Tag Archives: Cave

Hocking Hills Winter Hike

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.

This is interesting. Show me more.


Maquoketa Caves State Park

by Melanie and Jim

We had such a wonderful day. We left here a little after 6 am, after seeing the thinnest crescent moon and Jupiter in the very clear sky. It was in the low 50s, pretty cool but seasonal for here. Three towns north we stopped for breakfast and coffee, which were both decent. And then on to the park. Iowa is very beautiful. Many people believe it is flat and boring, but it is not flat. And you’d only be bored if you find the rolling hills, century farmsteads, and tree-lined creek beds uninspiring. Northeast Iowa rolls more, and this time of year literally looks like a Grant Wood painting. Indeed he was from here so knew the land well.

Stone City – Grant Wood

After breakfast, we drove northeast another hour or so. At Anamosa, we turned east onto hwy. 64, also marked as Grant Wood Scenic Byway. It followed the high ground between two rivers and provided some nice vistas.  We drove through Wyoming, Monmouth, and Baldwin. Just after Pence Cemetery, we turned north onto Bear Creek Road. This last part was a gravel-covered “Level B, Enter at your own Risk” road. It wasn’t bad, but would be difficult if muddy.

I want to see more.