Freelance outdoors writer Tom Lounsbury documents his return visit to the Hocking Hills area of southeastern Ohio


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After visiting the Hocking Hills of southeastern Ohio with family members last spring, I vowed that I would return at the first opportunity because there is a whole lot to do and we had hardly scratched the surface.

Hocking Hills is located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and offers amazing geological features, including a wide variety of caves, gullies and canyons, carved out by glaciers eons ago. It is very clearly a nature lover’s paradise with a multitude of outdoor pastimes to pursue, such as hiking, birdwatching, canoeing/kayaking/tubing, horseback riding and zip-lining, to just name a few, as well as quite unique places to visit.

I am always amazed by the fact that, after traveling quite a ways through Ohio’s relatively flat farm country, you suddenly encounter an abrupt change in the terrain and atmosphere as you approach Hocking Hills. The roads quickly go up, down and all around as they wind their way through very scenic and forested hills.

It also pays to have a map to help locate your destination, because getting a cell signal can become spotty, and that smartphone voice telling you how far to travel and where to turn can suddenly become mute, and for quite a while.

My wife, Ginny, and I had the wonderful opportunity to return to Hocking Hills recently for four days of new adventures. Our destination was Logan, Ohio, which is the main hub for Hocking Hills, and our first stop was the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center, where we obtained the necessary maps and brochures of the places we planned to visit during our stay.

Right next door to the Welcome Center is the Pencil Sharpener Museum, and Ginny and I have both been around long enough that we can well remember having some of those “vintage” sharpeners in school. It was definitely a nostalgic moment for the two of us.

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