there are many destinations travelers are constantly told are great to
experience, sometimes it's nice to explore somewhere lesser known to discover
what else is out there. One top U.S. getaway not many know about is Hocking
Hills in Ohio, as it's home to a wide array of attractions and experiences, not
to mention beautiful scenery. To help you plan your trip, here is a guide to
a stay that really reflects local culture, the Inn at Cedar Falls is a log
cabin and wood cottage accommodation constructed by hand from locally sourced
wood. The onsite restaurant serves local ingredients and helps guests pair
dishes with regional beers, rooms feature decorations crafted by local artisans
and the onsite spa offers a broad range of natural and holistic treatments.
Additionally, the property puts on an array of events and activities, like beer
and wine tastings, cooking classes, cookie baking and more.
of the main draws to Hocking Hills is its natural setting – not to mention that
in Ohio state parks are all free to enjoy. Head to Hocking Hills State Park,
home to six different hiking areas including Ash Cave, Cedar Falls, Old Man's
Cave, Cantwell Cliffs, Rock House and Conkle's Hollow, all natural attractions
offering unique views. One of the park's most popular trails is the 6-mile-
(9.7-kilometer-) one-way Grandma Gatewood Trail, which stretches from Ash Cave
to Cedar Falls to Old Man's Cave, allowing you to experience more than one cave.
The moderate hike is scenic, and you’ll see waterfalls, sand-floor caves,
striking rock formations and a lush hemlock forest.
of Hocking Hills State Park, did you know that it’s haunted? There are a number
of ghost stories centered around this natural attraction, like the tale of
Mary, who was murdered at the hotel that once resided in the park, as well as
the ghost of Richard Howe and his dogs who still roam the park after dark. It
should be no surprise, then, that one of the park's naturalists, Pat
Quackenbush, is also an experienced ghost hunter. Author of “Haunted Hocking: A
Ghost Hunter’s Guide,” Pat will show you how to use spirit boxes, paranormal
meters, EVP recorders, full spectrum cameras, and electro-magnetic field
detectors as he takes you around the park to hunt for the undead.
of the world's quirkiest museum experiences can be found in Hocking Hills,
specifically at the Paul A. Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum. Boasting the only
museum of its kind on the planet, visitors will see more than 3,400 pencil
sharpeners, all separated into different groups with no two alike. View
everything from pencil sharpener cartoon characters to hamburgers to sports
balls to furniture and beyond.
stated above, Hocking Hills is known for its natural offerings. After partaking
in the land-based activities, opt to explore the Hocking River by kayaking,
rafting or canoeing. You can rent a boat from the Hocking Hills Canoe Livery,
which can set you up with a knowledgeable guide. The water is calm and smooth,
allowing you to take in the idyllic scenery in a relaxing manner.
truly special about Hocking Hills is the way small businesses and artisans work
together for the benefit of the community. Doing some local browsing and
shopping is a great way to support local artisans while also getting to ask
questions and learn about local culture. First there’s the Wind Chime Shop, a
whimsical store owned by couple Judy and Mike Hard where you can browse wind
chimes, Christmas ornaments, china and even make your own candles from a large
selection of scents. Then there’s Scenic Way, where the products of local
artisans are showcased, with a focus on wood and glass works. And at the
Columbus Washboard Company, you can tour the USA’s only washboard museum and
factory, with hand-made products assembled one at a time.
Hills is home to an existing Shawnee Indian culture, as the tribe originated in
the state of Ohio, with a population that once reached over 10,000. Hocking
Hills Adventure Trek is a company that offers naturalist-led hikes through
Hocking Hills' lesser-traversed Saltpetre Caves Nature Preserve, which end in a
storytelling experience with Shawnee Indian, Wehyehpihehrsehnhwah. He'll tell
the story of his ancestors, starting from a time when humans and animals worked
together to survive. You'll also hear Wehyehpihehrsehnhwah play a traditional
Indian flute. And when you depart, you’ll have a new understanding of the
meaning of life.
Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.
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Jessica Festa is a full-time travel writer who is always up for an adventure. She enjoys getting lost in new cities and having experiences you don’t read about in guidebooks. Some of her favorite travel experiences have been teaching English in Thailand, trekking her way through South America, backpacking Europe solo, road tripping through Australia and doing orphanage work in Ghana. You can follow her adventures on her travel websites, Epicure & Culture and Jessie On A Journey. You can also connect with Jessica directly on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, or follow her epicurean adventures on Facebook and Twitter.
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