As I previously shared in my post What is Roading schooling, we are in the early stages of planning and sampling roadschooling. Right now, we are trialing roadschooling by taking a day trip or weekend trip to destinations that are a few or several hours away. The past two weekends we have ventured to Hocking Hills Ohio, enjoyed hours of vigorous hiking and breath taking scenery.
If you love hiking and stunning nature destinations that are a little off the beaten path. Then you may appreciate a trip to Hocking Hills too.
What does Hocking Hills have to offer?
Breathing taking scenery-stoned stepped pathways, easy-moderate to difficult hiking trails, waterfalls with shallow aqua tinged pools, wildlife, and caves. If your looking for an adventurous excursion then hiking at Hocking Hills is a perfect fit.
Curious to see more? So was I…
Cedar falls is easy to get to if your not feeling in the mood to walk a long distance or even hike at all. There is a parking lot really close by with built in wood and stone steps leading down the slope of the large hill. Huge flat sand stone border the edges with small boulders speckling across the flowing stream.
We wanted to get as close to the falls as we could without getting wet. We spent a fair amount of time climbing and balancing across the boulders to get to the pebbled river bank. Many others had knee high or mid thigh high wader boots and simply walked across. If you plan to take a trip to Cedar Falls and are the type who likes to stay dry but likes to get up close to the falls-I suggest bringing wader boots. We plan to return this summer and will enjoy wading in with our bare feet.
Old Man’s Cave
This was another easy stonestep jaunt down the side of the hill. It was impossible to just take a picture of Old Man’s Cave, so click on the link to check out the video. Hocking Hills is a vision of timeless natural beauty. In many ways it is untouched and still appears prehistoric. The videos and pictures do not do it justice, it is a must see for yourself.
An easy dirt trail with a rope hand railing guides you down to the lower falls below Old Man’s Cave. In some places, stone steps continue to make this path a simple nature walk for young hikers. Here, there are signs for no swimming, which it was way too cold anyway. It was a beautiful place to stop, enjoy the view, and skip some stones.
We were unable to have enough time to hike to the Upper Falls, we wanted to fit in making the hike to Whispering Caves.
The hiking trails leading to whispering caves are a little intense. The sign before the start of the trail describes it as “moderate to difficult” because of a “268 ft change in elevation and uneven trail surface.”
My husband and I have been hiking together since before our children were born. We took it back up when my now 3 yr old was merely an infant. We were confident that we could handle this trail without difficulty.
The sign was entirely right, it is a rough trail. If you are squeamish when it comes to heights this may be a challenge for you. I am a long distance runner but this trail was a little strenuous for me. It wasn’t just the trail, it was the elevation, the few feet wide trail without a handrail of any kind and sudden drop off.
We have young children who are experienced in nature walks and easy to moderate trail hiking. This was the second time they had hiked a difficult trail with us. They both did amazing. However, if you are a beginner, I would not hike this trail with young children.
Tip: discuss trail safety before hiking. Wear appropriate hiking boots for whispering cave trail. Teach children to “hug” the inside of the trail on narrow parts of the path.
I will say this was a family strengthening exercise and we were well rewarded when we reached our final destination.
Hiking at Hocking Hills is wonderful. We are from Michigan and our winter keeps dragging on. If you are having the same issue then consider a quick trip to somewhere a little warmer. The water falls are crystal clear and so refreshing. The massive sandstone hillsides are wonderous. We are excited to come back in the summer.
Do you enjoy hiking together as a family?