June 10, 2020

The Hocking Hills of Ohio

Ash Cave

Ash Cave, Hocking Hills State Park

Hocking Hills of Ohio

Hocking State Forest

When someone thinks of landscape photography, Ohio is not the first or even in the top twenty place to visit in the United States. But for those of us that live here, one of the state’s best kept secrets is the Hocking Hills area. Located in the East Central area of the State, encompassing over 9000 acres including the Hocking State Forest, Hocking Hills State Park, Sheick Hollow and Little Rocky Hollow Nature Preserves.

Old Mans Cave

Part of the Allegheny Plateau, the Hocking Hills are some of the most wild and rugged areas in the state. Over 330 million years ago the rivers to the east flowed into the Atlantic Ocean which covered most of the state and deposited the sand and gravel that created layers of sandstone. Ohio's land as we know it today is largely the result of glaciers. During the last ice age about 2/3 of the state was covered by a sheet of ice 1 mile thick.

Rock House

About 10,000 years ago the glacier began to melt and form lakes created by debris left by the glaciers, when the lakes became to much for these damns to contain they burst releasing billions of gallons of water. The soft sandstone eroded quickly. The ice that had been covering Ohio took 1,000 years to completely melt, when the damns broke releasing all that water, the spectacular cliffs, iconic rock formations, natural features and waterfalls that the region is known for today were created in a few  of decades.

Two state nature preserves Sheick Hollow and Little Rocky Hollow are located in Hocking State Forest. These preserves - have unique and fragile ecological systems and are not open to the general public, but free access permits are available through the ODNR, Division of Natural Areas and Preserves.

Hocking Hills State Park is the area’s most popular destination and has some of the most popular places for nature and landscape photography in the state. It has 6 distinct areas, each has its own distinct character and offers unique photographic opportunities.

Old Man’s Cave

Cedar Falls

Ash Cave

Cantwell Cliffs

Conkells Hollow

Rock House 

Over the next couple week I will take a more in depth look at each one.