February 8, 2015

Impressive Ice

Although we are having a bit of a thaw this weekend, central Ohio has had some real winter weather lately. The Hocking Hills, about an hour southeast of Columbus, is a great place to hike in winter, with its impressive sandstone cliffs lining deep hollows. In addition to the large hollows in Hocking Hills State Park, many others are worth visiting. I've written about various adventures in this area in several other posts, but each visit is a little different. 

One day last week we accompanied several friends to a couple of hollows that featured beautiful hemlock forests and dramatic frozen waterfalls. In the morning we were in an area that gets a fair amount of sun, and the ice was starting to melt. As we hiked, we heard the sound of crashing ice on the other side of the hollow before we saw any along our path--fair warning to be very careful as we made our way along the shear walls.

Soon enough we could see some beautiful ice formations:

We were able to safely hike behind some of the hanging ice for a different perspective:

This formation seemed quite delicate:

In the afternoon we hiked up a hollow that doesn't get as much sun, a fact which was dramatically illustrated by the top to bottom ice formation:

I've included some people in these pictures to give an idea of the size of the cliffs and the iced waterfalls. Many equally dramatic hollows can be found throughout the Hocking Hills--it is worth the time to go exploring during any season of the year!

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