Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Dayton to Logan to Loveland to Home

Ohio. Not what typically comes to mind for a springbreak trip, but it was a perfect fit for our family.

We started with a two hour drive to Dayton to the National Museum of USAF. This is a free museum showcasing mainly airplanes from the very first airplane, through wars, and presidential planes. We spent 5 hours taking in as much as we could. We saw all the indoor planes, but skipped the outside exhibits. The kids (ages 4-9) enjoyed seeing all the various planes, but towards the end, my youngest had her fun bucket of airplanes filled. 

Next, we drove two hours southeast to Logan, OH which would be home for us for two nights as we explored Hocking Hills State Park. This place is known for its cliffs, waterfalls, recess caves, and gorges. It did not disappoint. The predicted weather was not in our favor for hiking, but we came prepared with boots and rain coats. It was just enough overcast and slight rain that rain coats were not needed.

There are 5 different parts to explore. Trails connected several of these parts. Due to the expected weather and young kids we opted for the shorter hikes at the features, but still ended up hiking 8 miles the first morning.

Old Man’s Cave was the first area we explored. It was the most popular area and we could tell by the trash left from the weekend. Old’s Man cave gave a great first impression. They made the bridges in a way that didn't take away from the view. The kids loved the recess caves and waterfalls. There were several waterfalls, rocks to climb through in this area that kept my kids hiking from one to the next. We hiked to Cedar Falls from here that was an easy/moderate hike. 

Devil's Bath
Waterfalls in the Old Man's Cave area
A few of the fun bridges
one of several cutthroughs
A short drive from Old’s Man Cave was Ash Cave. This was a free falling waterfall in a gorge. We could hike behind it which is always fun. 

One of the tallest waterfalls in Ohio - Ash Caves
 About a 12 miles from Ash Cave, we explored the Rockhouse area. The story is that outlaws used this as a hideout back in the day.  Which after seeing it, it would be an ideal place to hideout and well protected from weather. 
View from one end of the Rockhouse
After taking a break at our cabin at the state park, we headed to Conkle's Hollow Nature Preserve. Part of this trail was paved, but overall an easy hike to the waterfall. This is suppose to be one of the deepest gorges in Ohio. We opted not to do the rim trail due to impending weather. 

A fun creek crossing right before you saw the waterfalls
Conkle's Hollow Falls
The next day as we headed out, we explored Cantwell Cliffs which claims to be one of the picturesque places in the area. It was the farthest away - about 14 miles. There were two free falling waterfalls. The beginning parts of the trail were the most rugged that we hiked in the area, so needless to say my kids loved it. 

This is called the Fat Woman's Squeeze. However this is wider than the one in Natural Bridge State Park.
One of the waterfalls. This one you could walk behind it as well get close to it at the bottom. 
I loved seeing all the exposed roots on the trees and how they adapted.

We saw alot of waterfalls thanks to the wet weather recently. In the summer some of these would be but a trickle if that.

On our way home, we stopped at Loveland Castle near Cincinnati. It was $5 per person to tour the castle with our youngest being free. It was a fun stop to hear the story how one man built the castle and see the armor and swords inside. 

Several types of armor on display
Overlook from the castle. KOGT stands for Knights of the Golden Trail.
With airplanes, waterfalls, caves, and castles, my whole family got to experience and see some of their favorite things. We are already looking forward to exploring some more in Ohio soon.

Until next time....

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