Episode 4: Fall Camping in Hocking Hills
If autumn foliage and weather are your things (and they are ours), Hocking Hills, Ohio, is the perfect spot to get your fill of Fall fun. Located in Hocking County (about an hour southeast of Columbus), the Hocking Hills region is filled with hiking trails, charming towns, gorgeous scenery, and cabins and campgrounds galore. With limited cell service, it also offers a very good excuse to disconnect.
Over the past couple years, we’ve stayed at the Inn at Cedar Falls’ Treehouse Cabin, which we highly recommend if camping isn’t your style. This October, though, we hitched up our teardrop and hit the road for Hocking Hills State Park.
Have a question about camping with a teardrop trailer, roadtrips, or traveling around Ohio? Leave a comment below or submit it via our Tow Us a Line page and we could answer your question during an upcoming podcast episode.
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Where we camped: After enjoying South Bass Island’s Ohio State Park campground, we decided to try another state park campground for this trip. While it definitely offered a different camping experience (trading in island life for the mountains and forest), Old Man’s Cave Campground in Hocking Hills State Park was great. The concrete pad on our non-electric site was shorter than previous pads we’ve camped on, but our teardrop and Honda CRV still fit with a little room to spare. We discuss the park’s other amenities in the episode, but our favorite part was the trail entrance right down the path from us which takes hikers to Old Man’s Cave.
Nelsonville, Ohio: One of the reasons we chose to visit Hocking Hills in late October was so we could attend the Ohio Smoked Meat and BBQ Festival in nearby Nelsonville. Although the BBQ competition is the festival’s primary focus, spectators do have the opportunity to purchase food. We ended up enjoying a delicious lunch from Blazin Bronco BBQ, which we burned off exploring Nelsonville’s arts district. The Starbrick Cooperative Gallery, named for the starbricks that feature heavily in Nelsonville’s sidewalks, was a particular highlight. If you’re in the area (especially as holiday shopping season approaches), stop in and pick something up.
Podcast Correction: We’re not sure why we thought the Ohio Smoked Meat and BBQ Festival was celebrating its third year. This was the 22nd annual festival. You can read more about its history here: https://ohiobbq.org/about/.
Hocking Hills State Park: Even if you spend a week in Hocking Hills State Park, you likely won’t have time to explore it all. Needless to say, between this and our previous trips, we’ve only scratched the surface. After hiking Old Man’s Cave last year, we decided to hike to Whispering Cave this time around (part of the Hemlock Bridge Trail). You can see some photos below and listen to the episode to hear more about the hike.
Mountain House Freeze Dried Food: When we don’t have room to pack our extra large cooler, freeze dried food offers a surprisingly delicious and space-saving alternative. Our taste-testing has been limited, but of the freeze dried brands we’ve tried so far, Mountain House is our preferred.
Jiffy Pop Trivia Time: Our in-episode attempt at remembering when Jiffy Pop was created went just as poorly as Scott’s attempt at cooking it over our campfire. A quick Wikipedia search after we got home confirmed it was originally developed in 1958 and marketed as Jiffy Pop in 1959.
Anki’s Vector Robot: Our Vector robot may not be roadtrip-ready just yet, but he and his “brother” Cozmo were on our mind while recording this episode. If you’re into robots or want to learn more about Vector and Cozmo after listening to this episode, go here. You can also see some of Vector’s features in Amanda’s #HeyVector Instagram series.