Hocking Hills - Old Man's Cave

Old Man's Cave

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Old Man's Cave

The most popular of all the Hocking areas is Old Man's Cave. Old Man’s Cave was named for a settler that built a small cabin in one of the recessed caves in the area. The cave is located in a gorge carved primarily from decades of erosion from glacial melt followed by thousands of years of erosion from Salt Creek.

The gorge is approximately ½ mile long and 150 feet deep.

The Old Man's Cave area can be divided into five distinct sections along the Old Man's Creek.

The Upper Falls

Upper Gorge

Middle Falls

Lower Falls

Lower Gorge.

Along The Creek

Hocking Creek

The hike from the upper falls to lower gorge offer some magnificent photo opportunities. In late winter and early spring a thick layer of fog often fills the gorge creating some of the best photo opportunities of the unique rock formations that are all along the gorge.

From the lower gorge one can return to the parking area by climbing a few hundred stairs, or you can continue along the trail to Cedar Falls.

During the warmer months this area of the Hocking Hills State Park can become very crowded, especially on weekends. Early morning week day visits will be your best opportunity to avoid the crowds.

Shortly before and up to as much as an hour after sunrise, before the sun reaches into the gorge will offer the best opportunities for photographing the falls and the unique rock formation of the gorge.

Don't forget your tripod and circular polarizing filter!

The light levels in the gorge in early morning can be pretty low, and if you want to get that great water blur your shutter speed can easily be 1 second or more.

Along The Creek

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I am shooting with a Nikon D810

Lens Nikkor 24-70 F2.8

ISO 64SS 1/2 sec - approx. 5 seconds

Aperture F11 - F16

I shoot everything using a tripod and remote shutter release.

Devil's Bathtub

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Devil’s Bathtub is a small area of churning water that drains into the creek below.

Further down the trail is the Sphinx Head, a rock formation that resembles a sphinx.

Winter is a great time to visit Hocking Hills, especially if you can go after a fresh snow fall. The entire gorge takes on a completely different look and feel. The crowds are gone and the place takes on a peaceful beauty reminiscent of the great cathedrals of Europe.

If you go in winter be prepared, the trails can be very icy and slippery, some sort of traction footwear is a must.

Lower Falls in Winter

Old Mans Cave #3

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