Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Hocking Hills Ohio: Old Man's Cave

This post is day two, part one of a travel series of our road trip in the midwest where we traveled to four states:  Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana to visit one state park, two national park, and a historic farm..  To start at the beginning, go HERE.  The rest of the posts in consecutive order are HERE.

On our second day in Hocking Hills we woke up super early to hit the most popular trail in the park:  Old Man's Cave.   Old Man's Cave is normally super crowded, but we were only the second car in the parking lot on the day we were there, plus it was drizzling a bit, so we had the trail pretty much to ourselves for most of our hike;  which we loved.

If you remember my post from last week, I showed a diorama we saw at the Visitor's Center which displayed the Old Man's Cave trail.  It is such a cool trail because the entire trail is deep inside a gorge with many interesting geological attractions like waterfalls and caves.

The trail is a one-way 1 to 1/2 mile loop trail depending on where you decide to exit the trail.  You start the one-way loop trail at the Upper Falls so right away you see immediate beauty and you didn't have to hike for miles to see it!

                                Upper Falls


I just love the old stone bridge above the falls.  I think the mix of modern architecture with the natural geological formations was one of my favorite things about this trail.  The creators did a beautiful job making sure all the bridges and steps blended well with the natural surroundings.

We took a lot of very short videos of all the highlights of this trail.  This first video shows the Upper Falls.





The Devil's Bathtub


The Devil's Bathtub is the next trail highlight we came across.  I included a video that shows the Devil's Bathtub in action and also a photograph of the plaque that explains the natural phenomenon.







There were so many picturesque bridges to stop and take a photo on;  and of course we stopped at each and every one! 😀



My hubby found this geological formation humorous:



A Frame Bridge Over Gorge


The A Frame Bridge over the gorge is just stunning.  And right below it is a very interesting foot bridge over the creek.  The A Frame Bridge and the foot bridge are works of art in a forest!  Even though it's perfectly safe, I was a little nervous walking across it because there are no handrails and my eyes played tricks on me with the water below and all the different levels of the bridge.  My husband took a humorous video of me attempting to cross the bridge, you can see that below.  Try not to laugh too hard. 😆 I am not an athlete.







We saw a couple of more interesting rock formations before we reached Old Man's Cave.



Old Man's Cave

If you have little kids, they will love walking through this tunnel of rock!


Old Man's Cave isn't actually a cave, but a huge cliff overhang.  It is about 200 feet long, 50 feet high, and 75 feet above the stream.


Here is more information about the cave and also how it got its name. 


I actually found the area around the cave more interesting than the cave itself.  I loved the steps leading up inside the cave.  Can you see them in the photo below?  They blend in with the sandstone so much.


There is also another gorgeous stone bridge and a Romeo and Juliet style balcony!




Right beneath the cave is another little waterfall.


This is the view from inside the cave.  I love the "frame" the cave walls naturally provide.




And finally, here is a video of the entire cave, starting with walking up to it and the view from the inside of the cave.


From here you can continue up and out of the gorge completing your one mile loop or you can hike another a half mile to see more interesting sites.  We hiked the extra half mile, plus another 1/4 mile detour to see "Broken Rock Falls".

Once again, I was blown away by the man made architecture and how beautifully it blended in with the natural surroundings.


There is so much gorgeous green moss in the gorge as it is the perfect growing environment.


Of course we found another cute bridge to stop and take a photo on!  😁


Did I mention how much I love moss?


Sphinx Head

The next natural highlight on the trail was the Sphinx Head.  I had to squint my eyes and look pretty hard to see it, but eventually I did.  Can you see the sphinx head in the second photo pictured below?





Lower Falls

The Lower Falls is the last big highlight of the trail.  Once you reach this point, you can either climb back up out of the gorge or hike 1/4 further to see "Broken Rock Falls".


A video of the Lower Falls


The Lower Falls is very serene.  I loved the huge rock wall in the area.


And of course it had yet another gorgeous stone bridge! 😀



We started to climb back up and kept seeing one jaw dropping sight after another.



Pictured below are the steps to get you out of the gorge and back to the Visitor Center, or you can hang a left like we did and hike 1/4 mile further.


Broken Rock Falls


"Broken Rock Falls" isn't much to see, and quite frankly isn't worth the extra 1/4 mile hike, BUT, the trail leading to "Broken Rock Falls" is pretty cool!






Eventually this "cool" trail comes to a complete end where you see a little trickle of water flowing through a broken rock.  The falls are very aptly named.


Yup, this is it.  Broken Rock Falls 😆.  Can you see the trickle of water in the top right corner?



I hope you enjoyed hiking Old Man's Cave with me today.  Once again, I could not believe I was in Ohio.  This is quite the trail and definitely not one to be missed if you are ever in the Hocking Hills Region.

Because next week is a holiday week, I will not be posting that week.  I will be back with more trails we hit on Day 2 on July 10th.

Have A Great Day and a Happy Independence Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!








 









38 comments:

  1. I can see why that is such a popular trail; it's lovely!

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  2. Such beauty! I am adding this spot to our bucket list! We live in Minnesota and our favorite place on earth is the north shore of Lake Superior. We love hiking the trails, filled with beautiful waterfalls - there are 4 state parks along the scenic highway! Looks like we need to make a trip to Ohio soon!

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    1. It is a beautiful trail and a great place to put on your bucket list. I live in Wisconsin and have been to the north shore several times. We love it there too!

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  3. The trail is really beautiful. I also love the stone bridge and falls. It looks like paradise.

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  4. That is so beautiful. Your photos made me want to visit Ohio. The bridge is gorgeous.

    -Soma

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    1. It really is so beautiful. Yes, I never thought I'd go to Ohio on a vacation, but it was amazing!

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  5. This is absolutely beautiful! I love Devil's Bathtub. That is fascinating! I can't imagine people ridiculous enough to try and get in, but I'm sure there have been many that have tried over the years.

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    1. Yes, it is beautiful and the Devil's Bathtub was so interesting. I wonder if people tried to get in. Scary.

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  6. The tub formation is a real marvel.

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  7. This is beautiful. It's amazing that you were able to visit with no other's crowding the view! I will take a look at Hocking Hill OH.
    Take care and best wishes.

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    1. It really is. Yes, getting up and out early is the key to enjoying the hiking trails to yourself, and a little rain didn't hurt either. :)

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  8. I've been taking a blogging break throughout June (all my posts were pre-scheduled) so I am late at visiting your new travel series posts.

    My husband was born and grew up in Ohio and lived there until his late teens. He went camping at Hocking Hills many times. I have never been to this park as most of his extended family no longer lives in Ohio and his grandparents are no longer alive :-( It looks absolutely beautiful and hope to visit some day. Love those stone bridges and stairs. Like in a fairy tale!

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    1. Yup, I knew you were on a blogging break. I'm on break this week, but still checking my comments. You will have to go hiking in Hocking Hills! Their trails are gorgeous!

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  9. You had to be in seventh heaven here -- what a stunning spot. I didn't realize it was so close to Columbus. I may well have to visit there sometime!

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    1. It sure felt like heaven! Yes, it's very close to Columbus. We almost went there too for a day trip but changed our plans.

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  10. And ps -- thanks for your visit to Marmelade Gypsy!

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  11. Oh wow.. this looks incredible. So beautiful.

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  12. WOW, WOW and WOW. So very beautiful. You do some of the best hikes. Very nice.

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    1. "Wow" is right. I was so amazed by this place.

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  13. Amy, such a beautiful place to venture to. I enjoyed your photos. Thank you for sharing them with us at The Crazy Little Lovebirds link party #44. ♡

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  14. We've been to a few caves, but this one with the waterfalls, bridges and nice trails is beautiful. I've never seen rocks like that except in TN. Will definitely make a stop here one of these days.

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  15. Amazing, love your hikes, the nature, streams etc. Just been out this morning to a waterfall some 40km away from home and loved every moment.
    Thanks so much for participating and sharing at SSPS 317. See you again next week at #318 https://esmesalon.com/tag/seniorsalonpitstop/
    Please do not forget to come and join each W-S #WordlessWednesday (Words are also welcome) https://esmesalon.com/tag/wordlesswednesday/

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    1. Thanks so much. That's great you saw a waterfall this morning.

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  16. What a fantastic trail, right up my street! So much to marvel at. Thanks for sharing at Is This Mutton

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  17. What an amazing place to go and hang out, take pics and enjoy the day. That looks like the coolest place to go and spend time.

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  18. Amazing trip and day. What glorious photos. I'd love to visit this place one day.

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    1. It really was, I hope you get there someday!

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  19. What a surreal place to hike and explore. You captured it beautifully.

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