It took me awhile to be able to say this statement, but here it is: we needed a vacation… without the kids. My husband and I have talked about getting away, if only for a weekend, since our son was born over three years ago. Since then, life has been crazy and we just didn’t make it a priority. We finally realized that there would never be a perfect time, so we booked a cabin near Hocking Hills State Park, confirmed our parents could watch the kids, and started the countdown.
I hadn’t been to Hocking Hills since high school, so I was excited to explore the area again with my husband. We both love to be outside and we didn’t want to go too far, so this area seemed like the perfect spot. Our plans for the weekend? We didn’t make any. Besides having a cabin booked and having a vague idea of the trails and nearby town, we didn’t plan anything. We wanted to relax, hike, sleep and simply spend time together. Our days are filled with schedule, structure, lists and at times chaos, so to get away with no agenda was ideal.
Hocking Hills is located east of Columbus and is about 2-3 hours away, depending on which route you take. We decided to take the scenic route there, heading east on 32 and then all country roads from there. It was a bit of an adventure with a stop at a random diner, an Amish furniture shop and literally getting lost when we lost cell phone service. Helpful tip: take a real map! And write down the directions, because you won’t be able to use your phone the entire time! We took our time getting there on a Friday and arrived around 3pm to check into our cabin. We stayed at a cabin owned by Old Man’s Cave Chalets. Their main office is very nice and the staff was courteous and helpful. Our cabin was about a 10 minute drive from the main trails in the park and a 20 minute drive from the nearby town of Logan. It was really a great location. The cabin was brand new inside and SO nice! It made us feel spoiled during our time away.
After getting our cabin keys, we headed straight to the trails. We parked at the visitor center at Old Man’s Cave and did a quick hike down (and then back up) to see a beautiful waterfall. It was an easy path to follow and a great preview of what we would see the next day. We checked out our cabin next and got cleaned up, then drove toward Logan to find a place to eat. Right before getting into Logan, we came across Millstone BBQ. It looked crowded, which is a good sign, so we stopped. We were seated right away, the food came out extremely quick (like Skyline fast) and it was pretty good. It was a nice atmosphere and good prices, so I would recommend it. It would be great for a family with antsy little ones too.
We woke Saturday to a sunny and chilly morning. Drinking my coffee while reading a magazine in front of a fire was one of the best things I’ve done in a LONG time. We’d picked up a few groceries at Walmart the night before, and there is also a Kroger nearby. We spent the next several hours hiking through the most beautiful scenery – I didn’t feel like we were in Ohio. We did a 3 mile hike down in the valley by the creek and then looped back around on a much easier path along the ridge. (Testing my geography skills here. ;)) It was refreshing and challenging and even romantic at times. It was a great activity as a couple, but you could definitely take on the trails with your kids. There are spots where you may not want to take little ones, so check out the difficulty ahead of time.
After an afternoon nap (woohoo!), we drove into Logan again for dinner. We ended up at Pizza Crossing, again because it was crowded, but again didn’t have to wait for a table. The pizza was great and hit the spot after all of the hiking that day. On our last day, we decided to visit one last trail and I’m so glad we did because it was gorgeous. The short hike to Ash Cave was very easy and again, you feel like you are in another world. Once I got over the fear of bats flying out at me (I never saw a single bat, FYI), I truly enjoyed the amazing beauty.
A getaway with your significant other is such a gift and one that we should give ourselves more often. Hocking Hills was close, budget friendly and allowed us the opportunity to truly relax with each other. And of course now I can’t wait to go back… with the kids next time!