Friday, May 12, 2017

Hemlock Bridge and Whispering Cave in Hocking Hills

Whispering Cave in Hocking Hills

The 2 New Trails Open to the Public in Hocking Hills

The Hemlock Bridge and Whispering Cave Trails are a new addition to the Hocking Hills Trail system and are not to be missed! It is so nice to know that new attractions can be found in the area. For those of you that hike the hills on a regular basis it is always nice to have a new place to explore.

The Hemlock Bridge Trail can be accessed from the Hocking Hills Dining Lodge parking lot which is located about 1/4 mile south of Old Man's Cave on State Route 664. You will spot the kiosk located at the front of the parking area and that is where the trail begins. I will warn the faint of heart that there are a LOT of steps down in to the gorge. The elevation was stated at 286 feet. Best to take extra water, a good hiking stick and most importantly wear good shoes or boots. This is not a flip flop kind of hike. The trail is extremely well marked and there are signs guiding you all along the way. The stairs may be tough but they make for a beautiful photograph once you get to the bottom.

The sandstone all along this hike is just beautiful and the honeycomb cliffs are some of the best we have ever seen. The trail to Whispering Cave is a short trail you access off of the main trail at the  .7 of a mile point. WOW! is the word that comes to mind. You will round a bend and come upon one of the most peaceful displays of nature in the hills. A massive sandstone recessed cave will come in to view with the gentle sound of a waterfall in the background. The shear size of the cave is a delight and you will want to grab your camera. Plan on spending a little extra time in Whispering Cave because there is just something about the tranquil feeling in this special place that will grab your senses and ground you to the spot. You will not want to leave.

Hiking back to the main trail is only .2 of a mile and you will begin your descent in to the gorge that will lead you to the swinging bridge. Our hike was filled with wildflowers and accompanied by the sounds of the stream that follows the trail. Once you have crossed  the bridge (which is a work of art all on it's own) you will be at the spot that connects you to either the trail to Old Man's Cave (1 Mile) or you can take the trail that will lead you to Cedar Falls (1.5 Miles). You can just turn around at this point and go back to the spot that you parked.

This is an awesome addition to Hocking Hills - so get out and HIKE!

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