2009-01-03 / News

Popular winter hike is set for Jan. 17

HOCKING HILLS - Hocking Hills State Park is famous for its brilliant autumn colors and is gaining notoriety for its equally exquisite winter landscape. Hikers and nature lovers will enjoy the park's rugged beauty during the 44th Annual Winter Hike on January 17, 2009.

Hundreds of outdoor enthusiasts and their families will bundle up, rain or shine (or snow), to hike the six-mile trail between Old Man's Cave and Ash Cave at Hocking Hills State Park. Hikers may arrive at the Old Man's Cave parking lot starting at 9 a.m. and tour groups will depart continuously until 11 a.m. The hike takes approximately five hours. Transportation from Ash Cave to Old Man's Cave will be provided by park officials.

"I've hiked the trail numerous times and each time it looks different. The scenic wonders of Hocking Hills have a striking beauty after being touched by winter's hand," said Dan West, chief of Ohio State Parks. "The Winter Hike is a great opportunity for people with cabin fever to get out - with kids and cameras in tow - to explore the natural world."

Hikers are reminded to dress for the weather. Layer clothing, including socks, and don't forget hats, gloves, boots and scarves.

Logan Kiwanis Club will help warm hikers with a hearty bean soup and cornbread lunch at Cedar Falls, mid-way point of the hike. Logan Lions Club will serve coffee, cocoa and doughnuts at Ash Cave. Donations are encouraged for the refreshments.

For those who plan to overnight and rest in the comforts of Hocking Hills State Park's vacation cottages on January 16, there will be a naturalist-led program and refreshments in the park's dining lodge, near Old Man's Cave. Doors open Friday at 5:30 p.m. for the 6 p.m. program.

To make a reservation for a Hocking Hills State Park cottage or one of Ohio's other state park cottages or locations, visit www. ohiostateparks.org.

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