Hocking Hills is a beautiful place to visit any time of year, but spring is especially special. The wildflowers are in bloom, the waterfalls are flowing, and the birds are singing. Here are some of the best places to see spring wildflowers in Hocking Hills:
Where to see spring wildflowers
- Ash Cave: Ash Cave is a large recess cave that is home to a variety of wildflowers, including Virginia bluebells, columbines, and wild geraniums.
- Old Man’s Cave: Old Man’s Cave is another popular spot for wildflower viewing. Here, you can find wildflowers such as trillium, trout lily, and spring beauty.
- Cedar Falls: Cedar Falls is a beautiful waterfall that is surrounded by wildflowers, including purple coneflower, black-eyed Susan, and blazing star.
- Conkle’s Hollow: Conkle’s Hollow is a deep gorge that is home to a variety of wildflowers, including Dutchman’s breeches, jack-in-the-pulpit, and mayapple.
- Rock House: Rock House is a natural rock formation that is home to a variety of wildflowers, including columbine, Virginia bluebells, and wild geraniums.
In addition to these popular spots, there are many other places to see spring wildflowers in Hocking Hills. Just be sure to keep your eyes peeled and you’re sure to find some beautiful blooms. In fact, Marsh Hollow Cabins is hosting a variety of flowers today (April 26): spring beauties, mayapple (not blooming yet but foliage is abundant), wild geranium, hepatica, violets, both purple and white, large trillium, bluets and more!
For more information about where to go and what to see, visit the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Wildflowers web site.
How to enjoy
Here are some tips for enjoying the spring wildflowers in Hocking Hills:
- Visit in the spring (April-May). This is when the wildflowers are in bloom. But the Fall also has some gorgeous color, especially asters and goldenrod.
- Don’t forget that trees also have flowers in the spring. Tulip poplars have large yellow/orange blooms. The pawpaw tree has dark, inconspicuous flowers that are easy to overlook.
- Wear comfortable shoes. You’ll be doing some hiking!
- Bring a camera. You’ll want to capture all of the beauty.
- Be respectful of the wildflowers.
- Don’t pick them or trample on them.
Writing this post gave me the opportunity to look back at a wildflower post I wrote in 2007. My goodness time flies.
Enjoy the beauty of nature!
Mary at Marsh Hollow
Although it would have been interesting to photograph any wildflowers brave enough to pop up through the snow, I haven’t been too inspired to go on any wildflower walks in the chilly April we’ve been having. However, things have warmed up nicely and our fields are filling up with dandelions, spring beauties, violets and bluets. Up in the woods, the May apples are sprouting everywhere although they won’t bloom until May.
On today’s brief walk along the creek, I saw countless spring beauties and cut-leaved toothworts. The trout lilies are up too. I like their nickname: adder’s tongue.
Rue anemone are not quite as numerous, at least yet. Their creamy white “petals” are actually sepals. They can have 6-10 of these “petals.”
The photo at the top of this page is a spring beauty. They are everywhere, with colors ranging from white to almost purple. Deer must not like to eat them as opposed to our domesticated lily leaves which must be a favorite deer snack.
John, our operations manager, went morel hunting yesterday. He’s got a patch he’s watching closely. Hocking County will get a lot of rain today and tomorrow, with further warming, so they ought to start sprouting like crazy later this week. Happy hunting, John!
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.
I’ve seen a lot more flowers since my last posting, here are the few I’ve taken the time to try to identify:
- Daisy fleabane
- Garlic mustard
- Lady’s slipper
- Perfoliate bellwort
And a strangely colored violet, mottled white and purple – haven’t figure out what it is yet.
Friends Beth & Chuck recently hiked through the Rock House area to enjoy spring wildflowers. They report that trillium, jack-in-th-pulpit, Dutchman’s-breeches and many others are on full display. I’ll have to get over there.
In the meantime, I hiked into the woods behind our house (same woods our Marsh Hollow cabin is near) and found the following beauties today:
- Common blue violet
- Cut-leaved toothwort
- Golden ragwort
- Hispid buttercup
- May-apple (not blooming yet, but getting ready)
- Poor man’s pepper
- Rue anemone
- Smooth phlox
- Smooth yellow violet
- Spring beauty
- Sweet white violet
- White trillium
I can only hope I got the names right because I’m using the 1968 edition of A Field Guide to Wildflowers of Northeastern and North-central North America by Roger Tory Peterson and Margaret McKenny. Things can change in that amount of time.