A foggy morning at Conkle’s Hollow

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:

Near the mouth of the gorge at Conkle's Hollow State Nature Preserve near Logan Ohio. Photographed 08/07/2011.

The abundant wildflowers attracted a lot of butterflies like this swallowtail:

Swallowtail butterfly (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae: Papilio sp.) photographed 08/07/2011 at Conkle's Hollow State Nature Preserve near Logan Ohio.

Moving up the gorge, the eastern hemlocks (Tsuga canadensis, Pinaceae) and other trees towered over the creek:

Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis, Pinaceae) photographed 08/07/2011 at Conkle's Hollow State Nature Preserve near Logan Ohio.

Much of the groundcover consisted of various mosses and ferns:

Mosses and ferns photographed 08/07/2011 at Conkle's Hollow State Nature Preserve near Logan Ohio.

Going further, the high and steep rock walls drew closer and the trail became a bit more interesting:

Heading up the gorge trail on 08/07/2011 at Conkle's Hollow State Nature Preserve near Logan Ohio.

The steep gorge walls towered over me as I approached the end of the trail:

Steep cliffs of Black Hand Sandstone, photographed 08/07/2011 at Conkle's Hollow State Nature Preserve near Logan Ohio.

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:

Heading up the gorge trail on 08/07/2011 at Conkle's Hollow State Nature Preserve near Logan Ohio.

The top of the gorge begins here at a waterfall that wore through weaknesses in the rock:

The top of the gorge, photographed 08/07/2011 at Conkle's Hollow State Nature Preserve near Logan Ohio.

Looking back down the gorge from this point was a cool sight:

Looking down the gorge from the top, photographed 08/07/2011 at Conkle's Hollow State Nature Preserve near Logan Ohio.

One more view coming back down:

Looking down the gorge from the top, photographed 08/07/2011 at Conkle's Hollow State Nature Preserve near Logan Ohio.

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.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Botany, Ecology, Entomology, Geology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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