The beautiful Ash Cave is an iconic place located in the amazing state of Ohio, specifically in Hocking Hills. I had always wanted to do some outdoor activity in Ohio but hadn’t really had the chance to do so. This was my day and I was able to make a short drive all the way from Columbus. By default, I tend to locate the best places to hike or discover through online suggestions. Ash cave is a very important site to view and therefore, it is one of the most concurred. It is located at a proximity to Columbus.
It was relatively easy to get to the parking site for Ash Cave. I had not anticipated it was gonna rain during the afternoon so I just decided to leave from the city with my backpack, bottle of water and camera gear. After 20 minutes of arrival, the whole place was soaking wet and it made it a tad more difficult for shooting under the sun but it also made up for a very gloomy setting. Forests and rain always make a very beautiful combination. The only thing that really bummed me was the fact that I was gonna wet my car!
As with any other park entrance, I was able to understand the trails running from that point on through the maps and location pins on the ground. Since I wasn’t planning on making a hike that would take several hours, I decided to take the smallest loop which would take like a mile in total. For shooting purposes, it is always more comfortable to encounter few or no people. I was able to picture clean shots from the area due to the presence of very few people. From the parking lot to Ash Cave, the total distance was of about 0.3 miles; nothing tiring. Along the way, a small creek provided a nice view to picture along with some ferns, shrooms and logs. It still hadn’t rained up to that point but it was very cloudy.
It is also very interesting to denote that Ash Cave is the largest recess cave in Ohio. It measures 700 feet from side to side and about 100 feet high. Now, why would they name it in such a fashion? According to records, the first settlers found huge piles of ashes at the site. It is widely speculated that the ashes appeared due to Indian campfires practiced over many years. Sticks, arrows, stalks of coarse grasses, animal bones in great variety, bits of pottery, flints and corn cobs were all revealed.
As stated previously, I was lucky enough, as a personal opinion, to visit it while it was about to rain. Somewhere from the middle, there is a small waterfall that forms and saturates the floor creating an amazing view. I “hibernated” there enjoying the view for about 45 minutes. I was able to take some nice pictures of mushrooms, small waterways, a couple of insects and of course trees. Small streams of muddy water started forming in different places due to the topography of the site.
I started the loop from left to right, left being the ground level portion and the right being the upper one. The gloomy aspect of the forest after the temperature had dropped was fantastic. Very few people were walking about that day so it all amounted to a more personal feeling altogether. Due to my lack of time, I was unable to continue the “Grandma trail” derived from on of the taller portions of the loop. Since I enjoyed the small visit to Ash cave, I wouldn’t rule out a possible return to discover the depths of the trail. Hiking is such an amazing thing to do regardless of the season. All in all, I found my visit to Ash Cave as meaningful as I had initially imagined and hope yours is too in case you ever wish to visit.