Hocking Hills, OH – August 2015 – Zip Lines & Canoeing

The following day we decided to go to the Hocking Hills for a day of adventure. On the way down we debated if we should go canoeing or do ziplines. Eventually, we decided on Zip Lines

I had read about the two places there that have Zip Lines and decided on a placed called Soaring Cliffs, primarily because it is the the only zipline tour in the the Hocking Hills that does not use hand braking as a means of slowing yourself down and stopping at the end of the line.

This tour also prides itself on being the only zipline tour to zip from landform to landform without having to climb stairs to platforms. So, not only were we able to focus on nature and the fun of zipping and not have to worry about breaking, we didn’t need to climb loads of stairs to get out next one. At one point we were zipping almost 150 feet of the forest floor but, because of the way each zipline was built, we only noticed the beauty and not the height.

2015 08 23 89 Soaring Cliffs Ziplines.JPG

The staff at Soaring Cliffs are impeccable. The owner hand picks the staff each year from dozens of applicants and chooses them not only for their skill at ziplining, but their love of nature and professionalism. Our two young tour guides were just that- fun and professional. We felt safe in their care and their calm attitude kept us from being tense.

Despite my general fear of heights I had no issues at all from the and as we approached the first run I went first. The first guide went over, then I went. After that first run we were both thrilled that we had chosen Zip Lines.

After each zipline, we walked on paths through the woods and were told interesting facts about common plants that live and survive in the Hocking Hills’ woodland areas. After the fourth zipline, we headed into an open cave for a mid-tour treat! We had campfire-cooked hot dogs and s’mores.

As we proceeded the guides encouraged us to lean back as it caused you to flip over and go upside down for a while. You can do this because of the self braking, without that it is not permitted because you have to keep your hands on the lines at all times.

We enjoyed a gorgeous Hocking Hills morning learning about nature in the area and experiencing the thrill of zipping down a line over small gorges and valleys and in between tall trees. Soaring Cliffs was a highlight of the day, and one of our better day trips of the year

The following weekend we went back for canoeing. We arrived mid morning, with the canoe livery already very busy, bought our ticket and were boarded on a bus with a group of Ohio State first year Med School students.

After a short drive we were dropped off near a bunch of canoes and said ‘have at it’. So off we went. If you want to test a marriage just go canoeing. We each thought we knew what we were doing, but in reality we both probably had some good idea, but neither were experts. Nevertheless, we were able to get going down river and dodge the mass of canoes with people who were worse than us.

The water level on the Hocking River that day was very low and we kept getting stuck. When we set off I was worried about drowning. In the end I pulled a muscle in my should trying to push us off of rocks with my paddle. By the end we were worn out and tired and decided zip lining was much more fun.

2015 08 29 11 Logan Ohio Pencil Sharpener Museum.JPG

As we left the livery we stopped by the tourist center where they a very small museum of ~3,400 unique pencil sharpeners that was located at the original owenrs house until he died, when his wife agreed to “loan” the museum to the Hocking Hills Tourism Association’s Welcome Center in Logan so that many more folks could see it.

The variety is astounding. Almost anything you can imagine has been made into a pencil sharpener at some point, and there’s a good chance you’ll find it here! I especially like the world landmarks pencil sharpeners such as Big Ben, the Roman Coliseum, and the Mackinac Bridge.

For lunch we stopped at a nice local spot in downtown Logan called the Utopia Brick Oven Restaurant. While the help wasn’t the most skilled, she tried hard, and the food was good, as was sitting in the shade in the outdoor patio bar area.

2015 08 29 28 Buckeye Lake.JPG

Closer to home we stopped by the town of Buckeye Lake. I had never been here and had read a lot about it, since it is the local ‘resort lake’ for Columbus. Having read about it online, we headed to the local museum only to find it had closed 15 minutes earlier. However, when I pulled on the door thinking it was open a lady came over, opened the door and invited us in.

The museum had a nice model railroad display of the town, numerous items from the amusement park that had been there, clothing from the park, and even a skee ball game. In addition they had a great collection of maps and pennants. This small museum does a great job of paying tribute to their long gone history.

We finished our day by touring the lakeshore, which looked amazingly like a mini Lake Erie shoreline, with the cottages and docks.