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Spring and summer at our favorite Ohio State Parks!

June 20, 2011

Todd and I have been busy traveling with our camper and hiking to our favorite state parks in Ohio that includes; John Bryan, Caesar Creek, Hocking Hills, and Glen Helen. What is so surprising about these parks is that Ohio received a large amount of rainfall this spring and continues to receive regular rainfall that allows for the rivers and waterfalls to overflow.

My advice for budding photographers is to get out early or state late in order to get the best light and the parks are typically not as crowded. We visited Hocking Hills State Park and stayed from Memorial Day to Thursday of that week and we pretty much had the park to ourselves.

The hike we took at Hocking Hills State Park was very impressive considering the first time we visited there were no waterfalls and not much water either.  We got up early for a hike near Rose Lake and Old Man’s Cave around 6 in the morning and continued to hike and take photos till about 830 in the morning. It was well worth it and I even got snorted at by a deer!

Caesar Creek was also beautiful, but the lake was so high that you could not visit the shore area it was completely covered by water!  We did manage to get some wonderful sunset shots of the lake near the boat landing by the camping area.

Finally, we had an evening visit to Glen Helen and everywhere you looked was a beautiful waterfall or series of waterfalls. Take the time to visit in the summer since it stays lighter longer.  Definitely visit these state parks I have mentioned if you live locally since they are close and provide so much variety for campers and hikers alike.

We are hoping to visit a camping area near Lake Erie so I will update about that soon!

Have fun hiking and camping this summer in Ohio State Parks!

In you are interested in any of my photography please email me at

You can also visit my photography site:

Or my Imagekind site


Winter Hike in John Bryan State Park

January 13, 2011

Todd and I love to hike in John Bryan year round. Winter is a beautiful time of the year to hike in the park! The trails are pretty snow packed but still well traveled. The hike is a little more work than during other times of the year, but well worth the effort. We managed quite a workout after taking one of the main roads back from the trails and found that deep snow is much more difficult to walk in than snow packed trails. The park staff shuts down some of the other parking areas so that visitors can cross-country ski and take advantage of the sledding on some of the hills and road ways.

I managed to get some cool winter shots with my new monopod and I hope you enjoy them! Now get out there and hike!

Caesar Creek State Park

January 13, 2011

Camping at Caesar’s Creek offers a lot of variety to campers. The lake is a great spot for fishing and boating. The campsites closest to the lake are premier sites and fill up quickly. The views from the lake sites offer the best scenery in the park. The lake offers great views for photographers to take lovely sunset shots and also great for fall color shots.

In addition to the camp sites there are camper cabins and cedar cabins available to visitors that can be reserved from April 1 to October 31.

We hiked 2 trails within the state park Flat Fork Ridge and the Gorge Trail. Both trails are listed as moderate and can be easily hiked. The water levels in Ohio were down for the spring and summer so unfortunately the “Horseshoe Falls” on the Flat Fork Ridge were dry. The trails in the park offer some variety, but I think that the Lake was the jewel of the park and the hiking was pretty tame.

I would definitely recommend the park based on the lake and the quality of the campground. Caesar Creek is a great close spot for campers and provides a variety of activities for park visitors. I wouldn’t give the trails as high of recommendation as other hiking areas in the state of Ohio, but I think that the park offers enough variety for campers and hikers to make it worth a visit.

The Caesar Creek Lake US Army Corps of Engineers Website addresses the creation of the lake and the park facilities.

According to the US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS website:

Congress authorized Caesar Creek Lake under the Flood Control Act of 1938. The Louisville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers designed, built, and operates Caesar Creek Lake.

Caesar Creek exists as a cooperative management effort among the Corps of Engineers and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources – Divisions of Parks and Recreation, Wildlife, and Natural Areas and Preserves.

For more information about the park visit these websites:

Caesar Creek State Park

Local Park Site

Hocking Hills and more!

September 9, 2010

We love the camper sites at Hocking Hills and our three-day visit was great. We beat the crowded camping scene that happens on Labor Day weekend and went during the week instead. We explored the camping area and even went swimming in the campground pool, which had a water slide and was great on the hot days after our hikes. We hiked Conkle’s Hollow and Cantwell Cliffs and I have to say that you should definitely not miss Cantwell Cliffs. We also took an afternoon walk around Rose Lake and got some great shots of the area. Another great spot for visitors to Hocking Hills.

We hiked Conkle’s Hollow previously and had a great time again on the trail for our second visit. The trail was a bit easier this time since the summer was pretty dry and the trails were not as slick as the previous visit. This hiking spot is great not only because of the views but also the diversity of the trail as well.

The best part of our hiking treks was Cantwell Cliffs. It is about 17 miles away from Hocking Hills but well worth the drive.

The park has 2 trails that allow you to meet up with both trails. We took the red trail which was marked as moderate and the yellow trail was a bit father and is listed as moderate to difficult. The main attraction with this hike are not only the ridge views but also the way the trail winds its way through narrow passageways. The most narrow passage has been sarcastically named Fat Woman Squeeze.

We loved the different aspects of the this trail and in parts surrounded by so many interesting rock formations that I felt like I wasn't in Ohio, but that we were in Sedona Arizona. Make sure you take time to visit Cantwell Cliffs!

Camping is much easier with all the amenities of a camper and I have to say much nicer to come back to after a long afternoon of hiking. The campground offers a number of amenities and I recommend a visit to Grandma Fays…such great food and a good place to stock up on supplies.

We are hoping to make another camping trip before winter and if not we will at least hike at Hocking Hills or maybe another site …who knows! But either way the camper life for us is here to stay!

Return to Hocking Hills!

August 30, 2010

We have a 3 day trip planned to Hocking Hills with the new camper. Our plans are to head to Conkle’s hollow, Cantwell Cliffs, and another short hike around Rose Lake. I will post plenty of pics of the trails and our camping adventure! See you later…it’s time to hike & camp!!!

Our New Camper!!!!!

August 2, 2010

Well Todd returned home safely from Iraq and is home for good!  To celebrate we bought a camper!  Well we wanted one for a while and this one was just too good to be true!  Good price and only less than 5 years old and barely used!  



It’s been a long time for hiking!

June 5, 2010


My better half has been deployed to Iraq for over seven months so I haven’t had a chance to do much hiking.  He came home for his R&R and decided that hiking was one of top things to do on his list.  Since he only had two weeks and we had limited time for camping we decided on a local trip to John Bryan and Clifton. 


Close to the beginning of summer is a great time to visit John Bryan.  The trails are practically covered by a canopy of leaves and the rushing waters and small waterfalls are a beautiful sight to see.  We hiked a little over 2 miles since I recently found out I have a slipped disc, but I still enjoyed the short hike. There are plenty of great spots to capture the waterfalls and views from the bridge before Clifton. 

We visited Clifton Gorge the day before Memorial day and the park was packed.  I really like Clifton since it is a great spot for scenic overlooks.  It’s also a great park for people who aren’t avid hikers but love nature.  We saw a group of young people scale down the cliffs and were swimming in the water.  Not the brightest thing to do considering the fast moving falls and it is rather slippery on the rocks at the edges of the overlooks.  We got some great shots and I even took a small video on my Cannon Power Shot SX10.   I think I will practice more with the video setting for future trips. 

My better half is headed back to finish his deployment but luckily he will be done in August so I will probably be camping and hiking again by the end of the summer. 

Have a great summer and get out there and hike!