Jun 9, 2017

Loving Hocking Hills

There are few places where I go out of my way to revisit.  Hocking Hills in the southeast part of Ohio near Logan is one of those places.  About 10 years ago John and I stayed at The Inn at Cedar Falls in the Hocking Hills area. We stayed in Dogwood Cabin nestled in the woods with two balconies that
overlooked the forest.  In the morning I wandered out to the top balcony with my coffee to see a deer watching me.  It was very serene.  When John and I chanced to be near Hocking Hills again I contacted the Inn at Cedar Falls and, as luck would have it, the only accommodation available (they have cottages and yurts plus the authentic log cabins) was Dogwood and only during the week which meshed perfectly with our plans.

Dogwood is one of the five original 1840’s log cabins that was
moved to the area by the owner of Inn at Cedar Falls. It may be a log cabin of yesteryear but it has all the modern amenities; heat/AC, full kitchen, and a modern bathroom. There are two levels. A spiral staircase leads to the lower lever with a king-size bed, a two-person whirlpool hot tub and double doors looking out at the balcony and dense forest beyond. A
complete breakfast of locally sourced items is included and served in their restaurant that is also open to the public. It is located in another original log cabin decorated with antique items. They also serve lunch and dinner and will pack a to-go lunch for day hikers.  I knew there was a kitchen so I brought some food with me but had planned to go to the restaurant one night but we had too much food of our own. There is also a spa which I never got to go to.  The Inn is a favorite of groups on yoga retreats. 

There are a slew of hiking trail some of which link two caves and
waterfalls together.  One day we walked to Cedar Falls.  There was a light mist which made all the leaves glisten. The Falls was missed named by the early settlers who mistook the hemlocks for cedar. There were steps but it was an easy walk and not far. The next day we
went to Ash Cave which is handicap accessible. Ash Cave is huge – 700 feet from end to end, 100 feet deep and 90 feet high.  As one might expect the name comes from the fact that early settlers found what amounted to several thousand bushels of ashes in the cave believed to have been built up from Indian campfires. It is possible the Native Americans may have smelted silver and lead from the nearby rocks.

We also visited Old Man’s Cave which is accessed at Hocking Hills
State Park where there is a Visitor Center with a small museum. There are several trailheads in the park.  John and I took the easy path to Old Man’s Cave. The cave is named for a hermit, Richard Rowe, who arrived in the area in 1796 from Tennessee. He is buried beneath the ledge of the main recess cave.  There is a plaque in his honor. 

Each night we returned to Dogwood Cabin and spent the evening reading by the fire.  Sometimes returning to a favorite spot after ten years is a disappointment. That wasn’t the case this time; our second stay was as wonderful as our first.