Hocking Hills State Park opens pristine new hiking trails

 

Logan, Ohio – Two new trails just opened in Ohio’s Hocking Hills State Park, adding even more reason for visitors to explore this spectacular natural destination. These newly accessible areas of the park include Whispering Cave which, due to its unusual acoustics, allows a visitor who whispers at one end of this huge cave to be heard clearly by another hiker who stands 275 feet away at Whispering Cave’s other end.

Hemlock Bridge Trail also just opened, connecting to both the Grandma Gatewood (Buckeye) Trail and Cedar Falls. Hemlock Bridge Trail features the park’s first-ever swinging bridge, which carries hikers over Old Man’s Creek at its confluence with Queer Creek, so-named because its water flows in a different direction than expected.

“Now that travelers can access both Whispering Cave and Hemlock Bridge Trail, they have two more beautiful reasons to visit the Hocking Hills,” said Hocking Hills Tourism Association Executive Director Karen Raymore.  “Add these to the region’s many active experiences, such as rappelling, kayaking, canopy tours, eco tours, horseback riding, antiquing and other activities, and our visitors typically find they need to extend their stay in order to get it all in.”

Raymore added that access to Hocking Hills State Park’s many natural wonders – including parking – remain free, as Ohio State Parks are among only a few remaining state park systems in the U.S. that do not charge visitors.

Raymore also pointed to the area’s quirky stops like tours of Columbus Washboard Company, the last remaining washboard factory in America, and the Paul A. Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum as additional attractions that intrigue travelers heading to the Hocking Hills.

Details on the new attractions are easily accessed on the Explore Hocking Hills website, where travelers can plan your trip full of unforgettable excursions, including hiking the region’s miles of wooded trails that take them past breathtaking waterfalls, caves and rock formations.

Located 40 miles southeast of Columbus, Ohio, Hocking Hills offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences that make every day feel like Saturday, with plenty of Admission: FREE activities. The region boasts a wide variety of affordable lodging, from camping, cabins and cottages to hotels and inns.  In addition to hiking trails, parks and forests, the Hocking Hills is the Canopy Tour Capital of the Midwest, with 55 ziplines being offered via three distinct guide services.  Unique gift and antique shops, canoeing, horseback riding, golf, spas and more add to the allure of the Hocking Hills as the perfect place to unplug. Complete traveler information is available at ExploreHockingHills.com or 1-800-Hocking (800-462-5464).

Art, music, dance and more come to downtown riverfront for Columbus Arts Festival, June 9-11

Columbus Arts Festival

Columbus, OH – The Columbus Arts Festival celebrates the best in fine art and crafts in Columbus, June 9-11. Admission to this carefully curated, juried arts festival is free, with special Friends of the Festival VIP packages available. Produced by the Greater Columbus Arts Council, festival hours are Friday, June 9, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, June 10, 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 11, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hundreds of notable local, national and international artists representing 37 U.S. states, plus Belgium and Canada, will exhibit and sell their work at the 56th annual event.

The festival’s wildly creative vibe is amplified by Columbus’ recently completed downtown riverfront restoration, known as the Scioto Mile. Bicentennial Park and two architecturally beautiful bridges at Main and Rich streets rise above a green ribbon of lush, reclaimed parkland, which features 175 acres of green space filled with native plants, a winding promenade, sculptural water features, plazas, paths and bikeways.

New this year, the stunning sculptural creation of artists Cristobel and Samuel Wagner, Structural Circumstances E.G. 2, will bring a 24’ x 8’ mobile home replica crafted from brightly colored, transparent plexiglass to the east side of Bicentennial Park. The installation commission was the first for the Columbus Arts Festival. During the day, sunshine will project the vibrant, stained-glass-like image of the structure onto the viewer and the ground around him or her. Lit from within, the work will brilliantly glow at night. The Wagners hope the piece will encourage dialogue and foster deeper understanding between socioeconomic sectors.

Downtown Columbus’ Scioto Mile will rock, swing and sing during the 2017 festival.  This year’s Main Stage will feature live performances throughout the day by popular local and national acts, including Dave Buker & the Historians, the acoustic band Tennessee Traffic, Andy Shaw Band and many more incredible talents.  Headliners for the weekend are local bands on the rise nationally, focusing on alternative music, which continues to grow in popularity. The local alternative rock band Zoo Trippin’, takes the stage at 9 p.m. Friday. Rising pop, country and R&B singer Charlie Millikin performs Saturday evening at 9 p.m. On Sunday morning, a performance by the Columbus Symphony will be a highlight of the festival.

The Columbus Arts Festival also features three additional performance stages, including the Grange Acoustic Stage with multi-disciplinary performances and a diverse mix of music, from acoustic and jazz to bluegrass and world music. A second stage features more than a dozen local dance troupes and companies. The Ohio Magazine Word is Art stage spotlights some of Columbus’ most talented spoken word poets and authors.

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Experience Columbus is the destination marketing organization for the Columbus region, dedicated to Columbus is a city unlike any other. Vibrant and alive, Ohio’s capital is known for its open attitude, smart style and entrepreneurial spirit. Columbus’ uncommon blend of neighborhoods, arts and culinary experiences, events, attractions and accommodations are made unforgettable by its diversity of outgoing locals who warmly welcome visitors. In 2016, Columbus was ranked “Highest in Visitor Satisfaction in the Midwest” by J.D. Power in the 2016 Destination Experience Satisfaction StudySM.  Free travel guides, maps, online booking and detailed information are available at www.ExperienceColumbus.com or 866.397.2657 (866.EXP.COLS). Visitor information is also available on Facebook: facebook.com/ExperienceColumbus and facebook.com/ColumbusFoodScene, Twitter: @ExpCols and Instagram.

Columbus, OH received the highest numerical score among 8 cities in the Midwest in the J.D. Power 2016 Destination Experience Satisfaction Study, based on 26,124 total responses, measuring the experiences and perceptions of travelers who visited a top 50 U.S. destination, surveyed February-July 2016. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.