When we arrived at Hocking Hills state park around 9:30am, it was in the low 50’s and slightly rainy. Seeing as we had already dealt with one peed bed, two spilled drinks, one mashed banana and cereal thrown all over the hotel dining area just that morning, we decided tackling this would be no problem.
We were the only ones when we started our journey and thought the best place to start would be a potty break and then checking the maps. My oldest son loved checking the maps and planning our route. He had gotten binoculars from our Toledo zoo stop as a souvenir, so he was confident in seeing any obstacles along our path.
Notice the tiger striped binoculars? This kid was thinking ahead with his souvenir purchase!
We wanted to tackle Old Man’s Cave first. I had done a little research on my good friend google while planning this stop, and discovered that this is one of the most popular paths. It is only about half a mile from the visitors center which makes it a perfect walk for kids.
The trail was gorgeous.
It wasn’t long before we arrived at old man’s cave. I have never personally seen a larger cliff and it was amazing.
The kids (and adults) proceeded to try to squeeze in between rocks.
After exploring the cave, we left to go find some waterfalls. There are so many beautiful bridges throughout the park as well.
We visited the lower and upper falls. I had little miss in the carrier wrapped with a blanket, so she was very content. The boys were loving exploring this amazing place so we decided to see as much as we could.
This was the point we were supposed to walk back to the visitor center and get into our car. The kids were still going strong and the hubs and I loved all of the natural beauty, so we stopped and thought for a moment. We came to the conclusion that there was no need to leave if we didn’t have to (screaming child, whining children, starving children) so we went down the next path we found.
Spontaneity and flexibility are key when traveling with children. The next area that we came to was just as beautiful if not more beautiful than old mans cave and the falls. If we would’ve tried to stick to our original plan we would have never discovered the gems on this path.
I am pretty sure I told the hubs this place is mystical after viewing this.
The hubs carried the boys over the stream to check out some smaller caves on the other side of the path. I’m normally nervous to do these things, but how could you not?!
Just some good ole cave fun
We found a natural whirlpool after the caves and then our journey was nearly finished.
The kids were starting to get tired after walking nearly 4 miles and we were near the visitors center, so we knew our time was up. We headed back reluctantly but we were so grateful for all of the new memories. I highly highly recommend trying this state park. It is truly gorgeous and unforgettable!
A nice couple offered to take a family picture. Don’t you love it when people do that?
We made another potty break before getting into the car and then got each kid situated. They all got a fresh drink, snack, and a new movie. Everyone napped on the way to our next adventure: Lost World Caverns in Lewisburg, West Virginia. Read my upcoming post for details on our cavern adventure.
What are your favorite places to hike with kids?