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

 

Old Man’s Cave is now open!

Ohio State Parks logo in stone

Old Man’s Cave, part of the Hocking Hills State Park, has reopened! Many thanks to the Park staff for working so hard to get all of the trails open.

Please wear ice spikes/cleats and carry a hiking stick as these trails can still be very dangerous. Speaking from experience, the tunnels, steps and bridges are particularly challenging when there’s ice.

Do you want to see any of Hocking County’s amazing ice formations, check out our AMAZING last minute specials at https://www.marsh-hollow.com.

Mary at Marsh Hollow

More Hocking Hills State Park trails open

From Ohio State Parks:

🥾 TRAIL UPDATE 🥾 Thanks to our hard working staff and mother nature, many trails in the Hocking Hills region have reopened! Those include the trails at Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve as well as Cedar Falls, Rock House, and Ash Cave in Hocking Hills State Park.
The only trails/areas remaining closed at this time are:
• Cantwell Cliffs (all areas closed)
• Old Man’s Cave (trails to the cave and along the gorge from Upper Falls to Cedar Falls remain closed)
• Whispering Cave (part of Old Man’s Cave)
• The Rim Trail from Cedar Falls to Rose Lake
• The fisherman’s parking lot will also remain closed
If you intend to hike in the region, we urge CAUTION as some trails may still be slippery and Yaxtrax or ice spikes are STRONGLY recommended. Stay safe!
The scenery will be stunning, but please be careful out there!
Mary at Marsh Hollow

Hocking Hills State Park closed due to ice

From the Hocking Hills State Park:

🚨SAFETY ALERT 🚨 Hocking Hills State Park is closed until further notice due to unsafe trail conditions. Visitors are asked to not enter the park for any reason.

We are keeping a close eye on conditions and will get the park back open and let you know just as soon as it’s safe!

Note from Mary at Marsh Hollow: Rangers are issuing tickets to hikers who disregard the closure.

Some Hocking Hills State Park sites to open Feb 11

Update from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources: “Areas of the park (Hocking Hills State Park) will open intermittently beginning February 11th. Hocking Hills Visitor Center and Camp Store will reopen February 11th. State Route 374 is currently closed to the public, as are Cedar Falls and Ash Cave.” (02-09-2022).

We are now open with power restored and our cabins are warm and cozy. It’s still pretty icy in the Hills even with these warmer days.

If you have any questions, please contact John by email at john@marsh-hollow.com or by phone/text at 614-499-8205.

Mary at Marsh Hollow

Last minute specials

We already have low rates during weekdays, but my goodness – we have some great last minute specials for next week that will blow your socks off.

Just go to www.marsh-hollow.com and you will see them under our main photo.

Don’t blow the budget for your vacation rental. Seriously, check out our last minute specials! It’s a winter wonderland. 

Mary at Marsh Hollow

Don’t let a crowded parking lot scare you

Conkles Hollow gorge trail

A couple of weekends ago, October 31, 2021, to be precise, we decided to hike the Conkles Hollow gorge trail with visiting friends. We started out around 11 am from our home, which is about 4.5 miles from Conkles Hollow. The weather was fine at that time and the parking lot was crowded when we arrived. There was a person on duty directing parking, which we found very helpful. From the beginning of our hike to the end, there were very few people on the gorge trail – a very pleasant surprise. Perhaps they were all up on the rim trail. All we know is that the parking lot promised a crowded trail, but the reality was blissful peace. It felt like we had the place to ourselves.

By the end of our hike it began to lightly rain, but by then it was time for our planned lunch at Grandma Faye’s, a Hocking Hills landmark. We ate outside on the covered porch. Everything we ordered was delicious. After that, we attempted to start the trail to the base of Big Spring falls at the rappelling area, but trail conditions were muddy and the rain decided to be serious at that point. So we drove home, had some hot chocolate and watched some football.

As I end this little post, it’s snowing outside, 35 F, at 12:30 pm, on Sunday, November 14, 2021.

Mary at Marsh Hollow

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:

Mary at Marsh Hollow

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.