Hiking in Ohio
As we were planning our Ohio vacation, the husband started to talk about going hiking at Hocking Hills…I had never heard of the place, and had no idea what to expect.
We have planned to go to the Amish Country which is about 100 miles away small town call Logan where you can find… The Hocking Hills State Park is a non-contiguous state park located in the Hocking Hills area of Hocking County, Ohio, United States; and it is neighbors the Hocking State Forest.
There are several remarkable and honestly beautiful rock formations within the park ( Old Man’s Cave, a contracted, deep gorge in which you can find waterfalls; Rock House, a cliffed area with an impressive rock shelter there for the name Rock House). There are a total of 5 different points of interest in this amazing park including: Cantwell Cliffs, Ash Cave, and Cedar Falls. We were very constrained for time and only had the chance to visit the first two.
Old Man’s Cave, located on State Route 664 is the most famous out of all of them and the very first one we visited.
There is lots of green everywhere you look and the humidity in the park is very high, so wearing comfortable clothes is a really good idea if you are planning on visiting the Old Man’s cave.
The hiking trails are accessible to a point but there are deep cliffs which is the reason why we kept the little one within reach at all times and made sure my 10 year old daughter was to the right side of us and away from the edge.
We are by no means professional hikers, but I can tell you that having the proper gear for a little hiking adventure like this makes a great difference.
The very first thing we made sure to have for this trip was a backpack carrier for the little one and we brought the KiddyUsa Adventure pack which features a light weight carrier ( arounds 6.6 pounds). This is a well-built carrier with lots of padding and the ability to adjust using different belts for a better fit.
The husband and I took turns carrying our son which is around 30 pounds and at his 2 years old, is quite tall.
The baby was a bit scared to go in the carrier at first but quickly got used to it and he looked very comfortable while riding in it, so much so that he actually fell asleep.
I love the fact that the adventure pack has different pockets in which we can add several things and even a mesh bottle holder on the side, perfect for the baby’s sippy cup.
The carrier is available in different colors, but I loved the lime green color because it can be spotted easily and it has several reflective spots and straps.
The adventure pack also has a convenient kick stand that allows you to put your little one down and rest a bit without having to get him out of the carrier.
A nice canopy is part of the design and a harness to keep your child safe and properly positioned. I loved it, however the husband struggled a little with it because he did not have the belts positioned right. So, I highly recommend you find the correct fit and position if you are using one of these carriers.
A bright backpack can help you locate your kids at any given time
I wanted to also make sure that I can easily spot my daughter at all times and she wore a neon pink Grillz Backpack from ZIPIT …I loved being able to see where she was at all times, especially because there were a lot of people on the trails with kids around her age.
The Grillz Backpack weighs virtually nothing so she was able to carry her water and snacks around with no problem at all. So yes, an easy to spot backpack was a great idea.
Carry as little as you can with you
We tried to keep everyone carrying the minimum possible as there are lots of steps and tricky parts on the trails on the Old Man’s Cave…One thing I had just gotten and was my first time using was a couple of ClakIt gear clips.
These clips have proven to be really handy during our hiking as I of course, wanted to take as many photos as I could, but had no place to keep my Cell phone which is what I use for all my photos.
I had a Clakit StrapPack Two Zipper Clip-On Pouch and I can’t tell you how happy I was to have the super lightweight, sturdy, waterproof nylon Cordura with me.
The design is really clever and the clip on the pouch allows you to use it in different types of bags. As a matter of fact, I had a small bag that I wore around my chest and my daughter had her backpack and we were both able to wear one of these clip on pouches (she had the one pocket version).
I had the double pocket one in which I kept my Samsung Galaxy S7 phone in one pocket and the Parakito roll on mosquito repellent and a small case with two pacifiers in the other one.
The pouch is easy to open and close, so I had access to my phone at all times which was pretty awesome.
While you want to pack light, make sure to bring water along with you…The whole area is covered by trees, but there is a lot of humidity and you will be sweating, so you want to make sure you take some fluids with you to prevent dehydration!
Protect yourself from mosquitos
My little boy is allergic to mosquitos and bug bites, so I make mosquito and bug repellents a priority and try to re-apply as necessary…Amazingly, none of us got a mosquito bite during our time in Ohio.
We brought along Parakito bands and repellent for our trip…We love this brand and have actually recommended this to several of our friends who are buying their products now.
On the second part of the hiking trip, we got in our care and drove to Rock House. The drive from the Old Man’s Cave to the Rock House took about 15 minutes.
This area is also beautiful with lots of scenic views. The Rock House is a cave like rock formation that can hold large numbers of people at the same time and the trails were as busy as the ones at the Old Man’s Cave.
One thing worth noting is that while there might not be as many stair steps as you will see in the Old Man’s Cave, the trail is a little rougher and maybe a little more “wild”.
If I had I only had the chance to do one of the two, I would probably chose the Old Man’s Cave, but they are both excellent adventures to go on!
The next trip, I definitely want to do the remaining tree trails! This is a different way to see Ohio and I have fallen in love with what the state has to offer.