Friday, September 4, 2009

Hocking Hills State Park - Part 3

Our final stop in the Hocking Hills State Park was a mixed visit. By the time we reached Cantwell Cliffs, the rain had finally come down heavily making the visit a little more difficult to get to. Despite the rain, however, there were still quite a few brave souls going to the cliffs to view the area.

As I mentioned previously, these areas are designed to maximize visits from anyone hiker or not. Much has been cleared enough to make it a little easier to get to the site though this one was probably more difficult due to some narrow cliff steps, the rain and slight mud.

What makes Cantwell Cliffs fascinating is the huge gorge that has been formed from the slow erosion of the Black Hand Sandstone from water sourced from Buck Run. Because of the rain and the huge explosion of green growth at the time I was there, it takes on a very exotic rain forest look to it with the ravine serving as a respite beneath the rock cave indent. The vastness of the erosion covered by the growth is exciting to see in person. There are trails that lead off and my brother and I tried to follow one but were stopped by fallen trees and dense undergrowth due to the rain dragging down the bushes and branches.

As I mentioned in previous posts, the main attraction is fairly easy to get to for anyone, though fewer hike the trails when accessible. As you come into the area, if you want to continue, you have to step down a very narrow rock step called the "Fat Woman's Squeeze." This leads you to the end of the gorge where the cliffs have formed an indent which proved nicely for sitting out of the rain and viewing the scene before us.

The gorge opens before us and one looks down into the valley floor covered with lush greenery. This area is more remote than the others and I need to return to it when the weather is much better and clearer.


  1. I'll have to review my sense of the area; I know there were more trails down but they seemed more obvious than what we did. Oh well...The weather has probably been ideal this past week!

  2. looks beautiful from the photo.
    Very lush if not tropical looking.