Grandma Gatewood’s Fall Colors Hike
October 14, 2017 9:00 AM
Bring along a cool drink and celebrate the season’s colors. Meet with the naturalist at the Old Man’s Cave Visitor Center for a strenuous hike that spans roughly 6 miles of the Grandma Gatewood trail. We will be traversing the section that runs from Old Man’s Cave to Cedar Falls and back while enjoying the scenic beauty and cultural personality. This hike does include several hills and steps and is not recommended for the easily winded individual. (Approx. 3 to 4 hours)
Hocking Hills State Park Visitor Center 19852 State Route 664 S
Dress: Ohio's weather in the fall could definitely be called 'fickle'. Temperatures can range from 45 degrees to 70 degrees! Suggested clothing is jeans or warm pants, t-shirt or sweatshirt and a waterproof jacket. Grab some clothes you can layer if it is cooler in the morning and you can toss in a backpack during the warmer afternoons. We recommend hiking boots or tennis shoes with a thick tread - leaves along the trail can be slippery!
From all over the world, people come to gawk at the colorful spread of leaf color the Hocking Hills has to display. And it is definitely worth the trip. The Grandma Gatewood Fall Color Hike is one of the park's more strenuous programs-covering 6 miles of Old Man's Cave's celebrated hilly ups and downs the region is known for.
The tour is guided by Hocking Hills State Park Naturalist, Pat Quackenbush, and covers the area from Old Man's Cave Visitor Center to Cedar Falls. The hike has become so popular, there are fewer stops along the way than the shorter guided tours. Hikers walk the trail, awed by the wide display of leaf colors, cliff overlooks, rock formations and waterfalls.
It is imperative that you bring drinks and snacks- 6 miles is a long hike. Although the hike is at a relaxed stride, there are some tough spots (roots, rocks, rough terrain) to pass through. This hike is not well-suited for really young children (unless you are prepared to carry them part of the 6 miles) or if you have medical problems. And a special treat. . .at the end of the hike, the park generously offers free marshmallows and s'mores hikers can cook over an open fire.
Kid Friendly: Maybe not. This is a five-six mile hike, up and down hills with plenty of roots, rocks and cooler weather. It is breathtaking, relaxing, fun and nonstop. However, if your kids are the kind you have to lug around in a shopping cart when you are only five minutes into shopping at the nearest grocery store, this might not be the hike for them. Besides, most cell phones don't work at the bottom of Old Man's Cave and it would be tough to call someone to pick them up.
Pet Friendly - There are more than a few people who bring their dogs with them on this hike. Plenty of warning though, there are lots of people walking in a long line. If your dog doesn't like people and is not used to the cold, keep them home. For those who have difficulty walking - Not recommended. Although the staff at the park clear the trails to their best ability, there are still logs to climb over and plenty of rocks, roots and hills that seem a mile high.
Hocking Hills State Park 19852 State Route 664 S Logan, Ohio 43138 (740) 385-8003 Naturalist Office