Best views in Ohio (Part two)

Three months ago, I posted Best views in Ohio, with the idea that I would post more as I visit other places.  There are a few places with fantastic views that I haven’t posted here before, and some new places I’ve just checked out!

Christmas Rocks, Lancaster

This was a steep little hike with a rewarding view.  Spring was a beautiful time to be there, with everything budding, and I can imagine that seeing this in the fall would be equally as gorgeous.

How to get there:  Drive to Christmas Rocks State Nature Preserve.  You park in the parking lot at the bottom of the hill (near some houses in a neighborhood).  You take the main route up to the top of Jacobs Ladder.  There are signs intermittent on the trail that help you stay on track.  The hike is about 4 miles round trip.

Hoover Dam, Westerville

Being a Westerville-native, obviously I’ve been to Hoover Dam a million times.  So many times, that I forget how pretty it is.  It’s a beautiful place to view the sunset, get in a run up the stairs (my sister does this almost weekly) and see a lot of wildlife and birds.

How to get there:  GPS it and you’re there.  You can’t miss it right off of Sunbury Road.  There are a lot of natural areas to walk around, as well as a bike and walking path along the dam and reservoir.

Rock House, Hocking Hills

This is a gorgeous area of Hocking Hills, with a beautiful arch that you can walk through.  It gets pitch black in some places (so bring a flashlight or use the one on your phone) but it opens up to a gorgeous area where you can see the ground, the sky and gorgeous trees.

How to get there:  It’s a short little hike (.6 miles), but it is steep.  It’s easy on the way there (because it’s downhill) but it’s more challenging uphill on the way back.  You do have to climb up through some boulders, so I would recommend having good sturdy legs, and knees to do this one!

Clifton Mill, Clifton

If you want a good meal and see “one of the largest water powered grist mills still in existence”, you’ll want to check this out.  Walking around the mill also provides a beautiful view of the mill, the waterfalls and the greenery.  We’ve been here in the summer, and around Christmas, which is when they deck this place out with lights.

How to get there: GPS “Clifton Mill” and you’ll be there.  If you want a good hike and more beautiful views, check out Clifton Gorge Nature Preserve which is less than a mile away.  (If you want more stuff to do in this area, check out this article I wrote on daytrips from Columbus.)

Scioto Mile, Columbus

I love urban views and seeing buildings lit up at night.  Walking around the Scioto Mile at dusk is a great way to see the city.  There are little pockets that let you hop down and see even more views of the city.  

How to get there:  Parking downtown is always annoying, but there are parking meters around here as well as lots.  If you want to couple this with dinner, you could pay for valet parking at a restaurant and then walk around the park.

Rim Trail, Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve

The entire rim hike is about 2.5 miles and goes all along the edge of a gorge.  This means you have some beautiful and scenic views the entire time.  We loved this hike.  However, I do not recommend this for anyone who is afraid of heights.  We saw two parents trying to get a kid (about 8 years old) to keep going.  The mother said, “There’s nothing to be afraid of.”  The child snapped back, “THERE’S PLENTY TO BE AFRAID OF!”  So, if you’re afraid of heights, this might not be the trek for you!

How to get there:  We drove to the main entrance of the park and parked in the lot.  We walked up past the bridge and made it to a posted map.  If you keep going, you’ll see signs for the rim trail (as well as “DANGER” signs because you are walking around the edge of some steep drop off points.)  

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