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10 tips for shopping at the farmers market

July 21, 2014

Make dinner and memories at your Hocking Hills cabin

Heading to the farmers market might be uncharted territory for you. So, where do you start? What’s in season? What does USDA certified organic actually mean, anyway?

Around here, we’re experts. We know that one of the best parts of staying in a Hocking Hills cabin is the dinner that follows a long day of hiking, ziplining and canoeing. So grab your shopping list and your bag, and head to the farmers market with an open mind.

  1. Don’t be shy. One of the number one reasons it pays to shop locally is the ability to get your answers straight from the horse’s mouth. Farmers who are proud of their crop will often answer any questions you throw at them. That’s a rare opportunity in our supermarket culture. Get advice on cooking an unfamiliar veggie, find out what’s coming up in season and what fare the farmer is planning to have the following week. Go for it. Learn all you can about the farmer’s growing practices, and remember who you’re buying from for the next week. Oh, and don’t be discouraged if produce isn’t labeled organic.
  2. OrganicFind out why it’s not certified organic. Just because produce is not labeled organic doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bottom shelf. In fact, it might be the exact opposite. Some of the best farms are so small that a single farmer can painstakingly care for the crops. But USDA organic certification is pricey, and may not be worth it for such a small farm. Many farms use organic practices, often much more strict than those required by the government, without even being certified. If a farm doesn’t label their produce organic, it pays to ask why. You may discover a hidden source of organically farmed food.
  3. Try something new each week. Another unique aspect of browsing a farmers market is discovering something new. (What is a pawpaw, after all?) Unlike your grocery store, you never know what you’ll find from creative farmers. So keep an open mind, ask lots of questions and surprise your taste buds.
  4. Shop early for selection, but late for deals. Veteran shoppers know that the choicest items will be snapped up within the first hour of the market’s opening. However, if you’re looking for the best deals, many vendors would rather sell their stock at a steal than go home with a full truck. This also often holds true in bad weather when the crowds thin out.
  5. Come Prepared. The savvy shopper will always have the essentials on hand. Bring your own canvas tote bag or backpack to avoid starting a plastic bag collection. You’ll also want to bring reusable plastic bags, paper towels and a water bottle if you plan on picking up extremely perishable items like herbs or asparagus. Also, many vendors are cash only, so make sure to go to the ATM beforehand.

    Photo credit: Athens Farmer's Market Facebook page

    Photo credit: Athens Farmers Market Facebook page

  6. Plan ahead. The crop cycle changes throughout the year, so do your due diligence to see what’s in season before you head out. Knowing what to expect beforehand means you won’t be disappointed if what you’re looking for isn’t available.
  7. Keep an open mind. Flexibility is your best friend. While you might have your menu planned out for the week, don’t be surprised to find that one unexpected ingredient. Whether it’s honey sticks, artisan bread or heirloom tomatoes—expect the unexpected and don’t be afraid to veer off of your beaten path or away from your list.
  8. Take your time. Scope out all of the vendors before making your selections. You might be surprised by what you find at the end of the line, as prices and types of vendors will vary throughout.
  9. Bring the kids. From trying new foods to making new friends, kids can’t get enough of the farmers market. Let them to talk to the vendors, pick out some produce, grab a honey straw—just don’t forget the sunscreen.
  10. Buy more than just veggies. Most farmers markets nowadays (especially the Athens Farmers Market) offer more than produce. Whether you’re looking for local dairy products, free-range eggs, artisan bread, handcrafted jewelry, honey, canned and preserved items or home-baked goods, you’ll find it in Athens.

For the latest updates about the Athens farmers market, visit their Facebook page.

Hocking Hills July events

July 8, 2014

Check out things to do in Hocking Hills this summer

From the classic outdoor drama Tecumseh and art workshops, to farmers markets and moonlight kayaking, there’s no shortage of things to do in Hocking Hills this summer.

Whispering Residue by Sally Rose
When: Every Monday–Friday until July 24
Where: 35 W. Columbus St. Nelsonville, Ohio 45764
Cost: Free
Reservation: No
Contact: 440-724-1149
About: An exhibition of handmade paper sculpture. Sally Rose is fascinated with the material investigation of handmade paper and how it transforms as it dries and shrinks into sculptural forms. Depending on the type of plant used to make the paper pulp—cotton, flax or abaca (a non-edible banana palm)—the paper can be extremely delicate or extremely tough. Sally’s personal aesthetic developed with the premise that there is fascinating detail in residue, or what is left over and discarded by most as having no value. Sometimes the materials are funny, and not cherished as traditional art material at all!

 

Open Garden & Workshops at Bishop Educational Gardens
When: July 6–9, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: 13200 Little Cola Rd. Rockbridge, Ohio
Cost: Free
Reservation: No
Contact: 740-969-2873
About: Come stroll through the gardens, take pictures without a crowd and attend several workshops. No vendors. Please check the website closer to the event date for special workshop schedule.

Things to do in Hocking Hills

Green Cleaning Workshop
When: July 7, 6 p.m.
Where: 13200 Little Cola Rd. Rockbridge, Ohio
Cost: $10
Reservation: Yes
Contact: 740-385-3016
About: Learn the best basic home products to use for naturally cleaning your entire house. This workshop will introduce recipes for green cleaning that are better for your family, your house, your watershed, your environment and the world. The $10 fee includes two spray bottles and the ingredients for creating two cleaning solutions for you to take home.

 

Tecumseh
When: June 13 – August 30, 2014; Every week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (8 p.m. to 10:45 p.m.)
Where: 5948 Marietta Rd. Chillicothe, Ohio
Cost: $17.95 – $24
Reservation: Yes
Contact: 740-775-4100
About: Captivating. Fascinating. Mesmerizing. Come witness the epic life story of the legendary Shawnee leader as he struggles to defend his sacred homelands in the Ohio country during the late 1700s. The huge, outdoor stages of the Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheater afford the audience the ability to see everything. You will sit beneath the stars as sheer spectacle surrounds you with a herd of galloping horses, live military cannon in action, and the most dazzling battle sequences offered on the American stage.

Things to do in Hocking Hills

Summer Experience – Journey to Japan
When: July 7-11, every weekday
Where: 196 N Market St. Logan, Ohio
Cost: $50 full day / $40 half day
Reservation: No
Contact: 740-385-0344
About: Come join us for a summer experience sure to please! We will be covering dance, vocal music, art projects and Taiko drumming. Grades K-9, scholarships available.

 

Big Spring & Table Rock Trek
When: Feb. 12 – July 8, Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: State Rappelling Area parking lot
Cost: $30
Reservation: Yes
Contact: 740-777-2579
About: Enjoy this naturalist-led loop trek through the Hocking State Forest and take in some of the many geological landmarks including Table Rock, Amazing Grace, Big Spring and Bent Tree. This trek loops through the climbing and rappelling area and you may see all sorts of adventurers playing on rocks. Meet at the State Rappelling Area parking lot in Logan at 9:30 a.m.

 

Chair Art Workshop
When: July 5 and 8, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: 13200 Little Cola Rd. Rockbridge, Ohio
Cost: Free
Reservation: No, but appreciated
About: Participants will take part in an instructional step-by-step program on making indoor furniture into outdoor furniture. Using house paint and primer, old worn chairs will be transformed into outdoor furniture. This is a great repurposing project for old furniture, as well as a conversation piece for porches or patios.

 

Appalachian Story Telling
When: Every third Tuesday, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Where: Diner d’ Argento, located in the Hocking Hills Market
Reservation: No
Contact: 614-302-5250
About: Diner d’ Argento in Rockbridge located in the Hocking Hills Market present Appalachian Story Telling with the Deer Hill Folk Story Tellers of the Appalachian Ohio Storytelling Project. Diner d’ Argento will have fun dinner choices, kids will eat free with a paying adult entrée, and we will have featured drink specials. This is a fun, interactive time that you will not want to miss.

 

Photography Group at the Bowen House
When: Every second Tuesday of every month 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: 196 Market St. Logan, Ohio
Cost: Free
Reservation: No
Contact: 740-385-0344
About: Hocking photography enthusiasts welcome visitors to join them for inspiration, encouragement and some shop talk!

Things to do in Hocking Hills

Athens Farmers Market
When: Every Wednesday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: 1000 East State St.
Reservation: No
About: Begun in 1972 with three farmers selling produce, by 2006 Audubon Magazine had named it one of the best farmers markets in the U.S. The market features local & organic produce, fresh fruits, meats, cheeses, eggs, baked goods, honey, maple syrup, bedding plants, flowers, shrubs, jams, salsas and much more. Open Saturdays year-round from 9 am – Noon; also open Wednesdays from mid-April through the end of December from 9 am – Noon.

 

Chapel Cave Trek
When: Through July 9, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: State Rappelling Area parking lot
Cost: $30
Reservation: Yes
Contact: 740-777-2579
About: Explore Long Hollow with a professional naturalist. It’s always a fantastic time of year to trek this two mile loop, including a breathtaking box canyon and Chapel Cave. Your guides will interpret the diverse geology, biology and wildlife found along the way. It’s an easy walk along a fairly wide trail with a few trees to step over, but generally easy to hike and completed in less than three hours. Meet at the State Rappelling Area parking lot at 9:30 a.m.

 

Yoga in the Hills
When: Every Wednesday, 5–6 p.m.
Where: A deck in the woods or a waterfall near you!
Cost: $10
Reservation: No
Contact: 888-74-PEACE
About: This class is offered surrounded by the beauty of the Hocking Hills. Weather permitting, classes are outside on our wonderful deck among the trees. All levels of experience are welcome, as are groups. Call ahead for details—we may be having class, with our wonderful instructor, at a waterfall near you!

 

Art We Use — Dairy Barn
When: June 20 – Sept. 1, every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday
Where: 8000 Dairy Lane Athens, Ohio
Cost: Free
Reservation: No
Contact: 740-592-4981
About: As part of the Centennial Celebration of the 100th Birthday of The Dairy Barn, we proudly present a new exhibition, Art We Use. An international Exhibition of objects both every day and special and features 127 works by 68 artists from 25 states and two foreign countries. The exhibition opening is Friday, June 20, 2014, 5-7pm and runs through September 1, 2014.

 

Hand-Feeding Hummingbirds at Lake Hope State Park
When: July 4–August 31, Sunday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
Where: Lake Hope Nature Center
Cost: Free
Reservation: No
Contact: 740-596-3030
About: Participants can attempt to hand-feed hummingbirds. Meet at the Nature Center. Thursday thru Sunday from 1 to 3 pm

 

Cedar Falls Stroll
When: July 11, 10 a.m.
Where: Cedar Falls
Cost: Free
Reservation: No
Contact: 740-385-6841
About: Join the Hocking Hills State Park Naturalist to explore Cedar Falls and discover the unique natural and cultural history of this area of the park.

 

Summer Wine Express on the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway
When: July 11, 7 a.m. – 9 a.m.
Where: Stuart’s Opera House
Cost: $25–$35
Reservation: No, but suggested
Contact: 740-753-1924
About: Join us for the Summer Wine Express on the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway. Take a ride on a historic train through the Hocking Valley while enjoying wine, cheese and snacks. All proceeds benefit Stuart’s Opera House. Don’t miss a great evening out!

 

Music in the Park – Worthington Gazebo
When: June 20–August 22, every Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Worthington Park Gazebo
Cost: Free
Reservation: No
Contact: 740-746-8233
About: Worthington Park is in the middle of its season featuring several locals bands, such as the Wykle family, Roger Hedges and DJ Sigler. Hocking Hills Inspire Shelter will sell refreshments for the entire 11 weeks. Concerts usually proceed rain or shine. Bring lawn chair or blanket. Bands are subject to change without notice.

 

Full Moon Paddle – Lake Logan State Park
When: July 11, 7:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Where: Boat Launch at Lake Logan State Park
Cost: $45 kayak provided; $35 with your kayak
Reservation: Yes
Contact: 740-591-9094
About: Kayak with us under the full moon. Paddles are two to three hours long. Enjoy a peaceful evening on the water, watch the sun set and the moon rise across the water as the stars sparkle above you. No experience needed. All equipment, instructions and refreshments are provided.

 

Lily Fest
When: July 11–13, Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Where: 3200 Little Cola Rd. Rockbridge, Ohio
Cost: Free; parking donations accepted
Reservation: No
Contact: 740-969-2873
About: If you love art, gardens and music, come enjoy the lovely woodland setting at scenic Bishop Educational Gardens. Throughout the beautiful gardens, there will be more than 70 area artists and craftspersons displaying, demonstrating and marketing their products. Annuals, perennials and water plants will be for sale. In addition, OSU Master Gardeners will answer questions on plant growing and maintenance, and there will be musical entertainment thanks to a Logan-Holl Foundation grant.

 

Romantic Moonlight Tour
When: July 12, 7 p.m.
Where: 31251 Chieftain Dr. Logan, OH
Cost: $42
Reservation: Yes
Contact: 740-385-8685
About: Let the crickets serenade you under a full moon on the Hocking River. Afterward, join us at a bonfire for refreshments and live entertainment.

 

Second Sunday Beadmaking
When: July 13, 1–4 p.m.
Where: 124 W. Main St. Lancaster, Ohio
Cost: $20
Reservation: Yes
Contact: 740-687-0101
About: Watch engaging demos, or choose to try it yourself!
Join us on a new monthly creative adventure!  Theresa Cress-Sharp will be narrating and performing live glass beadmaking demonstrations as part of your OGM tour on the Second Sunday of each month. You’ll see rods of beautifully colored glass become molten and shaped into intricate beads!

 

Pickerington Summer Concert Series
When: June 20 – August 17, every sunday, 7–8:30 p.m.
Where: Sycamore Park Amphitheater
Cost: Free
Reservation: No
Contact: 614-833-2211
About: Free concert every Sunday night through August 17th.  Bring a lawn chair or blanket.

 

Fireman’s Old Time Festival
When: July 16 – 19; 5 p.m. until late Wednesday through Friday; 10 a.m. until late Saturday
Where: Laurelville Fire Department
Cost: Free
Reservation: No
Contact: 740-332-6033
About: From nightly fish fries, entertainment and a midway with rides, to a talent show, cake auction and square dancing, this 91st annual festival in Laurelville packs a lot of fun for the whole family into three nights and a Saturday.

 

Lancaster Festival
When: July 17 – July 26
Where: Various locations throughout Lancaster
Cost: 75 events; many of them free
Reservation: No
Contact: 740-687-4808
About: Join us for Ohio’s largest music festival. Featuring music, art and dance and the Lancaster Festival Orchestra.

 

ArtWalk
When: July 18, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Where: Downtown Lancaster
Cost: Free
Reservation: No reservation required
Contact: 740-653-8251
About: Join us for the biggest night in Downtown Lancaster-Artwalk! Enjoy the arts, live music, food & community. ArtWalk is an annual event that highlights the works of local and regional artists who were juried into this show. The artwork from over 50 artists will be displayed in 34 downtown Lancaster businesses.

 

Wine & Beer Fest
When: July 19, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls Gathering Place
Cost: $25 for 5 tickets; or $6 each ticket
Reservation: No
Contact: 800-653-2557
About: Come and taste test many varieties of wines and beers. The following companies will be represented: Rock Mill, Wine Trends, Vintage Wines, Hide-A-Way Hills Lodge, Buckeye Lake Brewery and many more. Light appetizers included with the ticket price. The Hocking River String Band will perform.

Connect with your artistic self

June 27, 2014

Disconnect from your wired life with these things to do in Hocking Hills

Being plugged in 24/7 might be a reality in today’s world, but in Hocking Hills, we move at a little slower pace. After a long day of hiking, canoeing, ziplining, horseback riding and other adventures, we like to unwind by exploring our creative side. Whether learning a new craft like glass bead making or brushing up on old photography skills, there’s no shortage of classes and workshops to bring out your inner artist.

We sat down with the Hocking Hills Tourism Association Operations Director, Audrey Martin, to talk about the unique art opportunities in the area, as well as her own contributions to promoting our visitors’ creative side.

Hocking Hills Tourism Association: What class do you teach in Hocking Hills?

Audrey Martin: I created a two-hour stained glass workshop that teaches students the process of creating stained glass, from making the pattern to the glass cutting.

 

HHTA: What level of experience are most of your students at?

AM: They typically have never cut glass before. They love stained glass, but they have no idea the steps involved. This gives them a little taste and lets them see if they are interested enough to take on larger projects.

Things to do in Hocking Hills

HHTA: Do you offer more advanced classes for those who fall in love with stained glass?

AM: Yes, I have several different groups that come back year after year, and each year I create something to step it up a little for them. I have a group of six ladies who come once a year and have come back three times. By letting me know who they were and that they’ve done it before, I was able to create a more difficult level for them each time.

 

HHTA: Is the class time flexible?

AM: This year I started holding it after hours in addition to Saturdays because there seemed to be a need for people who wanted to do something in the evenings after hiking. We’ve had a great response. I try to be available or create different times for whoever is interested.

 

HHTA: Do you think having art in addition to all of the recreational things to do in the Hocking Hills has a certain value for visitors?

AM: I think it adds tremendous value. They get to see the beautiful nature, but then they get to work on their own creative side. Many people don’t believe themselves to be creative, but they truly are. Once they go through some of these classes, it gets their juices flowing. They take it home and apply it to other areas of their life. It’s just the full gamut—hiking as well as creativity.

Everybody has a little creative side. Then to be able to bring it out and show them they really do have a talent or a creative side I think it’s of tremendous importance as they’re vacationing and even as self awareness. Confidence building goes into that, too. If they’ve never really had someone show them the steps and now they’ve done it, it just increases their own awareness allows them to know what their abilities are.

Check out more classes, workshops and things to do in Hocking Hills

Hot glass classes at the Ohio Glass Museum

The Ohio Glass Museums offer one-day up to multi-week glass blowing classes, with instruction on creating your own art like blown glass ornaments, “pulled” glass flowers  and progressing to more advanced projects through Glass I and Glass II.

Photography group at the Bowen House

The Bowen House photography group meets the second Tuesday of every month and focuses on intermediate and advanced photography.

Candle Making at Hocking Hills Candleworks

Mix and match fragrances to create your personally scented, one-of-a-kind pure soy candle in about one hour.

 Jividens’ Photo Adventures

Sign up for nature photography workshops with certified instructors Jerry and Barbara Jividen include field lessons, PowerPoint, handouts, equipment demonstrations, 35mm and digital cameras.The Jividens provide hands-on educational opportunities in the field of nature and wildlife photography.

Liquid Light Fine Arts Workshops

Take on beginner bead making. Learn to melt colorful glass into beads using tools and a burner in this one-hour class.

Craft Workshops at Scenic Way Gifts

Try out a class on beginner stained glass, decorative soldier techniques or painting on glass with glass. Ranging for two to four hours, these workshops offer knowledge and skills to add a creative touch to your own stained glass project.

Cool off in the Hills this summer

June 25, 2014

How to beat the heat after a day of hiking in Hocking Hills

Summer’s here and warm temperatures are heating up the Hills. Hocking Hills is bustling with outdoor enthusiasts, eager to spend the day under the sun. However, with the heat, comes sweat, sunburns and sleepiness. Check out all of these things to do in Hocking Hills that will be sure to cool you off amid a hot, sunny day.

Caves and hiking

While hiking in Hocking Hills, the caves are hard to miss, but be sure to not only snap pictures of these wonders—explore inside them to get a break from the heat, as they are naturally cooler than outdoors. Make a pit stop at the following Hocking Hills caves during your hike:

Ash Cave

Ash Cave is the largest recess cave east of the Mississippi and perhaps the most awe-inspiring feature of Hocking Hills State Park. With a horseshoe-shaped rim that spans 700 feet and a runoff waterfall, Ash Cave is enormous and open on one side. It’s the southernmost of six natural areas that comprise Hocking Hills State Park, and is a must-see for all visitors looking to experience Ohio caves.

Old Man’s Cave

Old Man’s Cave is the most visited area in Hocking Hills State Park, featuring rock formations with names like the Devil’s Bathtub, Sphinx Head, Eagle Rock and Whale in the Wall. It was named for the rock shelter that was once the home of Richard Rowe, a 19th-century hermit who is said to be buried beneath a cave ledge on the premises.

Cedar Falls

Cedar Falls has the greatest volume of water of all the falls in Hocking County, with water plunging 50 feet. It’s easily the most photographed of waterfalls in Ohio. The name Cedar Falls is a misnomer, the result of mistaken identity. Early settlers to the area misidentified the stately hemlock trees as cedar trees; but the name Cedar Falls has been used ever since.

Hocking Hills Cabins

Canoeing

Hocking HIlls canoeing is not only fun but refreshing. Feel the breeze by the water and navigate your canoe under shady trees and you may get the occasional splash of water from your or another’s oar. See why Discover Ohio recognizes Hocking Hills as a canoeing destination at the following locations:

Hocking Hills Canoe Livery

The original canoe livery in the Hocking Hills offers the best trips by canoe, kayak, raft or tube. Special events include Romantic Moonlight tours and Torchlight tours. Camp along the secluded banks off the Hocking River or stay in a rustic cabin. Hocking Valley Canoe Livery also has special packages that include go-karts, miniature golf and horseback riding. Our mission is to provide safe and memorable experiences through fun and friendly service.

Hocking Hills Adventures

Hocking Hills Adventures is a full-service canoe, kayak and raft rentals on the scenic Hocking River. Our goal is to provide a clean, safe and pleasurable river experience to every one of our visitors. We service rental and retail.

Swimming

There’s no better way to feel refreshed in the summer than taking a dip in the water. Whether a pool or lake, Hocking Hills has all of your swimming needs covered. Stop by the following bodies of water during your trip to Hocking Hills:

Lake Logan State Park beach

Lake Logan was developed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in 1955 for recreational purposes. It’s now one of the finest fishing lakes in Ohio. Lake Logan sports northern pike, bass, bluegill, crappie, catfish and saugeye. This day-use park provides scenic picnic and swimming areas, as well as secluded walking paths where visitors enjoy the wooded beauty of Ohio’s hill country and this Hocking Hills Park.

Lake Hope

This 2,983-acre park has a 600-foot swimming beach that’s located near the dam. There’s a beach house with a sun deck, restrooms and a concession building. Swimming is permitted during daylight hours, and no lifeguards are on duty, so be sure to take caution and swim at your own risk. Pets are not permitted.

Public pool at Hocking Hills Dining Lodge

Just south of Old Man’s Cave, Hocking Hills Dining lodge has a public pool that’s operated by the state park. Call the park office at (740) 385-6842 for all pool inquiries, including hosting private parties.

Upcoming Events

Be sure to check out these special upcoming things to do Hocking Hills for more fun “cooling” activities, taking place during the evening hours while the sun takes a break:

Birding by Kayak- Evening: Touch the Earth Adventures

Date: June 28, 2014
Time: 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Price: $45 | $35 with your own kayak
Contact: 740-591-9094
Location: Boat landing at Strouds Run State Park
Description: An Audubon guide will his or her enthusiasm and knowledge of birds large and small. Trips last three hours. No experience necessary. Birders of all levels welcome! Reservations required.

Hiking Hocking HillsNew Moon Glow Float

Date: June 28, 2014
Time: 7:00 – 11:00 p.m.
Price: $40 per canoe for two people
Location: Hocking Hills Canoe Livery
Contact: 740-385-0523
Description: Paddle your canoe from sunset to darkness, lit only by the glimmering phosphorescent light of glow sticks reflecting on the water. End at the livery with a roaring bonfire and lively music meant for listening and dancing. BYOB. Reservations highly recommended. One glow stick provided. Meet at 7:00 p.m. and be sure to bring your glowing bling.

The top 10 camping essentials

May 13, 2014

Pack these basics on your next Hocking Hills camping trip

More than 40 million Americans will go camping this year, with more than a million of those visiting the towering cliffs, waterfalls and endless trails found in the Hocking Hills State Park Region. Before you set off on your next adventure, don’t leave the essentials at home. Check out our list of top 10 must-haves when you book your next Hocking Hills camping trip.

  1. Tent. It should have four features: built-in pockets and hooks to hold lanterns and sleep gear, enough height for you to stand up straight, a separate “room” for sleeping, and most important, it should be a quick setup for one person. Pro tip: if you pick one that sleeps extra campers, you’ll have more room to relax.
  2. Outside Lighting. Don’t fumble with flashlights in the dark. Just strap on a headlamp to find your way to the bathroom or back to the tent at night.
  3. Grill. There are just about as many grills to choose from as there are foods to cook on them. While you can find a grill in just about any price range, something higher quality (like this list from the BBQ Guys) will serve you well through years of camping.
  4. Sleeping Bag. When choosing a sleeping bag, you’ll want to consider maximum body height – five or six inches above your height; temperature rating; and weight (if you plan to hike with your bag, Woman’s Day suggests opting for a total weight around two pounds and a compression case).
  5. First Aid Kit. Know how to use everything in your first aid kit, be sure to inspect it before each trip and restock often. The American Red Cross sells a variety First Aid Kits in its online store.Hocking Hills camping
  6. Knife. Invest in a pocketknife sturdy enough to meet any cutting challenge you’ll find in camp. Try a folding knife by brands such as HelleGerber or Kershaw.  
  7. Cookware. If you’re camping for any amount of time, you’ll likely need to whip something up away from the grill. GSI Outdoor’s Pinnacle Camper cook-set has everything you’ll need, tucked into one pot. It includes two anodized aluminum pots (3L and 2L); fry pan; two rubber lids; pot gripper; four plates, insulated mugs, and color-coded bowls; and a welded stuff sack that doubles as a wash basin.
  8. Fire starter. Your shiny new cook-set won’t do you much good without a fire to cook over. Check Amazon for a variety of pocket-size fire starters for as cheap as $1.90
  9. Walkie-talkies. Besides the fringe benefit of entertaining the kids, walk-talkies are perfect for hiking in the hills where cellphone coverage can be extremely limited.
  10. Master checklist. Nothing can replace a good ol’ fashioned checklist. Try one like this from Real Simple that breaks your essentials down by category with digital checkboxes.

Ohio’s Hocking Hills region is home to some of the best camping in the country, with Hocking Hills State Park Campground being named the No. 1 campground in the USA by Trailblazer.com.

Award-winning private campgrounds Lake Hope State Park and Wayne National Forest host all types of campers, from full hook up and pull through sites to hike-in primitive sites. Available swimming pools, game rooms and the amphitheater with Saturday night movies for summer campers. Whether you’re in a tent or a trailer, the Hocking Hills State Park Campground and other area campsites make up some of the best camping in Ohio.

Rocking in the Hocking with the Avett Brothers

May 8, 2014

Win passes and a stay at the 2014 Nelsonville Music Festival

Where do musical genres, esteemed musicians and up-and-comers collide in the heart of Hocking Hills? Since 2005, the Nelsonville Music Festival has played host to legendary acts like Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, The Flaming Lips, M. Ward, Iron and Wine, Andrew Bird Wilco and John Prine.

This year, the Avett Brothers return to headline the three-day show, along with bands The Head and The Heart, Dinosaur Junior, Shovels and Rope, Kurt Vile and more than 40 others. And you could be there. The Hocking Hills Tourism Association, along with the Nelsonville Music Festival and Stuart’s Opera House, is awarding one winner the grand prize – a pair of Nelsonville Music Festival weekend passes and three nights in a Hocking Hills cabin. Plus, three second prize winners will come away with a pair of weekend festival passes.

RockingHocking_AvettBrothers

Enter Rocking in the Hocking now for your chance to win.

The Nelsonville Music Festival is an annual three-day music festival located at the Historic Village of Robbins Crossing at Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio, in Southeastern Ohio. Taking place in late May, the event encompasses a variety of genres and embraces local, regional, and national artists. The family friendly celebration includes local food and artisans, children’s activities, alternative entertainment and a campground for both primitive and RV camping

13th Annual Shoot the Hills Photography Contest

April 9, 2014

Join Ohio’s largest photo contest

All photographers are invited to enter in the 13th annual Shoot the Hills photography contest. This year’s three-day event will take place on April 25-27, held at the Hocking Hills State Park Dining Lodge. Each day beginning at 12 p.m., contestants can compete to capture the natural beauty of the Ohio Hocking Hills region. Pros and amateurs alike stand to collect more than $5,000 in cash and prizes.

Registration is now open. See you in the Hills.

Check out previous contest winners

Photo from Sara Spadle, 2011 Shoot The Hills Winner

Photo from Sara Spadle, 2011 Shoot The Hills Winner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012 Print Division Winner, Judges Choice & Highlight of the Hills, David Reed

2012 Print Division Winner, Judges Choice & Highlight of the Hills, David Reed

2012 Grand Prize Winner, Brian Stevens

2012 Grand Prize Winner, Brian Stevens

2012 Point & Shoot Division – Wildlife, First Place, Courtney Orr

2012 Point & Shoot Division – Wildlife, First Place, Courtney Orr

2012 Point & Shoot Division – Flora, First Place, Alyssa Rogers

2012 Point & Shoot Division – Flora, First Place, Alyssa Rogers

2012 DSLR Division – Abstract, First Place, David Gilles

2012 DSLR Division – Abstract, First Place, David Gilles

2012 DSLR Division – Wildlife, First Place, Timothy McDonaley

2012 DSLR Division – Wildlife, First Place, Timothy McDonaley

 

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