Author: Ashleigh (Page 1 of 33)
Hocking Hills State Park is a geological gem in southeast Ohio. As someone who has spent a fair amount of time in Ohio over the years, this area does not feel like Ohio. It felt like a cross between the Pictured Rocks area in the Upper Peninsula and Natural Bridge in Kentucky. Paths and hiking trails weave through sandstone rock formations and around waterfalls to stunning, sometimes otherworldly, vistas. The park is full of towering sandstone cliffs, caves, and amazing waterfalls.
There is an experience at Hocking Hills for all abilities and interests from a leisurely stroll to a more rigorous hike. The trails to Ash Cave, Cedar Falls, and Conkle’s Hollow are easy, paved, and have rewarding views at the end. Old Man’s Cave (featured above) is a little more difficult with some beautiful bridges to cross and carved sandstone steps. We hiked Old Man’s Cave during a drizzle and it felt all encompassing and surreal. Rock House was the most challenging hike we did. It involved climbing narrow, boulder-like steps to an amazing cave-like rock formation that once was a hideaway for bandits. If you are even more adventurous, Cantwell Cliffs and The Hemlock Bridge Trail are more longer, more challenging trails with many steps leading to unique locations in the park. If you are looking to make a full day out of hiking, the Grandma Gatewood Trail connects a lot of the sites so you don’t even need a car to see them all.
During our time in Hocking Hills, we stayed in the Old Man’s Cave Family Campground Hike-in Sites. The hike-in sites are outside of the main campground at the mountain bike trailhead. The sites are fairly well spread out and most of them have a good deal of privacy. The four sites closest to the parking lot are first come first serve and the farthest site back is a good .8 mile walk from the parking lot with many sites in between. The path to the hike-in sites is gravel and a wagon is an easy way to transport your gear to your site. Even though the hike-in sites are separate from the main campground, hke-in campers are given main campground privileges such as use of the shower house and pool. I would definitely recommend the hike-in sites to tent campers that don’t require an electrical hookup because the sites at the main campground are very close together and lack privacy.
For more information about the Hocking Hills Area, stay tuned to the blog and visit HockingHills,com. Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
Its that time of the year where school is out and vacation planning and weekend getaways are in full swing. This summer, we are planning a road trip out to Acadia National Park in Maine. I was super excited to see that my library (pictured above – See how I made that photo fit this post? Clever, right?) has several tour books for Acadia so I didn’t have to shell out the money for them right now. I have seen some gorgeous photos from Acadia so I am super excited to be able to capture some of the iconic views myself!
Since this is a road trip, we are also stopping in Boston and Watkins Glen, New York. Chris wants to make a stop in Salem as well. I am looking forward to getting immersed in some early American history like on last year’s vacation. What’s in Watkin’s Glen? A beautiful state park I have seen many pictures of and I have wanted to visit for years. Its a park that is full of picturesque waterfalls and stunning gorges! I hope that it lives up to my expectations. I’m also hoping to be able to stop at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art which has been on my list since I first heard about it.
As always, when planning road trips, I love Furkot. It helps me space out my stops and makes it so I am not too ambitious with my daily mileage (which happened on our first road trip). Be sure to stay tuned to the blog for recaps of the trip when I return!
Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com and sign up for our newsletter!
Over the stifling hot Memorial Day Weekend, we headed out for a hike in the Loda Lake Wildflower Sanctuary in the Manistee National Forest near White Cloud. This is the only wildflower sanctuary in the National Forest system and is a joint project with the Federated Garden Clubs of Michigan. This is a bit of a hidden gem. There is not much about it on the internet so before visiting, I didn’t know what to expect. Even though it is advertised as having flowers all season long, there weren’t many blooms on our visit. The brochure says that Pink Lady Slippers, Pitcher Plants, Jewelweed, and Bergamot can all by spotted in the sanctuary. I want to come back later in the summer with hope of seeing more color.
The park is also home to some rural Michigan history. In the late 1800s, the Pere Marquete Railway Company harvested most of the area’s timber and then sold the land to railroad stockholders. Frederick Hanson bought the land but didn’t see any value in it until a family friend convinced him that the land could be successfully farmed using scientific methods. After farming the land for several years, Hanson built a summer home and servant’s quarters on the property. Hanson’s son-in-law, Albert Schmidt, an artist from Paris, inadvertently caused the Hansons to miss their departure on the Titanic. As a thank you, Hanson built Schmidt a studio on the property where Schmidt painted many scenes of Loda Lake.
Thanks for stopping by! If I have piqued your interest and you want to explore this under the radar park, visit the National Forest Service. A $5 entrance fee is required. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
Road construction sure made it difficult to visit Midland’s famed three way footbridge known as The Tridge. The Tridge crosses the junction of the Tittabawassee and Chippewa Rivers. We were heading home from Up North and our usual route was full of construction, so we changed it up and took I-75. Midland’s visitor’s bureau must’ve shelled out a lot of money for ads, because I swear I had been seeing nonstop photos of this place and I really wanted to check it out. Once we got off the interstate, this is where things got tricky. There’s a saying that there are two seasons in Michigan: winter and construction. It really seemed true this weekend. Both the GPS and the street signs really wanted us to knock down some barricades to get to this famed bridge. After making several u-turns we finally looked at a map and figured out another way to go. After all, The Tridge has three ends, there has to be more than one way to get to it. We did eventually find a place to park and discovered the pictures I had been seeing really didn’t show how busy this place could be on a Sunday afternoon. I’m surprised I was able to take a photo without a ton of people in it. All-in-all, it made for an interesting photo subject and a great place to get out and stretch our legs. If you are in the Midland area, The Tridge is definitely worth a visit, just make sure you know several ways to get there, just in case.
Thank you for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
For the second year in a row we made our first trip to Ludington for the season on Mother’s Day. It is nice to spend time in our favorite park before the summertime crowds descend. We hiked the lighthouse trail and for the first half or so we didn’t see any other people. Walking through the Pines campground before it has opened for the season is much easier than having to dodge kids on bikes and people playing corn hole in the road. The weather was sunny and warm and was perfect for the 1.8 mile hike each way.
A trip to Ludington would not be complete without a visit to House of Flavors for a scoop of ice cream. If you are ever in town, you have to check this place out. I highly recommend their Michigan Pothole that comes with chunks of chocolate asphalt. Yum.
For more information about House of Flavors and they’re delicious ice cream, check out HouseofFlavorRestaurants.com. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.