Yesterday was another nice day, so this time I headed to the one part of Hocking Hills I’d never been to before: the area along Keifel Road south of the Horse Camp.
Generally, for all of my maps, I have hiked each and every trail marked on it. And I’ve hiked it barefoot, of course. However, there is one section in the Hocking State Forest that is separated from the rest. You can see the map of it here.
The reason I’d never done it is because it requires walking a bit of a distance along the road, and I was never quite in the mood to do so when there are so many non-road trails.
But for some reason, I decided to check it out. One thing I wanted to get out of it was to properly locate the trails on my topo maps. Until I walk them myself, I find I don’t believe the state maps. Too often I’ve seen the trails located elsewhere (not by a lot, but by enough to effect what I expect to see).
The first thing to know is that the entry point is hard to find. When you go south from where the Red Bridle Trail joins the road, the entry point is not marked at the road, but way back away from the road. It is along this gravel driveway.
Once you get back there, it is very nice. Again, like so much of Hocking Hills, there are escarpments (though rather short ones) and recess caves behind (small) waterfalls.
The trail follows the ridge there for a while, then heads down into the valley. At the bottom there, I saw a really big and impressive slump rock that must have slumped pretty strongly to get down there.
There was a pretty little stream joining in. This shot is taken from very down low and shows the layering in the rocks.
From the stream, turning around shows yet another escarpment.
One of the tricks of placing these trails is finding the gap in the escarpment. This trail did that too, and then headed to the head of the stream, and the recess cave. Here’s what it looked like from above:
This trip was really for me to scout out the trails. Now that I have them correctly placed, it means I need to make additional trips to actually do some exploring. I really feel the need to do some bushwhacking to get into that recess cave. Maybe next time.
Finally, as the trail leaves the road, it travels along private property, for which the state has an easement. There is of course a sign announcing that.
I love the way the sign says:
Travel by foot or horse. Violators will be prosecuted.
And then it struck me—I was probably one of the very few people who had actually used the trail “by foot.”
I wonder if they prosecute those who instead use the trail “by shoe”?