Conkle’s Hollow

On the heels of my last hike and post I was able hit the trail again. It’s not every week I have time to fit in two hikes so I’m really enjoying this. For this hike I chose to visit  Conkle’s Hollow. It’s been a couple of years or more since I last hiked CH and oh boy how I’ve forgotten how beautiful this place is. The pictures below don’t do CH justice.

I first hiked the .5-mile out and back Lower Gorge Trail. Being in the deepest depths of the gorge reminded me of being in a southern Utah canyon, but Conkle’s Hollow has a very moist, lush environment not typically found in dry, sandy canyons of the southwest U.S. Especially this time of year, the green palette of ferns and moss, trees and shrubs painting the water sculpted sandstone creates a picture rich in color and form. Temperatures some 7 or 8 degrees cooler in the gorge felt good on a warm day.

I also hiked the 2.5-mile Rim Trail. In contrast to the moist, cool environment of the inner gorge, the rim was warm and dry. The community of plants on the rim differs noticeably from the one just 200 feet below. The rim offers many nice views of the gorge and surrounding hills. If you have a fear of heights, you may wish stay in the gorge. In many places the trail is just a couple steps from a precipitous drop, and there is virtually no fencing or cables. Soon, the rim will be a perfect perch for viewing fall colors. I might have to go back.

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Clear Creek Metro Park Hike

The recent string of nice weather highlighted by sunny skies and low humidity has made it too hard not to get out and do some hiking. A few days ago I was able to wrap up cabin duties early and decided to take a three-mile hike at Clear Creek Metro Park since I was close. Clear Creek Metro offers great hiking, fishing and more without the crowds found at Hocking Hills State Park. The park is located just a few miles from our Rocky Ridge and Laurel Ridge Cabins.

This hike will also be remembered by me as the hike where I decide to dump my Kodak Easyshare camera, which I’ve used for years on all my hiking trips, for an iPhone 6 camera. I’m a recent iPhone convert, switching over from an Android phone, so I wanted to really test the quality of the iPhone camera by taking a lot of pics at different levels of light, distance, etc. I think it passed. Sorry Kodak.