In the Activity Spotlight we highlight some of the many great activities available within a short drive of Ravenwood Castle. This week’s Spotlight is written by Innkeeper Amy Miller.
There’s no doubt about it, we here at Ravenwood Castle love Hocking Hills – as do the millions of folks that flock to our area each year! Among the many outdoor activities and attractions that bring the tourists to Hocking Hills are a myriad of wonderful state parks. One of my personal favorites is Lake Hope State Park.
Lake Hope State Park in nestled inside Zaleski State Forest, and is conveniently located only 15 minutes from the castle. Looking to avoid the crowds over at Old Man’s Cave in Hocking Hills State Park? Look no further than Lake Hope.
More than 100 years ago, much of the park’s land was cleared to fuel the booming iron smelting industry. For the history minded, be sure to visit the original Hope Iron furnace for an impressive glimpse into what landed Vinton County on the map so long ago.
Since the iron smelting days, the forest and vegetation have recovered and the park has become a little known gem of the area. The forest offers trails for hiking as well as mountain biking. You can also enjoy boating, fishing or swimming in the park’s namesake Lake Hope. At 120 acres, Lake Hope is just big enough to rent a pontoon boat and picnic on the lake or swim at the shore of the 600 foot beach.
If you get hungry while enjoying the park’s numerous activities, check out the Lake Hope Dining Lodge for some flatbread, natural smoked meats and a gorgeous view of the lake while you dine. For food on the run, the park offers concessions at the boat house near the lake. You can also obtain your fishing licenses and boat rentals there as well.
Lake Hope State Park also offers a variety of local events, including free activities such as the Full Moon Hike on April 29th from 8pm -10pm. Take a 3 mile hike illuminated by only the moon! Check out the park’s website to obtain park rules, print your trail maps and further plan your activities.
Though it’s my personal favorite, Lake Hope State Park is just one of the many attractions in the Hocking Hills area. There’s too much to do for a simple day trip, so we suggest planning a few days when you come visit. We also suggest staying with us at Ravenwood Castle! Book a medieval cottage if you wish to soak those muscles after a long day of hiking, and be sure to let us handle dinner and drinks for you. Kick off those boots and relax… castle style!