This past weekend I visited the Hocking Hills region of Ohio for the fourth time. I last visited in March and explored some cool stuff, and I wanted to expand on it on this trip. Unfortunately the rain put a damper on a lot of my hiking, but I did manage to get out to a couple of trails.
I revisited Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve, a park located in a big gorge cut by a creek running through the local Black Hand Sandstone. I hiked the 1.5 mile round-trip gorge trail, a relatively leisurely stroll compared to the 2.5 mile rim trail. At mouth of the gorge the creek empties into a small river surrounded by low topography blanketed in foliage:
The abundant wildflowers attracted a lot of butterflies like this swallowtail:
Moving up the gorge, the eastern hemlocks (Tsuga canadensis, Pinaceae) and other trees towered over the creek:
Much of the groundcover consisted of various mosses and ferns:
Going further, the high and steep rock walls drew closer and the trail became a bit more interesting:
The steep gorge walls towered over me as I approached the end of the trail:
It was at this point where the fog from the recent rain started to become apparent. It shrouded the wet foliage in an eerie mist:
The top of the gorge begins here at a waterfall that wore through weaknesses in the rock:
Looking back down the gorge from this point was a cool sight:
One more view coming back down:
Next time I need to hike the rim trail. Although much more challenging, I imagine it provides some spectacular views of the gorge from above.