And another weekend rolls around, with lots to do in the Hocking Hills. If you are visiting this weekend and want to enjoy the natural sites in some peace and quiet, get up early and get out. Summer weekends are super busy in the Hills and parking at the major sites can fill up quickly. An alternative is to go late. There’s plenty of daylight in the late afternoon and evening. However don’t start a long hike too late or you’ll be stumbling out of the park in the dark! Check out everything to do this weekend in the Hocking Hills Tourism AssocIation’s WEEKEND UPDATE.
Recently we’ve been approached by visitors looking for a pool at Marsh Hollow. The park people have been visited by people looking for the public pool at the old dining lodge. These pools do not exist. In our case, there never has been a pool at Marsh Hollow. As for the one at the lodge, when the lodge burned down the pool went away too. So no pools at these locations!
Recent interest in these pools can be traced to a blog entry I wrote in 2009 about the old pool at the now burned down lodge. I recently updated it to say that it no longer exists but apparently people are reading cached pages that have not been updated. Not sure how people translated that post into Marsh Hollow having a pool, but we never had one.
One more time: there is no public pool at the old Hocking Hills Dining lodge, which burned down about 1 1/2 years ago. There has never been a pool at Marsh Hollow.
Visitors can swim at Lake Logan, which has a public beach. If you are camping both the KOA and Hocking Hills State Park campgrounds have pools, but you must be camping there to use them. There are also public pools in Logan and Nelsonville.
One last time: there is no public pool at the old Hocking Hills Dining lodge, which burned down about 1 1/2 years ago. There has never been a pool at Marsh Hollow.
Marsh Hollow attracts the best and most talented guests. Recently, Debbie and Denny stayed with us at our beautiful Shadyside Cabin. Debbie was inspired to write a poem:
The Hocking county sheriff just announced a Level I snow emergency. There are only few inches of snow, but township roads like ours are very hilly, curvy and only slowly plowed or sanded. We are lucky to be so close to a well-maintained county road and state highway.
New snow is so beautiful. I think it adds more romance to a weekend in the Hocking Hills. It’s usually very quiet and peaceful. While I was out getting the hot tub ready for this weekend’s guests, I listened to softly played classical music on our outdoor speakers. It didn’t bother the birds at the birdfeeder at all.
Birds are extra active when snow covers the ground. They also love the corn we put out for the deer. That usually draws in the bluejays – bold, noisy critters! In the photo on the left, a male cardinal is sitting on the feeder tray. Mrs. Cardinal is not in the shot, but she’s just off to the left. On the right side of the suet cake, a male red-bellied woodpecker is ready for his snack. On the left of the suet, a tufted titmouse has his/her rear end pointed at the camera.
I took this picture through the cabin living room window. I wish I had taken my Canon Rebel with me instead of the little pocket camera. Some of our guests have taken amazing pictures of wildlife they’ve seen at the cabin. I just don’t have the skills yet.
Mary at Marsh Hollow
Dave and I have had quite a few dinners over the years at Jack’s, especially when brother Rob and sister-in-law Deb would visit. Rob loves this place, and that may be an understatement. For dinner, this is your basic, local steakhouse. Nothing fancy here, and even Rob will admit that it was better when the actual Jack owned the place. In my opinion, it has really improved since indoor smoking in restaurants was banned. I am usually not that sensitive to smoke, but this restaurant was just a haze of smoke, even the nonsmoking section. Really ruined my appetite which is hard to do. But those smokey days are long gone.
Anyway, Rob and Deb like to have breakfast at Jack’s when they are in the Hills. Since we needed to be out and about this morning, we decided to have breakfast there. In the daytime, the restaurant is a much cheerier place than at dinner time. There was a good size crowd, a mix of locals and a couple of vacationing families. Service was just a little slow, but friendly and attentive once it started. Dave and I both had steak and eggs, but while he had hash browns, I had grits. Our “breakfast steaks” were thin, but quite good. The over easy eggs were the best I’ve ever had. Perfectly runny yolk, white cooked through but not browned or lacy. We both ordered the excellent sourdough toast, but could have had white, wheat or rye.
So after all these years I have to admit my big brother is right: Jack’s Steakhouse is a great place to have breakfast in the Hocking Hills.
35770 Hocking Dr.
– Mary at Marsh Hollow
I was trying to be arty for the Shoot the Hills competition with this shot of golden ragwort along the Marsh Hollow creek. That’s the bridge to our hillside trail in the background. From April to July, visitors to the Hocking Hills will see clusters of golden ragwort plants in wet ground, low woods, swamps and meadows, and especially along our many forested roads in Hocking County.
This ragwort is native to North America and can be distinguished from a lot of look-alike plants because it blooms much earlier than they do (always helpful for us amateur wildflower enthusiasts who get excited about a wildflower find only to discover that it doesn’t bloom until August). Another helpful tip for identification is that the basal leaves are heart-shaped, long-stemmed and often reddish beneath. I had to pull away a thick layer of leaves to find this plant’s basal leaves.
WebMD has an interesting write-up about the medicinal uses of golden ragwort, which include diabetes, high blood pressure, fluid retention & pain during childbirth. After reading the side effects, especially effects on the liver, I think I’ll give it a pass.
At this time of year, Marsh Hollow has a beautiful display of wildflowers, making April and May two of the most beautiful months of the year.
The Hocking Hills Tourism Assoc, with the Hocking Hills State Park, Lake Hope State Park, and Friends of Hocking Hills, have introduced Voluntourism! One Saturday a month volunteer opportunities will be offered at either Hocking Hills State Park or Lake Hope. Intrigued? Check out the schedule at www.1800hocking.com/page1326834271.
Click on the title link to discover all the wonderful things to do in the Hocking Hills this December. Ice skating, cookie classes, parades, and much more. We’re going to try to hike the Lake Hope Holiday Trail of Lights this weekend. Note: that some events in this link are in the past. We’ll post a new link later this week.
Dave and I hiked the Ash Cave to Cedar Falls trail yesterday evening, perfect day for a late afternoon/early evening hike. We saw exactly 2 people on the trail. Well, we saw them twice, once on the way out and once on the way back, but they were still just 2 people. The forest was absolutely lovely in the late day sun, and our tranquility was complete, except for those 2 people! By the way, this trail is 3 miles long, so a total of 6 to get back to the parking area.
We were thrilled to see that the Ash Cave Fire Tower is now open to climb. It’s located on this trail, but also accessible from a parking area at the corner of State Route 374 and Chapel Ridge Road. Built in 1934, the tower is 80 feet tall and you can see far and wide from the top. We were a little concerned about the fragility of some of the platforms at the end of each flight of steps. They appear to be the original wood. While most of the steps have been replaced, it’s obvious some of the platform boards are really, really old. In fact, on the first platform, two boards have fallen or been kicked off. I’ll report to Forestry today.
FRIDAY – Talent Show at 5:30pm; Black Water Run bluegrass band at 8pm; midway opens at 6:30pm.
SATURDAY – baby contest at 10am; kid’s big wheel race at noon; midway “matinee” from 1 to 5pm – all rides are one price; Queen’s Tea at 3pm; Adelphi Community Band at 4:30pm; Grand Parade at 6pm; Ohio’s most expensive cake auction at 9pm; square dancing at 9:45pm; Rt 56 & 180 in Laurelville.
We love the fish fry and will visit for multiple meals. And the local church ladies have a pie booth with the best pies ever. Buy by the slice or a whole pie.