We decided to spend Mother’s Day taking a road trip to the beautiful Hocking Hills State Park in Southern Ohio to hike through Old Man’s Cave. It was a perfect partly cloudy seventy degree day! Neither my husband or I had been there since we were kids, so we decided to take our seven year old daughter to enjoy it as we did when we were kids. The natural history of this region is fascinating as the caves are beautiful.
Beginning at the Visitor’s Center, we took the blue trail, taking steps down into the main gorge. The blue trail runs the length of the gorge into Old Man’s cave and the lower falls. The view is breathtaking!
There are twenty four miles of trail located throughout the park and state forest. We came across what is called “The Devil’s Bathtub.” A local legend has it that this pool extends down into the depths of the devil’s home, Hades. In actuality, the hole is only a few feet deep. Even though the tub is not very deep, it is still an awe-inspiring spot. The waterfall with a height of 12 feet offers a delightful view from the top.
We came across this first waterfall within minutes of our hike in the gorge. We really had a hard time walking away from this incredible view and were anxious to see what we would come upon next.
We stopped for a quick photo! This is truly one of our favorite spots of the gorge.
We came across these twisted rooted trees still growing upon massive rocks.
According to park facts, in the mid 1700’s several Indian tribes traveled through or lived here including the Wyandot, Delaware and Shawnee.
The bedrock was deposited more than 350 million years ago and subsequent millions of years of uplift and stream erosion created the awesome beauty seen today.
This incredible bridge is at the end of the trail and we crossed it to get to the lower falls. Of course, we stopped for several family photos!
This picture truly does not do this waterfall justice. We stood in awe of its beauty.
Another great photo opportunity from behind the falls.
Finally, it was time to begin our climb (by steps) up the gorge. It seemed a very long way to the top!
About mid way to the top we stopped for a rest to enjoy the view.
We saw as much as we could in one day. There are several trails and areas of the region called Ash Cave, Cedar Falls and the Rock House that we’re already talking about coming back to explore soon!