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Hocking Hills State Park….so many waterfalls!

March 2022

I had come across an article about Hocking Hills in a travel magazine while planning our adventures and the photos of waterfalls blew me away _ I had to check them out. We were there in mud season as March is most places but it was still spectacular. We had a site in the state park campground under off season conditions - no pool open, no programs - but that was fine with us. The closest trail goes along a streambed past “Old Man’s Cave“ and to a waterfall. After an initial foray later in the week I painted in the stream and also at the waterfall.

On other days we went to Rock House, Cedar Falls and Conkle’s Hollow. At every trail there was a system set up to funnel hikers in a one way loop, I presume an invention of covid times. It was genius - it kept the traffic flow from feeling over crowded, it was far easier to walk the dogs that way rather than hikers coming at us to pass and increased the feeling of a private wonderland. Rock House started with a stroll along the top of cliffs, took us down a narrow steep cliff to the ledge with the cave (“house”) where we could take a little stroll inside and down to the forest floor to look up at waterfalls and follow the stream before climbing out.

Conkle’s Hollow was a pleasant stroll along a stream into a slot canyon waterfall. I was taunted by the poster that described how, in April, numerous wildflowers would start blanketing the floor beneath the greening of mountain laurel…but it was still lovely in muddy March.

Cedar Falls we took on on a weekend day with more hiking traffic. I stopped to paint so I had frequent visitors. I love when children stop who like art - one little girl painted a rock in when I asked if she wanted to - her brother declined. The falls there were spectacular but shared with quite a few. That is the scene in the lead photo. I found that I bit off too many details for my scene for such a crowded spot where I was often distracted as well as changing light so that painting remains an unfinished exercise.

We loved the hilly, rocky, stream filled area - every hike brought surprises. Hopefully we’ll get back some day in later spring!

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