Hocking Hills vacation - C&C please...

Jim Walczak

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Sep 9, 2004
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Lorain, Ohio
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Alrighty, got a few select shots here from my family's recent tent camping trip to the Hocking Hills region of Ohio. For those unfamiliar with the area, this region of Ohio truly has an ethereal, otherworldly quality to it. Much of the scenery does indeed put one in the mind of scenes from movies such as Lord of the Rings...it isn't hard to imagine elves, dwarves and hobbits going about their daily business in this wonderful woodland realm. There are a number of state parks and nature preserves and while we didn't really get to visit it, the HH region also borders the Athen's district of the Wayne National Forest.....in other words, I could EASILY spend a month out there with my camera! LOL!

Anyways, this was actually my 3rd trip out to Hocking Hills (the second this year) and along with shots at the various parks and such, I've also tried to capture some images of other local attractions, along with a few "shots from the road"...some images taken out the car window or where I just pulled off for a quick snap shot of something interesting. I'm still weeding through the images...I shot over 800 this time out...however I wanted to post a few of what I feel are the best shots (or at least the most interesting) for some comments and review.

As for the tech info, all shots seen here were taken with my Nikon D90 (yes, the one that took the tumble during this trip), mostly in AP mode, using my humble Nikon 18-55mm lens (except the horse shot where I used my Tamron 70-300mm). All images have been processed in Adobe Camera RAW and finished in Photoshop. I'll provide a bit of commentary below each image so folks will know what the devil their looking at (LOL).

Comments & critiques are most welcomed and encouraged, however I would ask that you please be detailed. Don't feel as though you need to be a pro or anything, however simply saying "I love it" or "I hate it" really tells me nothing...please say WHY you love it or WHY you hate it. I'm not looking for an ego stroking here (I can get that from friends & family).....just want some honest, if not brutal feedback!


This is one of many shots I took of the Hope Furnace, near Lake Hope State Park. I found the structure itself rather interesting as "American Ruins" in that it almost reminds me of some of the ancient Mayan ruins I've seen.


This is one of those "Shots from the Road". I really don't know anything about this structure other than it appears to be an old, abandoned house that we passed out on Rt. 56. There are in fact several structures like this in the area...old houses, barns, etc., apparently built back around the late 1800's when the area was booming with the iron industry. I particularly like this shot as it gives me a strong sense of nostalgia for a bygone era.


Ok...ok...I guess this is sort of a cheesy tourist shot...it's just the lake at the campground (Happy Hills) where we were camping. The shot was taken EARLY morning...something I don't normally do, however in this case my youngest pup (6 month old Husky Shepherd mix) woke me up at 6:30 am because she needed out of the tent. As long as I was up anyways, I grabbed the camera (and the pup) and took a nice little morning walk around the grounds. Oddly enough, I think this shot may actually be my best "fall colors"...so many of the parks and such have hemlocks and various pines, so the forests were still rather "green", even for this time of year.


Here we have the "Upper Falls" at the Old Man's Cave area (Old Man's Cave State Park), which is an obligatory stop when you're in the Hocking Hills region. Unfortunately it's the dry season down in the hills...when we were down there last month, there wasn't ANY water running in the falls. The little you see in this shot was the result of a thunderstorm the night before.


This one was taken on the gorge trail at Conkle's Hollow Nature Preserve with my wife posing on the trail to give the scene more of a sense of scale (the cliff walls are actually 250 ft high!). We were unable to visit this area during our last two trips as being a nature preserve, they do not allow pets on the trails...and when we're tent camping, our dogs are ALWAYS with us. It was finally cool enough this trip out that we were able to safely leave our 3 dogs in the car for a couple of hours and explore this area. Due to a severe fear of falling, I never made it all the way up to the rim trail, however the gorge trail is incredibly beautiful...in this case, "ethereal" doesn't even begin to cover it. My wife (and others) made the comment that it almost looks like a moment frozen in time from the Jurassic era...I don't think it would have surprised anyone to have a dinosaur poke it's head out from one of those rocks! LOL!


Another of the "Shots from the Road", this time of the Nelsonville Brick Plant/Park, found on Rt. 278 near the edge of the business district of Nelsonville, Ohio. Built in 1880, "The bricks fired at this particular plant gained world-wide recognition in 1904 when the paving brick "Nelsonville Block" won 1st prize at the World's Fair in St. Louis " (- Ohio Exploration Society). The plant was closed in 1940 due to the diminishing demand for brick.


Last but not least (for this batch) is a shot of a couple of friends I made along the way. This is actually another of the "Shots from the Road"...in this case I spotted these lovely creatures near the intersection of Rts 97 & 56, so I pulled off and grabbed a few shots. There were actually 3 horses in this particular field and two of them were kind enough to come over and pose for me a bit! Again, for those unfamiliar with the Hocking Hills region of Ohio, this is HORSE COUNTRY and many can be seen driving down the local roads at private farms, along with the many riding stables in the area (there's also a few campgrounds in the area where you can actually camp with your horse!).

Again just looking for some honest, if not brutal feedback here....love them or hate them, just tell me why.


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