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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hiking in Conkle's Hollow





Sunday was a perfect day for hiking in Conkle's Hollow State Nature Preserve, which is part of the Hocking Hills region in southeastern Ohio. We left home early and were surprised to find that the parking lot at the entrance to the hiking trail was nearly empty. Normally this time of year on a weekend, one would be hard-pressed to find a parking spot on the grass, much less on the pavement. We guessed that the high gas prices were keeping the usual crowd closer to their homes. Indeed, it was our first visit to Hocking Hills this year. It is a fairly long drive for us, about one-and-a-half hours. If this had been like other years, we would have already been there three or four times.

Conkle's Hollow is one of our favorite hiking spots. It's fairly challenging and when you're on the Rim Trail, the views of the rock outcroppings are amazing. The Gorge Trail, which is wheelchair accessible, is awe-inspiring. My neck always has a crick in it from looking up at the sandstone cliffs, some of which are 200 feet high. These pictures are ones taken on the Gorge Trail.
We found that after completing both trails, we were more than ready for our picnic lunch of bison summer sausage and crackers. Our legs were a little rubbery after the hike. Boy, are we out of shape! Everyday walking on flat land doesn't prepare you for climbing steep hills. We finished up at the local flea market and antique mall and had our supper at the Route 33 Diner, then headed home full of fresh air and sunshine and the smell of the hemlock trees still clinging to our clothes.

2 comments:

Amy said...

Beautiful pictures! I've never been to Hocking Hills but we have talked about going. Your day sounds lovely. Don't you just love that fresh scent you can only find in a forest?

Susan said...

Thanks, Amy, it was a lovely day! The first one we've had together alone in a long while. I wish we could bottle the forest smells and bring them home with us. Nothing man-made could ever capture it. And the smell of fresh-cut hay, if you aren't allergic, that is.

If you decide to go to HH, you should make a weekend of it. There are lots and lots of wonderful cabins for rent and almost all of them have their own hot tubs. We go with friends the first weekend in November.