We visited a few state parks this summer and this one is Ash Cave in the Hocking Hills region. I have visited most of these places when I was a kid myself and since our kids have never seen these places, we thought it would be nice to take them to explore and see it for themselves. We are a family that loves the outdoors and love the beauty and history of these places. Ash Cave is a huge cave recess, the largest in Ohio is what I have been told. It’s 100 feet deep, 700 feet from end to end and 90 feet high from the ground to the rim.
The walk to the cave isn’t difficult. It’s pretty flat, nothing to climb so it’s easy for anyone to walk back to. When you come upon it, it almost takes your breath away it is so pretty. The floor is really sandy and you will notice the rather large rock on the ground in the front. The cave shelter was used for a lot of things by the Indians and early settlers. There is signage in a couple places where you can read some of the history. Here’s a little about why it is called Ash Cave:
“Ash Cave is named after the huge pile of ashes found under the shelter by early settlers. The largest pile was recorded as being 100 feet long, 30 feet wide and 3 feet deep. The source of the ashes is unknown but is believed to be from Indian campfires built up over hundreds of years. One other belief is that the Indians were smelting silver or lead from the rocks. Still another theory claims that saltpeter was made in the cave. No matter the source, several thousand bushels of ashes were found. A test excavation of the ashes in 1877 revealed sticks, arrows, stalks of coarse grasses, animal bones in great variety, bits of pottery, flints and corn cobs.” Source: http://www.hockinghills.com/ash_cave.html You can also visit that link to learn more.
Towards the far end of the cave, there is a set of steps leading to the top of the rim. There is a trail up there as well and I know there used to be a way to walk from Cedar Falls to Ash Cave but I am not sure if it is accessible any more. We visited Cedar Falls first and since Ash Cave was close, we just drove. To walk it is quite a few miles. There are quite a few steps though because it is 90 feet high. They might take a lot out of you. There isn’t a whole lot to see on the topside though but it does look beautiful to look at down from topside. They have the top rim roped off quite a distance from the edge and you are encouraged not to go to the other side. Up top you also see the creek that runs off the rim creating a waterfall into a pool below.
This is a view from the top of the rim that my husband took.
This is a picture that I took standing under the cave shelter. Absolutely gorgeous!
This is the area at the bottom which is also where the edge of the rim would be while standing under it. This is where the pool of water is created by the waterfall. There wasn’t much of a waterfall when we visited. It was more of a trickle but when there has been more rain and more water in the creek far above, the waterfall is obviously more noticeable and the pool of water is a lot bigger. My cousins had actually visited a couple weeks before we did and the pool was about knee deep then.
So this was part one of our first summer adventures. The same day we went to Ash Cave, we also went to Cedar Falls like I mentioned above. That post will be coming up next.
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