Friday, June 25, 2010

The Devils Bathtub at Old Mans Cave Park



The Devils Bathtub at Old Mans Cave State Park in the
Hocking Hills Park system has it tall tales and urban
beliefs. When I was a child everyone told us that it had
no bottom. This tale does tend to make you keep your
distance from it, especially children who may fall in and
could drown. Its slick walls that have been carved in by the  swirling waters  makes it a dangerous place to
fall into. In reality it is only  several feet deep.


Upper Creek that runs into the Devils Bathtub


Bridge and walkway over the Devils Bathtub.



The Devils Bathtub



A Floating Bride can also be a work of art.

A Note to visitors:

Please remember to keep to the marked trails while
visiting all of the Hocking Hills Parks.
It is not only for your protection while hiking through the
park but it keeps the wear and tear on the park to a
minimum so others may enjoy its natural beauty for
generations to come.
Do not leave your trash thrown about in the parks
it could be dangerous to wildlife in the park,
looks unsightly and is a state fine if caught littering.
Water bottles, soda cans, wrappers and even wet socks
are not to be left along the trails.
Take out what you carry in.
Do not pick or destroy any of the vegetation in the
parks this is prohibited and it also is essential to
the ecosystem and wildlife that lives in the park.
In a word respect what nature has built so that
other may be able to enjoy it for years to come.
 Thank you, Lona

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wahkeena Nature Preserve in the Hocking Hills

Last week my daughter and I took a hike in the
Wahkeena Nature Preserve .
Wahkeena, named with a Yakima Indian word meaning
"most beautiful" is located on the edge of the Hocking Hills.
This was a first time visit and it was almost closing
time so we took a quick walk on the lower Nature
Trail around the lake.
Tom the Naturalist was such a wonderful help
with all of our questions about the park and its plants
and wildlife.


Visit the Nature Preserve’s Blog for a schedule of
the activities that are being held this year.


Lake Odonata is alive with plants and animals.


The resident Beavers are active on the end of the lake
but they were not showing themselves at the time of
our visit.


Dragonflies were everywhere around the lake


Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly


Female Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly
Thank you Robyn!


The lake was covered with waterlily pads and beautiful
waterlily blooms.


The sounds of frogs were in the air all around the lake.


There was a very active bee hive in the Old
Garden Area of the park and there was another
hive in the Naturalist Cabin where they could be
watched and a great learning tool for visitors and
school tours.


Bee and Butterfly loving plants and flowers are
planted around the preserve.


This picture is not a good one of the resident
little owl which was injured and adopted to
the park as was the Red Tailed Hawk.



Lizard Tail plants are in abundance around the edges
of the lake in the water.


The trails in the preserve were marked so well
and maps are available of the preserve.

We spotted squirrels, chipmunks and deer on
our short walk around the lake.

Squaw Root
I had been trying to get an identification on this
wildflower which I had spotted in the other parks of
the Hocking Hills with out any results.
But the Naturalist knew right away what it was
when I showed him the picture. It is a wildflower that
lack the green chlorophyll it needs to make its
own food.He also told us that it was at the end of its
flowering stage now and grew on the roots of Oak trees.
So thank you Tom for the identification and the

Support and visit your local Parks and
Historical Sites.
Thank you,

Monday, June 14, 2010

Rock House State Park


The daughter and I went for a hike in the Rock House Park
over the weekend. It had been over twenty five years since
we had been there and many of the trails had changed since
that time but it is still a beautiful location to visit.

The Rock House is one of the six major areas of Hocking Hills State Park.



Rock House is unique in the Hocking Hills' region, as it is the only true cave in the park. It is a tunnel-like corridor situated midway up a 150-foot cliff of Blackhand sandstone.




This House of Rock has a ceiling 25 feet high while the main corridor is 200 feet long and 20 to 30 feet wide. The cavern was eroded out of the middle zone of the Blackhand sandstone. The resistant upper zone forms the roof and the lower zone forms the floor. Water leaking through a horizontal joint running parallel to the cliff face caused the hollowing of the corridor. This main joint or crack is very visible in the ceiling of the Rock House. A small series of joints run north to south at right angles to the main joint. Enlargement of this series of joints formed the window-like openings of Rock House.




Nature has hewn out of this cliff the Rock House complete with seven Gothic-arched windows and great sandstone columns which bear its massive roof. As one might imagine, Rock house was used for shelter by past visitors. Hominy holes, small recesses in the rear wall of Rock House, served as baking ovens for Native Americans using the cave. By building a fire in the small recesses, the rock became heated on all sides, and food could be bakes in this crude manner. Further evidence of past use is the presence of chiseled out troughs or holding tanks found in the stone floor. When rainfall is abundant, springs of water permeate through the porous sandstone and flow into these troughs fashioned by man and, when full, continue across the floor and out of the windows. In this way, residents were able to maintain a small water supply in Rock House. According to local folklore, other not so welcome visitors frequented Rock House. Robbers, horse thieves, murderers and even bootleggers earned Rock House its reputation as Robbers Roost.
Rock House has a colorful past and has long been a popular tourist attraction. In 1835, Colonel F.F. Rempel of Logan erected a 16-room hotel compete with ballroom, livery stable and a U.S. Post Office. The hotel stood where the picnic shelter is today.

Information from






Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mushrooms Along The Gorge Trails



Lactarius sordidus




Amanita muscaria var. formosa


? Unknown

Gymnopilus picreus


False Chanterelle Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca

Squaw Root

I have been unable to find out what the above growth
is but I have found it in several places along the trials
between Cedar Falls and Old Mans Cave.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Beautiful Old Mans Cave


In the Hocking Hills Parks system the most visited area
is the Old Mans Cave park.
The park is filled with a massive gorge that you can
hike to Cedar Falls park which is a 3 mile hike away.
A massive system of rock formations, smaller caves
and water falls amongst giant Hemlock trees
which grows there makes for some gorgeous scenery.

Old_Mans_Cave  The gorge is a long way down so visitors should
take care and obey the trail signs.
They are posted for a purpose. That rock ledge or
tree  you hang onto to look over into the gorge
or piece of land protruding out over it may not have
anything beneath it to hold your weight up.
Many defy the signs and to some this defiance
leads to their own injury.






The sights and sounds of water running through
the gorge adds to the serine atmosphere of the
Hocking Hills Park.



On a hot, humid summer day the cooler
air and the water in the gorge below can be a
perfect place to take hike.
It is shady and cooler amongst the giant rocks and
trees along the creek that runs through the  gorge.



Two million visitors in 2007 and even more now
come to the park annually.

Travelers’ expenditures in Hocking County totaled
$267 million during the  year of 2007,
generating $16 million in state sales tax revenue,
and $6.6 million in municipal tax revenue.
Just another reason that funding should not have
been cut to the parks by Governor Strickland.
Revenue cuts to the parks lead to fewer Rangers
and employees to care for the parks. If left to
run down because of cuts, because volunteers can
do just so much, could mean fewer tourists and
with them the tourists dollars that helps to
fund Hocking County and the state.
Tourism to this area grows every year and more so
since a drop in the economy and the fluctuating
gasoline prices have  vacationers  staying nearer to
home and taking in the free getaways to the parks
that make up the Hocking Hills park system.



What price can you put on such natural beauty?