I am fortunate to live close to several Ohio State Parks but have struggled to get outside this winter. Rain, cold, early darkness, my busy life and occasional laziness have largely kept me inside.
This week I’ve been dying to breathe some fresh air and stretch my legs. There’s nothing like a hike to clear the mind and help reframe troubles into something better.
So I headed out to Old Mans Cave in the famed Hocking Hills yesterday. There were flurries in the air and it wasn’t quite thirty degrees but proper layers kept me warm enough. Unfortunately, the entire park was basically a sheet of ice. There’s no preparing for that.
I hiked about 2.25 miles and didn’t fall despite the fact I was wishing for ice skates most of the way.
It was a short hike but quite challenging and indescribably beautiful. I’m glad I went and was equally glad to get out safely.
People often say they don’t like winter hiking because of the cold and I’ll never understand that. Despite the cold and ice, yesterday’s hike was far more pleasant than the hot, humid ones of summer in Ohio.
If you’ve never done it, my advice is to layer up and plan to reward yourself with some pancakes afterward like I did!