After our visit in West Virginia with a daughter and her family, we headed west toward home. At the end of day one of our drive, we stayed overnight in Logan, OH. It is near Hocking Hills State Park. The next morning we planned to hike a couple of trails in that park before continuing our drive toward Iowa.
Overnight a light snow had fallen. The car needed to be brushed off. We drove out of Logan on a snow-covered county road about 10 miles southwest. At the park headquarters, we parked next to the only other car in the lot. The driver said he had been here many times. He was getting his camera gear ready. We asked his advice on the trail we were going to take to Old Man’s Cave before we departed in opposite directions.
Signs were posted about the dangers of ice and falls in the park. This was going to be a little more challenging than we originally thought.
Our plan was to visit the headquarters, view a map, and use the restrooms. The building was closed. A map was posted on the door. Portable toilets were available nearby. The snow was falling steadily, but still light. We went down the stairs toward the deep gorge visible at the bottom. Part way down we stopped to take in the view and talk about safely walking on snow-covered icy trails and stone steps.
The trail went farther into the gorge. A sign gave us the choice of going upstream or down. We headed downstream toward Old Man’s Cave. The cave seemed to be lit, giving an other-worldly glow. The source was the opening above, the grey winter light brightening even under the rock ledge.
After hiking the trail to Old Man’s Cave, we drove four miles south to another location called Ash Cave. Unlike the Old Man’s trail, which was quite slippery and required close attention so we didn’t fall, the Ash Cave trail was level and wheelchair-accessible in good weather. That day, there was snow on it. But it was not at all treacherous.
Under the ledge of the cave we found a sandy, beach-like surface. Again the light from above created a glow, reminding us of a scene from Journey to the Center of the Earth.
This short video will help give a different perspective to the cave. It only takes a minute.
While at Ash Cave, four park workers were removing ice from a set of stairs that took visitors to the top of the cave overhang. People could then hike back along the rim. We chose not to try that. So far, we had not fallen. No point in pushing our luck. We headed back to the car feeling good about our winter visit to this beautiful place.