The rain started around 4:30am. I woke up around eight and around ten decided to go back to bed. When I woke up around noon, the rain had stopped. We headed to the main campground to charge my phone a bit and brush my teeth.
I was heading back to Old Man's Cave to finish the trail where I had left off the day before. I followed the trail for the most part. After awhile I found an old trail blocked off, obviously I explore. Then I followed what I thought was a trail, either way it took me to some beautiful caves and waterfalls. One of them rather hidden, I stripped down and took a shower. Would have felt better in the summer but refreshing none the less.
This area is truly beautiful, I could totally just set up in one of the caves here. I headed back to the trail and followed it around to a huge waterfall. At this point the sun had begun to set, we had been hiking for some time. The trail led us back to Rose Lake, through the main campground and out to the primitive campground. It was late and everything still wet from earlier so I skipped the fire, made dinner and turned in.
It was a great two days of just exploring Hocking Hills State Park. An awesome and beautiful area.
Saturday morning I woke up and began packing my things. I headed up to the main campground to charge my phone and get water. I eventually got moving around noon. I walked down the trail, far more crowded today and made my way past Cedar Falls and into Ash Cave. Just before the cave is a huge fire tower, hella scary up there.
The trail descends into Ash Cave, a massive outcropping with a beautiful cascading waterfall. I left the Ash Cave area and the trail follows a road for a while. I took a rest at Chestnut Grove Church and ate lunch. While resting I spotted a dicarded American Flag. I wrote on it and added it to my pack.
Not long after the road turns to trail, thanks to the BTA it was free of leaves and easy to navigate. This area of the trail is called Pretty Run, forty acres purchased by the Buckeye Trail Association. There's a cabin and campground on the property. As I passed the cabin a few guys from the BTA were outside. They recognized me from the picture posted to the BTA Facebook page from when I stopped at Harrop House. They gave me a cold gatorade and pointed me in the direction of the campground. It was a hot day and that gatorade was so cold and refreshing. Thanks guys.
I made it to the campground, set up my tent and built a fire. Fixed up some dinner and not long after I was sound asleep.
Sunday morning I left the campground around eleven. We saw our first snake on the trail leaving Pretty Run. All black, he just watched us pass. After Pretty Run you come to a section of trail that a very long time ago used to be forest roads. They are not maintained and go no where in particular. They have fallen into such disrepair that the only people using them are people on atvs, four wheel drive lifted trucks/jeeps (I saw a bunch go by the day before) and trail hikers. The creek once adjacent the road has over taken the road and the road itself now a low creek with steep banks on either side. In the areas where the road has not been taken over by creek is so muddy with tire tracks. Up a couple giant hills of this was not fun.
Finally through that I emerge out onto an Amish farm. Side note: the temperature is eighty degrees, I only have a shirt and my short/mid thigh jogging shorts on. Being Sunday, the whole family is hanging out on the property, children playing in the creek. Past a few homes and I enter a trail through Tar Hollow Forest. This trail was a beast, I had a very uphill day. I make it to the fire tower in the State Park, where my guide book says there is camping. Unfortunately, I'm all out of water. I pull up a map and follow the red blazes to Pine Lake. There is a campground there with water. Thirty minutes later I reach the campground and the water is still turned off. I collected seven liters of lake water and purified it. Gathered firewood, set up my tent, ate dinner and toasted marshmallows.
It's going to rain tomorrow, so I'm going to try and find a more direct route to Londonderry to pick up my mail.
Thank you readers.