Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Nelsonville Music Festival 2011- Plans Shaping up for May Weekend Event

The 2011 Nelsonville Music Festival date has changed from May 20 - 22 to May 13 - 15. We hated to do this but it was beyond our control. Please make a note.

We will soon be announcing the 2011 Nelsonville Music Festival headliner(s), but not quite yet. I can tell you that 2011 is going to be bigger and better than ever, without losing the charm and intimacy that you have come to expect from the NMF, your music festival. I can also tell you that our headliner slot will look a bit different this year. We all love our country legends, but we also love our rock & roll, this year will have a lot less twang on Saturday night!

Super Earlybird NMF weekend passes will be available for Cabin Fever Festival (this Saturday, January 15) ticket holders for $45 (one per ticket holder). NMF weekend passes will be $90 at the gate! Limited earlybird NMF weekend passes will be available to the public on Monday, February 7 for $60.

Don't miss our 2nd annual Cabin Fever Festival this Saturday, January 15. Our music swap and art fair take place in the Stuart's lobby starting at 1:00pm. Here is the rest of the schedule.

5:00pm: Bird & Flower (in the lobby)

6:00pm: Whale Zombie

7:00pm: Alwood Sisters

8:00pm: Pomegranates

9:00pm: Wheels on Fire

10:00pm: Maps & Atlases

New Chiefs will lead the Ohio Department of Natural Resources

Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director David Mustine today announced the appointments of two new chiefs and the department’s legislative liaison, as well as five acting division chiefs.

“I am pleased to begin building a team of natural resource professionals who will work with me and Assistant Director Scott Zody to support Governor Kasich’s plan of bringing jobs to Ohio, while serving as dedicated stewards of our environment,” said Director Mustine.

David Payne will oversee the Division of Parks & Recreation. Mustine noted Payne’s solid experience in state government, which includes working in the offices of the Governor, Auditor of State, and Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Payne has a diverse management background and excels at marketing and strategic development. Payne said he prides himself on bringing people together and working productively with a broad base of constituents. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. Payne is committed to the governor’s plan for getting Ohioback on track, which includes strengthening the Division of Parks & Recreation. He has a passion for Ohio’s award-winning state parks system and enjoys camping, hiking, and ice fishing. Payne lives in Franklin County with his wife and two daughters.

Laura Jones was appointed Chief of the Office of Communications. She brings to the position more than 25 years of experience in the media and public relations industry, said Mustine. Most recently, Jones was audio-visual production manager and Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp program administrator for the ODNR Division of Wildlife. Previously, she served seven years in ODNR Director Sam Speck’s communications office, two years with Governor Bob Taft, and nearly 14 years with the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Statehouse bureau. A resident of Franklin County, Jones is an avid outdoors woman who likes to fish, hunt, hike, and camp.

Ben Pendery joins the ODNR administrative staff as its legislative liaison. Pendery most recently served with the Ohio Legislative Service Commission. Pendery lives in Franklin County and personal interests include fishing, boating and hunting.

Other appointments announced today by Director Mustine include:

Bob Boyles as acting chief for the Division of Forestry. Boyles has been with the department for 28 years. For the past 11 years he has served as Southern District Forest Manager out of Chillicothe.

Ted Lozier as acting chief for the Division of Soil & Water Resources. Lozier has been with the department for more than 24 years, and has served on several core management teams for division.

Vicki Mountz as acting chief for the Division of Wildlife. Mountz began her career at ODNR as the department’s first commissioned female watercraft officer. As Wildlife's executive administrator for Information and Education, she has a total of 25 years with the department.

Carla Camp as acting chief for the Office of Budget & Finance. Camp spent her first 21 years of state service in the fiscal section of the Department of Youth services, and has been the assistant chief for ODNR.

Assistant Director Scott Zody will temporarily oversee the Office of Human Resources.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at www.ohiodnr.com.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

HOT Deals in the Hocking Hills!

HOCKING HILLS, OH, December 19, 2010 /24-7PressRelease/ -- While the mercury is dipping, Hocking Hills visitors can grab some HOT specials this winter, just in time for a last-minute holiday break. Ohio's Hocking Hills provides the perfect opportunity for families to unplug and enjoy an unforgettable winter getaway during the typically hectic holiday season. The region's popular natural attractions, plus ATV and horseback riding and other adventures are open and especially spectacular with this winter's snowfall and frozen waterfalls creating a dazzling winter wonderland for visitors.

Personal Photography Holiday Special with renowned Hocking Hills Photographer, Photography by Hoffman. 20% off regular $135 fee. Will visit cabin for fireside family portraits, holiday setting, or at Old Man's Cave for a winter waterfall background and tour of the gorge. (25% off for all active military personnel.) Expires 01/31/11. www.theoldbear.com. (740) 380-2039

Winter Wedding Special with Hocking Hills Woodland Weddings offers 20% off all indoor or outdoor wedding packages, Sun.-Fri. or 10% off any Sat. wedding package. Includes professional photography. Expires 02/01/11. www.theoldbear.com/woodlandweddings. (740) 380-2039.

Winter Weekend Escape from Good Earth Cabins features $20 off per night on two-night stays Thurs.-Sun.; new reservations only. Also, purchase a gift certificate of $100 or more for 20% off. Expires 01/31/11. www.goodearthcabins.com. (740) 332-2618.

Big Pine Retreat "Holiday Getaway": Take 20% off Dec. rates for all cabins with two or more nights stay. Relax, unwind and leave the winter stress behind! Expires 12/29/10. www.bigpineretreat.com. 866-474-5660.

Save $40 on our Winter Special from Blue Valley Massage & Traveling Spa. Book two side-by-side massages (One hour or 90 minutes) and two all-natural Burt's Bees facials and save $40. We travel right to your cabin. Other great specials on Hot Stone Therapy and group discounts. Expires 01/06/11. www.bluevalleymassage.com. (877) 747-3223.

Natural Remedies Massage & Traveling Spa gift to you is a free express reflexology treatment with the purchase of a 60- or 90-minute massage at regular price scheduled two days in advance. Expires 01/07/11. www.naturalremedies.massagetherapy.com. (740) 407-2814.

Dec. Weekend Special from Buffalo Lodging Company is a weekend stay in a cozy cabins for $350. Includes Fri. and Sat. nights for 2 guests. Additional charges apply for pets and additional guests. No other discounts apply. Not valid for holiday season dates. Expires 12/31/10. www.buffalolodgingcompany.com. (740) 808-3714.

Barton Meadows Christmas Shopping & Snuggles offers $99 a night weekdays (Sun through Thurs) and 10% off shopping plus a $20 Gift Certificate for Wind Chime Shop, Christmas Treasures Shop, or Hocking Hills Candle Works. Expires 12/29/10. www.hockinghills.com/autumnridge/barton_meadows. (877) 340-3444.

Wacky Winter Weekends at Lazy Lane Cabins offers a 10% Discount off weekend rates or 15% off Weekday Rates (Sun.-Thurs.) Good on any cabin. Two-night minimum required. Expires 01/30/11. www.lazylanecabins.com. (877) 225-6572.

Christmas Shopping and Snuggles at Autumn Ridge Cabins $99 a night weekday cabins with cocoa by the fire and 10% off shopping plus a $20 Gift Certificate for Wind Chime Shop, Christmas Treasures Shop, or Hocking Hills Candle. Expires 12/29/10. www.hockinghills.com/autumnridge. (877) 340-3444.

Three great deals from Cabins in Hocking include a Last Minute Special that lets guests book a night the day before arrival and enjoy a second night at half off (Good all year), or a $99 Weekday Special: Book two weekdays, two weeks from arrival for two guests and get them for $99 per night. (Good at Prairie Rose, Cottage at the Falls, Herons Cove and Retreat Cabins Nov.-Feb. Sun.-Thurs. nights.) Or guests can book any two weekdays (Sun-Thurs, Nov-Feb. excluding Dec 23-Jan 2) and get a 3rd weekday free. Also, receive 1.5 days free when you book four weekdays or two days free when you book five. Expires 02/28/11. www.cabinsinhocking.com. (740) 331-4840.

Don't need all the frills of other packages? Enjoy Off-Season Monday or Tuesday nights in the comfortable rooms at the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls, with a flavorful breakfast the next morning for $95. Expires 02/22/11. Not valid on holidays or with any other offer. www.innatcedarfalls.com. (877) 653-2557 use Promo Code: HHTA.

Free Holiday Express Body Polish at Natural Remedies Massage & Traveling Spa, Schedule any sixty or ninety minute massage at regular price and receive a complimentary express body polish absolutely free. Expires 01/07/11. www.naturalremedies.massagetherapy.com. (740) 407-2814.

Day Special at Rustic Ridge Retreat Cabins. Stay two nights; get the lesser of the two nights half off. Expires 03/31/11. www.rustic-ridge.com. (740) 746-8146.

Stay three nights; get the lesser of the three nights free at Honey Ridge. Weekends: 20% off - $120.00/night. Weeknights: 10% off - $99/night. Alf price add-on: rent the weekend at 20% off, and then add a weeknight for only $49.50. Expires 12/31/10. www.honey-ridge.com. (740) 332-1364.

Winter Special at 4 Seasons Hideaways. Place a three-night reservation and receive the 3rd night at 50% off. Expires 01/25/11. www.4seasonshideaways.com. (740) 583-9771.

Wild Winter Weekends at Cabins by the Caves. Receive at 15% discount on any two-day stay Thursday-Sunday. Expires 02/28/11. www.cabinsbythecaves.com. (877) 322-2283.

Weekday winter breakout at Cabins by the Caves. Book any weekday Sunday-Thursday at our Firefly, Hillside, Jackson, or McKinley cabins for just $99 per night. Expires 01/19/11. www.cabinsbythecaves.com. (877) 322-2283.

"You Bringum" Winter Midweek Special at Hocking Hills Cabins. Bring your own bath towels & bed linens for a great rate: 1 night for $99, 2 nights for $89 per night, or 3 nights for $79 per night. Ask for special when reserving. Expires 12/30/10. www.hhcabins.com. (877) 385-4161.

Snuggle Up Winter Specials at Four Seasons Cabin Rental. Rent a weekend in Dec.- Feb. and stay Thurs. or Sun. FREE. Weekday special: rent a cabin for $90 and add additional night for $75. Expires 02/28/11. www.fourseasonscabinrental.com. (877) 242-8453.

Fall 3-Night Special at Antlers Grove. Stay 3 or more nights and receive 10% off. Expires 01/31/11. www.antlersgrove.com. (740) 270-9621.

Big Buck Hunting Special at Hocking Hills Cabins. Unguided hunts with parcels located just a short walk from cabin. Includes: lodging, a map of the parcel, stand location and help retrieving your deer. 3-day package rate: $600/person, 5-day package rate: $800/person. Expires 01/31/11. www.hhcabins.com. (877) 385-4161.

Located 40 miles southeast of Columbus, Ohio's Hocking Hills region offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences that make every day feel like Sat., with plenty of Admission: FREE activities. The region boasts a wide variety of affordable lodging, from camping, cabins and cottages to hotels and inns. In addition to hiking trails, parks and forests, the Hocking Hills area offers unique gift and antique shops, kayaking, horseback riding, golf and more. Complete traveler information is available www.1800Hocking.com or 1-800-Hocking (800-462-5464).

Weirick Communications, Inc. is a Midwest-based PR firm focused on telling the world about great travel, culinary and event experiences. Contact Weirick Communications at 614.848.8380 or amy@weirickcommunications.com

Find One of a Kind Treasures in the Hocking Hills! - 1st in a Series of Shop Locally Features

Did you get cold, hard cash for Christmas? Let those others people spend their time crawling the malls and waiting in long lines to find a special something to call their own. The Hocking Hills region of southern Ohio offers unique shopping venues and eco-friendly gifts to suit everyone's tastes.

Forget elbowing your way to the clearance rack to find a shirt with a designer tag. In the Hocking Hills you can meet the friendly designers and sometimes, even watch them making their wares. With the excitement of the Christmas season waning, many of us are looking ahead towards spring.

What a great way to push the winter weather blues away than to prepare for spring. Hocking House, located less than five miles from the Hocking Hills State Park, has a eclectic collections of garden art waiting to fill a void in your backyard. Among the scores of one-of-a-kind creations you will find at this Hocking Hills locally owned shop are interior decor, artistic stepping stones and porcelain water cans and dinner ware.

There is no need to circle a crowded parking lot hoping to find a spot which doesn't have a cart blocking your path. Pull right up to the front entrance and enjoy spending an afternoon browsing around inside the Hocking House on your next visit to southern Ohio. If you are planning on getting hitched while on your weekend getaway, the Hocking House may be able to provide a place for you to tie the knot in their beautifully landscaped garden.

Lake Hope State Park Events - Still a little time left to see the Trail of Lights

Holiday Trail of Lights

Each night in December, 2010 6:00-10:00pm

Hike through the forest to view our 100,000+ light display including animated scenes, decorated trees, and landscape lighting. Begin your holiday journey at the Nature Center

Hocking Hills Events - Winter Raptor Watch

Join the Naturalist down at the Naturalist Cabin located behind the Old Man's Cave Visitor Center to discover why hawks, owls, eagles & vultures are more noticeable in the winter, and what makes them so special.

Organized by: Hocking Hills State Park
Date(s): January 29th, 2011

Cost: Free
Time: 10:00am

Hocking Hills - Winter Photography Workshop

Hands-on photography workshop that provides practical and usable knowledge in nature photography. Workshops are held in the Hocking Hills State Park areas. Slide program and handout information. Lunch is provided. 4 hour workshops by appointment.

Organized by: The Old Bear's Den Centero

Date(s): January 29th, 2011

Cost: $129 / person
Time: 9:00am - 5:00pm

The Old Bear's Den Center

16961 Harble-Griffith Rd.
Logan, OH 43138
Hocking County
Cost: $129 / person
Registration/Reservations required.

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Second Summer in the Hocking Hills!

Hocking Hills provides the perfect opportunity to have a Second Summer. All of the region's popular attractions are open and in all their glory, yet after August, visitors enjoy lighter crowds.

Just because summer is over for the kids doesn't mean it has passed you by. September is a second chance at summer. Ohio's Hocking Hills provides the perfect opportunity to have a Second Summer. All of the region's popular attractions are open and in all their glory, yet after August, visitors enjoy lighter crowds.

Known for offering some of the most spectacular scenery and unforgettable experiences in the Midwest, the Hocking Hills region invites travelers to enjoy a Second Summer. To make that easier and more affordable, Hocking Hills Tourism Association has compiled a series of affordable, close-to-home “Second Summer Specials.” A complete detailed list is available online at www.1800hocking.com. With deals available through September, and some offered beyond Oct. 1, these Second Summer offerings include:

• WaterSong Woods Cabins: 10% off all prices Sept. 6-26 • Historic Host: 10% off regular Fri./Sat. weekend rate; add Thurs. or Sun. for 25% off • At Boulder's Edge: Enjoy a weeknight in our cabin and Canopy Tour the next day at 20% off (new reservations only) • Connor Homestead Lodge: Six guests stay any week night (Sun.-Thurs.) in September for only $150 (three-night minimum; more than six guests, add $10 each/night) • Big Pine Lodge: Enjoy a $50/night discount (valid Sun.– Thurs., new bookings only, two-night minimum) • Cabins in Hocking: Book two weeknights in September, get third night FREE • Hocking Hills Cabins: Stay the weekend and get third night (Thurs. or Sun.) for just $89; or stay three nights midweek at $109/night • Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls: FREE 50-min. relaxation massage when reserving four nights in a cottage or cabin (based on two people) • 4 Seasons Hideaway: New bookings receive four nights at the price of three • A Cola View Cabin or Adena Ridge Cabin: Choose any two weeknights and receive the third night at $100 base price ($40 savings) • Blue Rose Cabins: Book three nights and enjoy the fourth night FREE • Honey Ridge: Stay any weeknight for $110.50/night (15% discount) or weekends for $153/night (10% discount); add up to two weeknights consecutively with a weekend for only $65/night • Lazy Lane Cabins: $30 off per night for cabins priced at $129 and up Sun.-Thurs. (two-night minimum) • Queen Bee Cabins & Cottages: Stay a third night for only $75 plus tax with two nights at the regular price • Ravenwood Castle: Take 10% off Castle Room or Medieval Cottage rates, Sun.- Thurs. • Four Seasons Cabin Rental: Stay any weeknight for $99 • Hocking Hills Cabins: Stay three nights midweek for just $109/night
"Second Summer Special" must be mentioned at time of reservation. Some restrictions may apply. Detailed availability, dates and exceptions are listed online. Most discounts are based on availability.
While visiting the Hocking Hills don't forget your video camera. Enter the I Love the Hocking Hills video contest and you could win a fabulous getaway. For all the details visit www.1800hocking.com.
Located 40 miles southeast of Columbus, Ohio's Hocking Hills region offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences that make every day feel like Saturday, with plenty of Admission: FREE activities. The region boasts a wide variety of affordable lodging, from camping, cabins and cottages to hotels and inns. In addition to hiking trails, parks and forests, the Hocking Hills area offers unique gift and antique shops, kayaking, horseback riding, golf and more. Complete traveler information is available www.1800Hocking.com or 1-800-Hocking (800-462-5464).

Head for the Hills!

Come and spend an afternoon, night, weekend, or a full week in the beautiful Hocking Hills Region of southern Ohio. Romantic cabins, spa services, outdoor adventures, destination weddings, kayaking, ziplining, rappelling, horsebackriding, mountain biking, waterfall viewing and rugged hiking trails await visitors. to the Hocking Hills!

Hocking Hills Visitor Centers

The Hocking Hills Visitor Center is opend Monday through Satruday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The center is open on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Address: 13178 State Route 664 South, Logan, Ohio 43138 Telephone: 740-385-9706

Hocking Hills Visitor Center at Laurelville is open from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Address: 16197 Pike Street Laurelville, Ohio 43135

The Vinton County Convention and Visitors Bureau is located at 104 West Main Street in McArthur, Ohio 45651 Telephone: 1-800-596-4459 Email: info@vintoncountytravel.com The office is open on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Hocking Hills State Park

Hocking Hills State Park areas and trails all close at dusk.

Need more information on the parks:
ODNR - Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Ted Strickland, Governor - Sean D. Logan, Director

Hocking Hills FREE Video Camera Borrowing Service

Hocking Hills launches nation’s first ever visitor vacation video service Flip Ultra video cameras available for borrowing at no charge.

As more and more travelers flock to social media sites to research and share the results of their travel, southeast Ohio’s Hocking Hills Tourism Association (HHTA) is launching a groundbreaking program to make that even easier – and cheaper – for visitors.

Hocking Hills Welcome Centers offer digital Flip Ultra video cameras for borrowing at no cost to visitors. The Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center only requires a driver's license and a major credit card number as a deposit. Cameras are available on a first-come, first-served basis to any visitor age 21 or older who is staying at a Hocking Hills Tourism Association member lodging property. (Must present printout of email or mailed confirmation.)

Open seven days a week, the Welcome Center is ideally located at the intersection of US 33 and SR 664, just minutes from major Hocking Hills attractions, such as Old Man’s Cave, Conkle’s Hollow, Cedar Falls, Rock House and other favorite stops. Welcome Center Hours are 9-5, Mon.-Thurs. and Sat.; 9-7 on Fri.; and 11-5 Sun.

Using the notoriously easy-to-use Flip Ultra camcorder, travelers are encouraged to shoot video of their Hocking Hills visit, then return the camera to the Welcome Center . Hocking Hills Tourism Association staff will load the video to a YouTube site and email travelers a link as soon as their video is loaded and ready to share with friends and family.

With one of the nation’s most comprehensive green travel certification programs, the Hocking Hills also offers a wide variety of accommodations, from camping and cabins to hotels and country inns. A free visitor guide and complete lodging and attraction information is available at www.1800Hocking.com or by calling 1-800-HOCKING

Old Man's Cave

Old Man\

Hocking Hills State Park FAQ's

Hocking Hills State Park

19852 State Route 664 South

Logan, Ohio 43138

Park Office Phone: 740-385-6842

Cottage Office Phone: 740-385-6841

Dining Lodge Phone: 740-385-6495

Reservations for Camping, Cottages and Picnic Shelters:



Cottages - 40 gas-heated, air-conditioned, family housekeeping cottages sleep up to six people. Each cottage has two bedrooms, a living room with a sleepr sofa, bathroom with a shower, a gas burning fireplace, a kitchen with a microwave, a dining area and a screened in porch. Cottage guest have complimentary access to the swimming pool at the lodge.
Getaway Rentals- 3 Camper Cabins complete with cots, bench beds, a cooler, stove and a camp light. This lodging option is available from May through October.
Campground-156 electric sites, with 20, 30 or 50 amp electric access. 13 non-electric sites each has a paved pad and can accommodate up to a 50' RV unit. Amenities: heated showers, flush toilets, laundry facility, dump station, camp store, playgrounds, sand volleyball courts, horse-shoe pit, access to the lodge swimming pool. Tent-only group camps are also. There are also 30 walk-in family sites with pit latrines.

Young children should be closely supervised while in on the hiking trails All park visitors must remain on the marked trails at all times.

Ash Cave Gorge • 1/4 Mile • Easy • Handicap Accessible
Ash Cave Rim • 1/2 Mile • Moderate
Cedar Falls • 1/2 Mile • Moderate
Old Man's Cave • 1 Mile • Moderate
Conkles Hollow • 1 Mile • Easy • Handicap Accessible
Conkle's Hollow Rim • 2.5 Miles • Moderate
Rock House • 1/2 Mile • Moderate
Cantwell Cliffs • 1 Mile • Difficult
Buckeye Trail • 6 Miles • Moderate
2 mountain bike trails
Purple Trail Loop • 2 Miles • Moderate
Orange Trail Loop • 2 miles • Difficult
Portions of the Buckeye Trail go through the park and surrounding state forest

Picnic Facilities
5 picnic areas with tables, grills, latrines and drinking water are located at each of the recess caves
Picnic shelters are available- Old Man's Cave, Ash Cave, Rock House, Cedar Falls and Cantwell Cliffs.
All 5 picnic areas are Carry in/Carry out areas - trash cans are not available.

Hocking Hills State Park Amenities
An archery range with 5 static targets and 22 3-D targets is open from daylight until dark year-round.
Special events and nature programs are offered year round.
Visitor center at Old Man's cave offers nature displays and a gift shop.
A rock climbing and rappelling area is available in the adjacent 9,238 acre Hocking Hills Forest and approximately 3 miles away at the Hocking Peaks Outdoor Adventure Park.

Hocking Hills State Park Visitor's Center

Hocking Hills State Park Visitor\
Entrance to Old Man's Cave in the Hocking Hills

History of the Hocking Hills Area

Source - Ohio Department of Natural Resources

The hollows and caves of the park complex have long attracted the peoples of Ohio • Evidence of the ancient Adena culture illustrates man first inhabited the recesses more than 7,000 years ago.

In the mid 1700's several Indian tribes traveled through or lived here including the Wyandot, Delaware and Shawnee • Their name for the river from which the park gets its name was Hockhocking of "bottle river" • The name comes from the bottle-shaped valley of the Hocking River whose formation is due to its one-time blockage by glacial ice.

After the Greenville Treaty of 1795, numerous white settlers moved into the region and Hocking County was organized in 1818 • The area around the parks began to develop in 1835 when a powder mill was built near Rock House and a grist mill was constructed at Cedar Falls.

The cave areas were well-known as scenic attractions by 1870
• In 1924, the first land purchase by the state was made to preserve the scenic features
• This first parcel of 146 acres included Old Man's Cave
• Subsequent purchases built acreage while the areas existed under the Department of Forestry as State Forest Parks
• The Department of Natural Resources was created in 1949 and the new Division of Parks assumed control of the Hocking Hills State Park complex, which today includes the six park areas
• A dining lodge and cottages were opened in 1972 • These cottages, together with a campground, provide overnight facilities in one of the most beautiful areas of our state.

Ash Cave

Ash Cave
Destination Wedding at Ash Cave

Hocking Hills Scenic Byway

The Hocking Hills Scenic Byway, officially known as "the Gateway to Ohio's Scenic Wonderland," follows State Route 374, and provides attractive resting spots before it enters the Lancaster Historic District. Hocking Hills is the perfect place to commune with nature. With several trails to hike, cottages to rent for a weekend getaway, and hundreds of campgrounds to choose from, this place is a vacation paradise.

Hocking Hills combines the beauty of nature with the fascination of the past. Since the mid-1700s, Native American tribes such as the Wyandot, Delaware and Shawnee have passed through this area, and some stopped to make it their permanent home. Archaeologists have even found evidence that the ancient Adena culture flourished in this area thousands of years ago.

The Secret to Superb Fall Colors in the Hocking Hills

Ever wonder why Ohio is just bursting with color in the fall? State foresters say we can thank our changing seasons, rich soils and a wide range of trees for this vibrant fall show.

“Ohio forests are among the most diverse and unique in the world, with more than 100 tree species,” said Casey Munchel, forester with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry. “As a result, Ohioans can enjoy an array of fall color in every corner of the state, as well as a longer fall color season.”

This diversity of our state’s geographical regions can be seen in the wetland habitats of the northern lake plains, the rugged Hocking Hills of the unglaciated Appalachian plateau in the southeast, as well as the fertile farmlands of the till plains in the west.

All of this gives us an abundance of locations to see beautiful fall foliage including 74 state parks, 20 state forests, 131 state nature preserves, and a national park and forest. The fall season also is the best time to add a little color to home landscapes. Because of Ohio’s unpredictable weather, it’s best to get a tree planted by the end of October before the ground freezes.

Maples are the quintessential fall color tree showcasing its variety of reds, oranges and yellows. Other popular trees for color include: dogwood, sweetgum, oak, beech, and birch.

When choosing a tree, think native. Not only do these varieties need less attention than their non-native counterparts, but they also benefit wildlife by providing shelter from the elements and producing food such as berries and nuts. Tree species that are popular food sources include serviceberry, hawthorn, viburnum, sassafras, and oak for their acorns. Many conifers and other evergreens provide for a great color contrast and also are good sources of food and shelter for wildlife.
Source: ODNR

Ohio State Parks Reward Points!

Earn points for every $1 you spend towards free nights at any campground, getaway rental, and select cottages. The best part is that enrollment is FREE!

Sign up the next time you visit an Ohio State Park during normal business hours, or when making your next reservation either online or through the call center
One account per household, each household will receive 1 card and 2 keychain tags

If you've already signed up, click here to check your points balance . After Logging On, click on “My Rewards Points” to view your Earned Points as well as Pending Points for future reservations.

Blog Archive

ODNR - State Park Pet Policies

Pets are permitted in most day use areas, with the exception of swimming beaches, and must be on a leash Pets are not permitted on swimming beaches Camping -- Pets are allowed in all 56 of our campgrounds in designated areas or sites, maximum 2 pets per site Pets must be on a leash at all times Parks do not provide horses for equestrian camping Cottages -- Pets are welcome in select cottages at the following state parks Burr Oak Cowan Lake Dillon Hueston Woods Lake Hope Maumee Bay Pike Lake Punderson Pymatuning Salt Fork Shawnee Lodges -- The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake, Burr Oak Lodge & Conference Center, and Mohican Lodge & Conference Center offer a limited number of pet-friendly rooms Getaway Rentals -- Pets are not permitted in getaway rental units Dog Parks and Swim Areas Dogs are invited to come out and play at fenced dog parks with dog swim areas at the following parks: Alum Creek (C) Grand Lake St. Marys (NW) Mosquito Lake (NE) Portage Lakes (NE) Salt Fork (SE) Lake Alma Dog Beach (SE) Lake access for dogs is offered at the following parks: A.W. Marion (C) Deer Creek (C) Harrison Lake (NW) Hueston Woods (SW) Lake Alma (SE)

Guest Post

Want to share information about your Hocking Hills business or service? Have a special on cabin rentals this week? Can't wait to show off your Hocking Hills getaway or wedding photos? Shoot an email to hockinghillstravel@gmail.com for guest post guidelines and put your material in front of thousands of readers today!

ODNR Park Pals Information for Kids - Fall Colors

Vibrant Fall Colors It's the time of year to put away our swimsuits and break out the pencils, notebooks and sweaters. But not to worry, nature still has a few treats in store for us, including fall's color-changing leaves! The warm red, gold, purple, and orange colors light up Ohio's treetops. They provide an awesome landscape for an autumn walk through a park, or a lovely ride through our scenic driving paths. Read on to learn how our amazing trees create this spectacular show, when the color change happens, and where to see the prettiest colors! Why do leaves change color? The leaves of deciduous, or hardwood, trees change color in the fall because there is less sunlight during the fall than in the spring and summertime. The decrease in sunlight causes a chemical change in a tree's leaves. This chemical change causes different trees to turn different colors. These colors, also known as cartenoids and anthocyanins, always exist inside the leaves, but are hidden by the green chlorophyll of spring and summer. Leaves of hickory, birch and beech trees turn yellow and gold. Maple trees, oak trees, and other trees that are rich in sugar turn shades of purple and red. Still other common Ohio trees, like buckeye, red maple and sweet gum trees, can turn multiple colors. Nature's fireworks show is delightful while it lasts, but soon the leaves will fall. The trees must keep warm in the winter, so during the fall, the tree sap thickens. The thick sap clogs the veins of the leaves. The leaf then breaks its connection with the branch, and the heavy leaf falls. Evergreen trees, such as pine trees, get to keep their needles in the winter. This is because the needles are coated in a thick wax that keeps the needles warm. When will our leaves change color? September's weather can help us predict what colors we will see in October. Sunny September days and cool nights can make reds and oranges brighter. An early frost can make leaves turn color sooner than usual. Dry weather combined with strong wind can cause leaves to shrivel and fall off quickly. In Ohio, leaves typically begin to change color first in the northern part of the state, then in central areas, and lastly in southern Ohio. In northern Ohio, leaves tend to peak in color in the first week of October. In central Ohio, leaves tend to peak in the second and third weeks. In southern Ohio, the last week of October tends to be most colorful. This year, because of summer's dry conditions, we may notice leaves changing a little earlier than usual. Keep an eye out for those fantastic hues! Where can I see the coolest colors? The best part about fall leaves is that they change all around us. In Ohio, we have many scenic areas that are perfect for leaf-gazing. Take a look at our Fall Foliage Driving Tours webpage at http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/tabid/9585/Default.aspx to find maps that will lead you to some of the best locations. These tours can also take you to nearby state parks, forests and nature preserves for fun outdoor viewing. In state parks all around Ohio, we're celebrating the fall fireworks show with many cool events, such as: The Fall Color Walk at Malabar Farm on October 9, the Fall Color Canoe Tour at Van Buren on October 10 and Grandma Gatewood's Fall Colors Hike at Hocking Hills on October 16. Check our the events calendar for more fun things to do. Leafy Gossip Before we knew the scientific reasons for fall fireworks, many legends explained the cause of the color-change and the reasons why leaves fall. Here is a sample of some interesting leaf lore: A Cherokee legend says that the Great Spirit once offered to give any tree a magical power if it could stay awake for seven full days and nights. Only the evergreen trees could stay awake. As their prize, their magical power was to stay green all year long. The other trees could not stay awake, and therefore had to lose their green leaves in the fall and sleep in the winter. Another Cherokee legend tells the story of a small sparrow who could not fly south with its bird family. The sparrow was injured, and needed to find a warm place to stay for the winter. The sparrow asked an oak tree if it could stay in its leaves for the winter, but the oak tree refused. The sparrow then asked a maple tree, and the maple tree also said no. Finally, the sparrow asked a pine tree, and the pine tree agreed to let the sparrow sleep in its needles for the winter. The Creator saw this, and as a reward, let the pine trees keep their needles all year long. While the other trees were punished by losing their leaves in the fall. A third Native American legend says that when the celestial hunters slay the Great Bear in the sky, blood from the bear falls to earth, coloring some leaves red. When the hunters cook the bear, some of the bear's fat spills from the cooking pot, turning other leaves yellow and orange. Greek mythology explains falling leaves through the story of Persephone. In autumn, Persephone must go to live in the underworld with her husband, Hades. Persephone's mother is unhappy about this, and curses the earth so that nothing can grow, and leaves fall from the trees. In the spring, Persephone returns to live with her mother, and the curse is lifted so that trees can grow green leaves again.

ODRN Handicap Accessible FAQ's

Scenic paved trails are offered at Barkcamp (SE) • Hocking Hills (SE) (Ash Cave) • Mt. Gilead (C) Accessible interpretive trails include the paved Hock-Hocking Expedition Trail at Hocking Hills (SE) and the interpretive boardwalk trail through Maumee Bay’s (NW) Lake Erie wetlands Quail Hollow’s paved Nature-for-All trail takes visitors to the herb garden and surrounding woodlands John Bryan has an accessible overlook off a wide, level earthen trail in the forest The paved multi-use Little Miami trail spans 50 miles along the Little Miami River Lake Milton offers a lakeside boardwalk trail Accessible nature centers are available at Hocking Hills (SE) • Hueston Woods (SW) • Maumee Bay (NW) • Quail Hollow (NE) Wheelchair accessible fishing piers are provided at Alum Creek (C) • Barkcamp (SE) • Buck Creek (SW) • Buckeye Lake (C) • Caesar Creek (SW) • Catawba Island (NW) • Cleveland Lakefront (NE) • Cowan Lake (SW) • Deer Creek (C) • Delaware (C) • East Fork (SW) • Grand Lake St. Marys (NW) • Guilford Lake (NE) • Hueston Woods (SW) • Indian Lake (NW) • Jackson Lake (SE) • Kiser Lake (NW) • Lake Milton (NE) • Madison Lake (SW) • Maumee Bay (NW) • Mosquito Lake (NE) • Muskingum River (Devola Lock #2) (SE) • Paint Creek (SW) • Pymatuning (NE) • Rocky Fork (SW) • Stonelick. (SW) Accessible launch ramps accommodate boaters at Buck Creek (SW) • Buckeye Lake (C) • Deer Creek (C) • Indian Lake (NW) • Lake Milton (NE) • Oak Point (on South Bass Island) (NW) • Paint Creek (SW) • Portage Lakes (NE) • West Branch (NE) Enjoy a Relaxing Getaway Lodge and Conference Centers offer special guest rooms with wider doorways and restrooms designed to accommodate wheelchairs. In some of the lodges, the accessible rooms are located on the ground floor, and in others, an elevator provides access to the guest rooms as well as other lodge facilities including the dining rooms and indoor pools. State park lodges with elevators and accessible guest rooms include: Burr Oak (SE) • Deer Creek (C) • Geneva (NE) • Hueston Woods (SW) • Maumee Bay (NW) • Punderson (NE) • Salt Fork (SE) • Shawnee (SW) Maumee Bay (NW) • Punderson (NE) • Salt Fork (SE) also offer accessible indoor pools in addition to accessible whirlpools. Vacation Cottages offer similar floor plans including a kitchen with full sized appliances, dining area, spacious living room, two bedrooms with twin, bunk or full sized beds, a bathroom with shower, and a roomy screened porch. Dillon (SE) • Buck Creek (SW) • Lake Hope (SE) offer a limited number of accessible cottages with special features throughout, including modified kitchen appliances and bathroom fixtures. Geneva (NE) offers accessible features in two Deluxe Cedar Cabins Select cottages at Burr Oak (SE) • Deer Creek (C) • Hueston Woods (SW) • Maumee Bay (NW) • Shawnee (SW) have been modified for accessibility, with wider entrances along with kitchen and restroom facilities with appliances and fixtures that are convenient for persons using a wheelchair Some of the cottages at Deer Creek (C) • Mohican (NE) • Punderson (NE) • Salt Fork (SE) have ramps for easier entry, but do not offer accessible features inside. Campsites with accessible features are offered at Barkcamp (SE) • Cowan Lake (SW) • Deer Creek (C) • Delaware (C) • Mosquito Lake (NE) • Paint Creek (SW) • Pymatuning (NE) • Salt Fork (SE) • West Branch (NE). Special features may include extra wide paved pads on level grades, berms, modified picnic tables, fire rings and/or grills, or water fountains. These sites are close to restroom buildings with entrance ramps, accessible fixtures, grab bars and wide stalls. Please check with the individual park for more information on the level of accessibility for the above listed facilities

Getting here...

From Cincinnati take I-71 North. Exit at US 35 East -the Washington Court House exit and follow US 35 East. Then take US 22 East to Circleville and the get Route 22 towards Lancaster. Take US 33 East towards Logan and exit at the State Route 664 Logan/Bremen exit and turn right onto State Route 664. The Hocking Hills Welcome Center will be located on your left just south after your turn from the intersection of State Route 664 and US 33.

From the Pittsburgh area take I-279 south to I-79 Exit. Take I-79 south to I-70 west continue west on I-70 through Zanesville to the State Route 13 exit. Stay south on State Route 13. Continue on to State Route 256 and Take State Route 664 south. Take State Route 664 south to US 33. The Hocking Hills Welcome Center is located just south of the intersection of SR 664 and US 33.

From the Cleveland- Akron - Canton areas take I-77 south to Cambridge. Take I-70 west to the U.S. 37 East- Lancaster exit Follow U.S. 37 to Lancaster. Turn right onto US 22 for 4 blocks. Turn left onto U.S. 33 east. Continue on U.S. 33 to the State Route 664 at the Logan/Bremen exit. Exit at 664. Turn right and the Hocking Hills Welcome Center will be located on your left - just south of the intersection of State Route 664 and US 33.

From the Indianapolis and Dayton areas take I-70 to east to Columbus to Logan then take US Route 33 east through Lancaster. Exit at the State Route 664-Logan/Bremen exit. Turn right onto State Route 664. To get to the Laurelville area take 270 South to Route 23 South towards Circleville. In Circleville, take State Route 56 East to Laurelville. Once in the circle center of Laurelville, take the second road on your right, which continues State Route 56.

From Toledo you take I-75 South to 23 South. At 270 in Columbus stay on 270 East and then exit at Route 33 East towards Lancaster. Take US 33 east through Lancaster and exit onto State Route 664 - Logan-Bremen. Turn right onto SR 664. The Hocking Hills Welcome Center is located on your left about two car lengths after you exit from the highway.

When coming from Columbus to the Hocking Hills State Park you can take the Lancaster Business Route which leads through Memorial Drive and what was Route 33 or you can stay on the Route 33 Bypass toward Logan. The bypass will be the faster route without any traffic lights or slow speed limits. To get to the Laurelville area take 270 West. South of Columbus take 23 South towards Circleville. In Circleville, Take State Route 56 East to Laurelville. Once in the circle center of Laurelville, take the second road on your right, which continues St. Rt. 56. To Vinton County where Lake Hope, the Zaleski State Forest and the Moonville Rail Trail are located stay on State Route 33 until you see the State Route 93 South/McArthur exit. Follow the road into McArthur, about 35 minutes. When you come into town you will be facing the stop light (the only stop light in town - one of only two in the entier county.) Turn left at the traffic light on State Route 50 East. Travel approximately five minutes until you see signs pointing you to the Village of Zaleski and Lake Hope State Park on your left.