Hiking Conkles Hollow Rim Trail & Rappelling Area

Conkles Hollow Rim Trail

Dave and I always start each new year with a hike along the Conkles Hollow State Nature Preserve’s rim trail. From the parking lot, it’s about a 3 mile hike, but the rim trail is only about 2 miles around. The climb up is steep, but once you’re up top, it’s pretty flat. However, the trail is quite close to the cliff edge, so you need to hike with care. I asked my daughter when she was going to take her children. She answered, “when they’re adults.”

We hiked on January 2 in the afternoon. The parking lot had plenty of cars but was not filled up. We were delighted that the rim trail was not crowded. We probably saw a total of 10 people. To achieve social distancing, in 2020, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources made this trail one way around. You must climb up the east rim side, then exit from the west rim side. We prefer to hike it the other way around, but this small change is not a big deal.

Buckeye Trail around the rappelling area

Table Rock

Table Rock

On January 8, we decided to hike another favorite of ours. I wrote about it in 2017 (Along the Buckeye Trail – Table Rock), but this time we didn’t hike as far. It was a Friday afternoon, and again the trail was almost all ours. We saw a total of three other hikers, plus two who were starting as we left. Similar to Conkles Hollow, the trail requires a climb up, but once up, it’s pretty flat. this is also a horse trail, but the horse trail splits off and returns once past the tricky parts. Note that this is also a part of the Buckeye Trail, so just follow the blue blazes. Oh, and parts of it can be quite wet year round. I am hopeful we will continue hiking weekly during the winter because  it’s so nice to have private time in the forest.

Some other photos of these hikes:

Hiking trails in the Hocking Hills State Park to open

Inside Rock House

The Hocking Hills State Park & Forest hiking trails are currently closed. However, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources recently issued a press release announcing that Rock House and Cantwell Cliffs will re-open on June 15. This week, ODNR announced that  their goal is to open Old Man’s Cave, Cedar Falls, Ash Cave and connecting trails by July 2. Trails are being reconfigured for one-way hiking to help achieve social distancing in our very popular park.

Our advice for avoiding crowds while you are hiking:

  1. Visit during the week
  2. Go to the Park early or late in the day. Day trippers arrive around 11 but leave in the afternoon, around 4. This is not a hard and fast rule, but it works for us.
  3. Visit the Hocking Hills during the off season, generally November through February.

As you can imagine, we are very excited about the Park re-opening!

Happy trails to you,

Mary at Marsh Hollow

P.S. You can volunteer to help reconfigure the hiking trails. E-mail Karen Raymore, Hocking Hills Tourism Association at kraymore@explorehockinghills.com for information.

COVID-19 Update May 5, 2020

in this together ohio sign with manager and kids

#inthistogetherohio

We have developed Marsh Hollow Guidelines for COVID-19 which describe how we plan to keep our guests, staff and community safe during this outbreak. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions about our plans.

It’s been a  busy week getting ready to re-open our cabins, which we did on May 4. One “keep safe” strategy we are using through May is to leave 30 hours between guests checking out and new guests checking in. We think it’s a good thing to do but it does wreak havoc on the schedule, especially when working with existing reservations. It will be nice to get to a new normal, hopefully in June.

The Hocking Hills State Park and Forest remains closed. As mentioned in an earlier post, the Hocking Hills Tourism Association has developed a helpful COVID-19 Info page which isn’t about the disease but rather all the great stuff there is still to do around the Hocking Hills even with the Park closed. It also includes a list of various restaurants which provide food service, either carry-out, drive-through or delivery. FYI, most delivery services are based in Logan and do not delivery to Marsh Hollow. Restaurants in Laurelville, our closest village, do not deliver. The nice folks at Hockinghills.com (thank you, Finn), our listing service and reservation system, developed a print-friendly version of the restaurant list.

Almost every day, we read about other Hocking Hills services and activities that are making plans to open up. Today, we learned that the Hocking Hills Canoe Livery hopes to open May 29!

Stay safe and wash your hands!

Mary at Marsh Hollow

 

The Hocking Hills State Park is closed (but we are still opening May 4)

Hiker in small cave

As you plan your vacation during COVID-19 times, please note that the Hocking Hills State Park and Forest are closed indefinitely. Best guess is that they will re-open in mid-May. However, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has not confirmed any details. No matter how many times you ask them.

But, not to worry! The Hocking Hills Tourism Association has developed a great web page to help you find nearby natural areas to explore. In addition, the page includes a comprehensive list of restaurants that offer take-out dining, as well as some activities that are not closed. Yes, you can still go horseback riding. Check it out at: https://www.explorehockinghills.com/covid-19-info/.

Long ago, we blazed a loop trail, with a couple of spur trails, through our woods. It’s a great workout through our hilly terrain. Along the way you will see a little fairy house, beautiful bridge over our creek, and several large rabbits, who stand mysteriously still.

Be well, stay safe, and wash your hands,

Mary at Marsh Hollow

 

COVID-19 Update: we are reopening on May 4

perfoliate bellwort
The Hocking County Health Commissioner has approved the reopening of rental cabins beginning May 4, 2020. We are accepting reservations! The Health Department is going to provide COVID-19 prevention guidelines. However, we already have a good start on how we plan to keep our guests, our family and our community safe. One way to manage our extra sanitation procedures is to allow at least 24 hrs between reservations. Today, our Operations Manager John worked with our guests to move reservations around a bit to make this possible. Their cooperation was immensely helpful. We are hopeful that we will only have to do this in May, but are prepared to continue on if needed.
 
We do not yet know when the Hocking Hills State Park and Forest will reopen. ODNR is not ready to say anything official yet. However, guests will receive a list of nearby parks, forests and nature preserves that are open. Plus we have our own hiking trail for the private use of our guests.
Stay safe, keep your distance and wash your hands. Stay tuned!

Guest journal entry at Pinewood Cabin

hot tub guest journal

While we remain closed through May 1 per Ohio’s and Hocking County’s stay at home orders, I’ve had time to look through our guest journals. Now that John is our operations manager, I don’t stop by the cabins often. I was going to write a blog post, pulling out some of my favorites, but this one from March 22, right before we closed, thoroughly enchanted me. And I think our guests were under a bit of a spell as well:

3/22/20

We had a most lovely weekend here at the cabin.

A sasquatch tried to get into the hot tub with us but we were able to scare it away with the help of some enchanted dice that we acquired from a minotaur that we met while exploring Old Man’s Cave.

Will definitely be back! 5 stars !!!

Z & R

I think Z & R truly enjoyed Pinewood Cabin, its hot tub pictured above, and all that the Hocking Hills offers. I truly enjoyed this guest journal entry!

Hoping you will visit soon and leave an equally entertaining entry,

Mary at Marsh Hollow

Ohio Department of Health Stay at Home Order [updated through May 1]

UPDATED: The Ohio and Hocking County “stay at home” orders have been extended through May 1.

In accordance with the Ohio Department of Health “stay at home” order to curb the spread of the corona virus, Marsh Hollow Cabins will close from midnight today, March 23, until midnight April 6, 2020. We are in the process of contacting guests who have reservations for this period. We will offer them the opportunity to change their reservation, or to receive a refund of their deposits. However we are still open to accept new reservations outside of this time frame because we will get through this!

Call John at 614-499-8205 or email john@marsh-hollow.com if you have any questions.  And click on BOOK NOW to check availability for your next Marsh Hollow  vacation.

Stay safe, keep your distance and wash your hands!

Mary at Marsh Hollow

Corona virus outbreak: keeping our guests safe

bottles and canisters of Lysol products

Amid the current atmosphere of uncertainty regarding the corona virus outbreak, we would like to take a minute to let you know what measures we are taking to ensure your safe and restful stay at our cabins.  If you have stayed with us before, you are already aware that cleanliness is one of our top priorities. We are taking a few additional steps. First, we will provide hand sanitizer and antibacterial/antiviral cleaning wipes in all cabins for your use. Second, our cleaning staff will be wiping down all metal and plastic surfaces and high touch items (e.g. door handles/knobs)  with disinfectant wipes as a final step in the cleaning process.

A relaxing vacation, with lots of time in the outdoors and fresh air, may be just what you need in this stressful time. If you already have any questions about your upcoming stay, please do not hesitate to contact John at john@marsh-hollow.com or at 614-499-8205

Last minute specials even on Valentines Day

A blank list titled this year I will

Did your New Year’s resolutions include enjoying nature more? Here’s a great opportunity to visit the Hocking Hills at a lower cost. Throughout the entire year, we offer last minute specials. Right now, if you have a little flexibility, you can book Thursday, February 13 and Friday, February 14 at a 20% discount at The Cottage!

Please call 740-499-8205 to book your last minute reservation.

Mary at Marsh Hollow