In the Activity Spotlight we highlight some of the many great activities available within a short drive from Ravenwood Castle. This week’s Activity Spotlight is written by our former Assistant Innkeeper, Abby Kutscher.
The Hocking Hills Region of Ohio is spectacular. Ask anyone. And luckily, Ravenwood Castle is only about a 15 minute drive from the heart of it. Several of the tourist sites in the Hocking Hills get a lot of attention: Ash Cave, Cedar Falls, and Old Man’s Cave. These seem to be the reigning trifecta. However, a personal favorite of mine that I feel gets over-looked is Conkle’s Hollow. And that is why I have chosen it for this week’s activity spotlight.
Conkle’s Hollow is a State Nature Preserve, one of the deepest gorges in Ohio. It offers some of the most spectacular views in the area, and two different trails that a hiker can choose to explore. The Gorge Trail takes you through the rocky gorge and past streams and waterfalls (depending on the time of year). At only a half mile, it is a fun trail for beginners. The majority of this trail is paved so it is easily accessible for wheelchairs and strollers too. For the more adventurous hiker, there is the Rim Trail. The Rim Trail takes you up 200 feet above the gorge. At 2 and a half miles, it is quite a trek but well worth it for the view.
Conkle’s Hollow is named after W.J. Conkle, a name found carved into the west wall of the gorge with the date 1797. There are several fun legends associated with Conkle’s Hollow as well. First, on the gorge trail, hikers pass the Horsehead Grotto, a recessed cave which is said to be haunted. Looking from the trail into the grotto, hikers are said to be able to see the shape of a horse’s head in the stone. Another legend associated with Conkle’s Hollow claims that an arrow carved into the stone points the way to buried treasure. According to the legend, a tribe of Native Americans robbed a group of settlers banked along the Ohio River and hid their money in the gorge. However, before they returned to claim their stolen goods, there was a storm that knocked down several trees and hid the marker they had made to lead the way to the treasure.
Whether you are looking for buried treasure or just a breathtaking view, make sure to check out Conkle’s Hollow on your next trip to Ravenwood Castle!