LOGAN — Join the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) in celebrating the beauty of the Hocking Hills region at this year’s 55th Annual Winter Hike at Hocking Hills State Park on Saturday, Jan. 18. Visitors can begin the 6-mile hike at Upper Falls/Old Man’s Cave any time between 9-11 a.m., which is a short walk from the visitor center, located at 19852 State Route 664 South in Logan.
The hike will take visitors to Upper Falls/Old Man’s Cave, past Lower Falls and Cedar Falls and end at Ash Cave. ODNR officers and park naturalists will be stationed along the trails to answer questions and assist hikers.
“Whether this is their first or fiftieth Annual Winter Hike, visitors quickly discover why January is an excellent time to view the rugged grandeur of the Hocking Hills,” said ODNR Director Mary Mertz. “Waterfalls, cliffs, recess caves and other geologic wonders are on display throughout the 6-mile journey through the park.”
Due to limited parking at the visitor center, ODNR encourages visitors to carpool. Overflow parking will be available at Hocking Hills Elementary School, located at 19197 State Route 664 South in Logan. Additionally, transportation will be provided at Ash Cave to transport hikers back to their vehicles at the visitor’s center.
The park’s natural trails may be muddy, icy or snow covered at this time of year. ODNR encourages hikers to dress appropriately for the weather—wearing layers and proper footwear is essential. More helpful tips on winter safety may be found by visiting ohiodnr.gov/winter-recreation/recreation/winter-safety.
At the hike’s mid-way point at Cedar Falls, the local Kiwanis Club will be serving bean soup and corn bread. At Ash Cave, the local Lions Club will have hot chocolate and doughnuts available. All refreshments are served free of charge, however, donations are accepted.
Each year since 1981, the ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft has presented the annual Heart of Hocking award at the Winter Hike. The award recognizes an individual or organization who has substantially supported Hocking Hills State Park and its visitors. Past honorees have been chosen for sharing time, talents, and professional expertise to the park. Last year’s recipient was Logan/Hocking Schools for their participation in the winter hike and assistance with transportation.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.