top rim of the cave. In wet weather, a small water fall drops from the top rim 90 feet to the small pool below. The floor of the cave is sandy, giving an almost beach like feeling.

Yesterday, three girls were playing in the sand and admitted it was just like beign at the beach.

We decided to walk the trail to Cedar Falls. Unfortunately it was about this time that we discovered the battery in the camera had called it a day and we were not able to take more pictures. However, I have some photos of the falls from a previous trip two years ago.

The signs on the road say the trip from Ash Cave to Cedar Falls is two miles. But our hike through the woods convinced us the trail somehow must be longer. Upon our return home, we learned the trip was three miles each way.

First, after a fairly easy start, the trail does become more ambitious. Not impossible, but if you're out of shape, you know you've been exerting yourself on the trail. We arrived at Cedar Falls about an hour and a half after our start. The photo seen was taken slightly over two years ago after a rain storm. Queer Creek was thundering over the drop into the pool below.

While we were there this time, there was no water spilling over the cliff. Unfortunately, the photo was taken with a cell phone from a distance that didn't make for a clear picture. Note to self, remember to keep the battery charged in the digital camera. The area is quite scenic and peaceful. Unlike nearby and better known Old Mans cave, the Cedar Falls and Ash Cave areas can provide some solitude and quiet in a scenic environment if that's what your seeking.

After exploring the are briefly and taking a short breather at one of the picnic tables, we gathered up our courage for the trip back to Ash Cave and the car.

It was really a neat day.

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