I don’t know what you think of when you think of rural Ohio, but two things that immediately come to mind for me are farms and corn. The last thing that I’d think of is a beautiful solace of caves, state parks and waterfalls, but that’s just what’s housed in the small town of Logan, Ohio.

Logan is home to Lake Logan State Park which includes not only Lake Logan itself, but Ruby Falls, Cedar Falls, Ash Cave, the famous Old Man’s Cave and so much more. Last weekend, Grace, Hannah and I made the 30-minute venture to Logan to see Old Man’s Cave with our moms for Ohio University’s annual Mom’s Weekend.

Personally, this hike was beyond necessary. My life has been overflowing with hustling and bustling for the past few months and getting the chance to slow down, appreciate nature and hike in one of the most beautiful places Ohio has to offer, with my best friends, was exactly what I needed. Just 30 minutes outside of campus, the Hocking Hills location is perfect for a quick day trip [or, look into renting a cabin for a relaxing weekend getaway!].

Old Man’s Cave never ceases to make me realize how miniscule some of of my worries are.  There’s something about the outdoors and being surrounded by towering trees, rushing water and the daylight bouncing off of the cave walls so brightly that they almost look orange that makes any anxious thoughts, deadlines and responsibilities disappear. Instead, my worries are replaced with taking in the beautiful view laughing and spending ~quality~ time with friends and, of course, trying not to trip and fall in the nearest patch of mud.

Grace, Hannah and I [and occasionally our moms] couldn’t stop gushing about how serene the cave is. Being #CityGorls [or maybe wannabe #CityGorls] from Chicago, Columbus and Cincinnati, the looming tree branches were a welcoming contrast to the urban landscapes we grew up in. The cool breeze, canopy of foliage giving shade from the sun, sound of water flowing in the creeks and being surrounded by nothing but nature and a lack of phone service reminded us that it’s important to stop and take time to breathe amidst our busy schedules.

If you’re an avid wanderer, like myself, Old Man’s Cave is a must for your travel list. You can even make a day of it! Start the day by grabbing a pastry and cup of coffee from Village Bakery in Athens, Ohio. After making the quick commute to the cave entrance, make sure to take time to really appreciate your surroundings — don’t rush it! End your day with a drink and a meal at Eclipse Company Store. We promise, by the time you make it back home you’ll have a deeper appreciation for quality time spent outdoors with loved ones [even if you may be so exhausted that you sleep for 11 hours after].

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