Hocking Hills: A Hiking Trip?!
Right before we got in the car - but after we locked the door - my husband asked me if I had my boots. I didn't, so I ran in to get them, kind of wondering why he wanted me to bring boots when it's been consistently in the high seventies and dry. We were about 40 minutes from our destination when it dawned on me that we were going on a hiking get-away. My husband was surprised at my revelation and asked me what I thought we were doing...and I guess I just thought we were going to a cabin in the woods (we did that, too).
We got into our log cabin in the evening. We stayed in "Old Glory" which is a newly remodeled victorian-esque style cabin. It was up a super steep hill!!!! There was a hot tub, grill and sitting area on the porch and a small fire pit with some chairs I know I've seen at Costco before! The inside was clean and bright, and the kitchen was stylish with a vintage full-sized fridge (a must-have for my overnight stays), a stove, toaster, pod coffee maker, and even a french press! There were plenty of little cute details, like the ornate stopper in the bathroom sink, chandeliers, plenty of towels (including hot tub towels), and a pretty comfy couch. I was one hundred percent planning on using the outside bathtub that I thought was on the roof but turns out it's on the back porch. Despite the nice cover, it had some debris inside and I didn't feel like cleaning out that stuff (on top of what I'd normally do anyway). That night, I brought food--of course--so we had a night in, eating and relaxing.
Day 2 (first and only full day there):
I had some time to read my Bible the next morning and we ate some leftovers for breakfast on our way to our first hike. It rained all night and into the morning, which was unexpected. Good thing I had my boots! This was my first official hike in them - but you can read my review of the boots here. We started off on what our map said was a moderate two and a half mile hike of Conkle's Hollow Rim Trail. Turns out we had bad intel, but I'll get to that in a bit. It was an intense trek. I kept saying to my husband, "How is this moderate?!" There were a ton of stairs at the start, and the first bit is straight up hill. Also, I didn't think any of the trails were marked super well and couldn't always quite tell where to go. I'm glad there were some people around, but it wasn't too busy. It was uneven, tons of tree roots and rocks, and it was pretty high up on the skinny edges, looking down onto the open forest floor. We made it and I'm glad we did it.
But after, we did the supposed half mile of Conkle's Hollow - we think it is a little longer that a half mile, but it was marked as easy on the map and it started off perfectly paved. It did reach a part that was rocky, but it was SO much easier to do than the rim trail and honestly, had a much better view! It was so beautiful. There was a small waterfall at the end. The water everywhere was incredibly clear.
After catching our breath back at the car, we decided to go to Old Man's Cave. The Hocking Hills Visitor Center is there, along with indoor restrooms. We got to speak to a really knowledgeable park ranger who informed us that Conkle's Hollow Rim Trail had been redone and re-evaluated, and it is now categorized as difficult. PHEWWWW! I couldn't imagine what a difficult trail was if that was moderate, lol! He said there are a lot of bad and outdated maps floating around. Old Man's Cave has a couple little pop-offs where we got to see quite a few other waterfalls that weren't too far off the main trail. There's also a longer trail there (Whispering Cave) that we didn't do. But we saw the Upper Falls (see cover pic up top), Lower Falls, and we saw more than that with other natural falls off of the rocks - thank goodness for the rain the night before (and that I was prepared in those boots, haha)!
For a late lunch, we headed over to Logan but first stopped and picked up a coffee at the Hocking Hills Inn and Coffee Emporium. They serve organic coffee - even nitro coffee (my husband was a fan), kombucha on draft and a cheerful barista, along with a giant Hocking Hills chair to take pics on outside. Lunch was at a barbecue place that was very disappointing. It was fine, but just fine. I got brisket and it was pretty dry. Looking forward to my husband's brisket again, soon! (link to charcoal post-coming soon) Our server was kind, which helped. I told my hubby that I think we were thrown off by how many cars were in the parking lot because there were so many workers there; I think that was why three quarters of the cars were in the lot!
Next, we headed to downtown Logan for the annual Washboard Festival. It's a big thing there. The food at the festival food trucks looked amazing, and if you know me, that's not something I'd usually say! There were three music stages set up, and even though there were performances taking place in all of the pavilions, none were playing the washboard, which is what I really wanted to see. However, we did get to get a little history and watch washboards being made, so that was unexpected and cool!
After about seven miles of hiking and walking around Logan, we headed back to our cabin for a dip in the hot tub! We had dinner in, which was much better than our lunch out.
Check-out day (Day 3):
On our way back, we swung through the outskirts of Columbus to check out one of my husbands favorite Italian markets, Vincenzo's, in Dublin. We got some marinated chicken leg and thigh combos that looked great, a loaf of herbed olive oil bread for family dinner, my hubby's favorite pesto chicken, a calzone, and marinated artichokes -- all which were greatly enjoyed.
My hubby wanted a coffee and we found a cool, upscale Hawaiian restaurant and cafe that sourced Kona coffee. The atmosphere was light, inviting, and airy. The coffee was strong, but delicious. Before we made it to that coffee shop in the very active and trendy Bridge Park area of Dublin, we passed a Oaxacan restaurant with straightforward and fresh looking ingredients. We placed our order at Dos Hermanos while we grabbed the coffee and picked it up on the way back - perfect timing! We want to explore that area more, but honestly, I'd be okay just going back for the delicious Mexican food. Great meat options and salsa varieties, with decent spice levels!
Lastly, we stopped by Knueven Creamery for some grass-fed ice cream to round out our trip. We packed the cooler and enjoyed 2-scoop bowls of perfect temped ice cream for the rest of our drive.
Oh! I almost forgot to share one of my most favorite parts of the getaway - besides spending quality time with my husband - were the wild roses that were in bloom! We saw them all over, including the Conkle's Hollow Rim hike and the entrance of our cabin!
Although Hocking Hills was named by Forbes as one of the best places to visit in 2023, it's been on our list for awhile. So grateful we got to finally make it there and next time, I think we'll need one more day to hike the rest of the trails and to explore the area a little more. Have you been to Hocking Hills? What are your favorite trails, places to stay, or eat there? Be sure to tell me in the comments and as always, #GetSatiated!