Sky's the Limit for Leaf Peepers in Ohio's Hocking Hills
Visitors experience stunning fall foliage via balloon, kayak, horseback, small plane and more.
LOGAN, OH, September 12, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Fast becoming known for offering some of North America's most stunning fall foliage, southeast Ohio's Hocking Hills now offers a trio of elevated ways for visitors to experience breathtaking autumn views from the best seat in the house: the sky. But there are plenty of other unforgettable ways to experience the beauty of 10,000 acres of unbroken forests, spectacular waterfalls, caves and soaring rock faces and blackhand sandstone formations. The varied mix of tree species creates a blazing tapestry of color, including Maple's fiery red and orange, Aspen's bright yellow to gold, Oakey brown and rust and deep evergreen, gracefully provided by Pine and Hemlock. Travelers are advised to remember devices for capturing and sharing images, as the region's photo opportunities are unrivaled.
Taking leaf peeping to a higher level, Hocking Hills Hot Air Ballooning offers the ultimate "high," year round, weather permitting. Travelers float noiselessly just above the area's thousands of acres of lush forests as breathtaking foliage unfurls from beneath the balloon's basket. Specializing in scenic tours, proposals, weddings and vow renewal, Hocking Hills Hot Air Ballooning provides a one-of-a-kind way to experience The Hills. Ideal for a family, couples or girlfriend getaway of up to four guests, the experience is new for visitors, but not for these skilled pilots, all of which are FAA certified with up to 20 years experience.
Hocking Hills Scenic Air Tours allows for a spectacular overview of this gorgeous landscape at a spectacular price. Veteran pilot and flight instructor Harry Sowers takes travelers on an unforgettable tour of the area's unique geological footprint in his Cesna. Soaring over Logan, Vinton and McArthur counties, Sowers taps his 40-plus years of flying experience to customize flights over the region's many waterfalls, lakes, caves and other special landmarks. Sunset, sunrise, dinner and night flights are offered. The plane holds up to three and flights range from 20 minutes to an hour, starting at just $75 for two people.
Not one but three canopy tour operators make Ohio's Hocking Hills the undisputed Canopy Tour Capital of the Midwest. With more than 50 total ziplines, Hocking Hills Canopy Tours, Valley Zip Lines and Hocking Peaks offer some of the most adventurous ways to soar over the region's fall color. Multi-hour canopy tours fly riders over caves, rock cliffs and more via ziplines and sky bridges, rappelling them back to the ground, while a higher, faster, longer, SuperZip takes visitors right over the Hocking River, offering yet one more way for travelers to enjoy sky-high views of the region's colorful autumn vistas.
In addition to aerial views of the area's gorgeous color, classic horse-drawn wagon rides at Lake Hope State Park highlight the season's beauty every Saturday, Oct. 10-31 from 2-5 p.m. Beginning at the Lake Hope State Park Nature Center, guests enjoy a free 20-minute ride through Hocking Hills.
Hocking Valley Scenic Railway shows off the area's foliage with historic train rides Thurs.-Sun. Oct. 1-30. On Oct. 19, visitors can enjoy wine and cheese during the 7 p.m. Fall Wine Train, which supports the revered local performing arts venue, Stuart's Opera House.
October also gives visitors two free organized scenic fall foliage hikes from which to choose. On Saturday, Oct. 13, the legendary annual Grandma Gatewood Fall Color Hike takes visitors on the six-mile Grandma Gatewood trail, from Old Man's Cave to Cedar Falls and back, starting at 1 p.m. The three-mile Lake Hope Fall Hike begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20 with a cup of sassafras tea and ends with bean soup and cornbread at Lake Hope Furnace.
Some half dozen outfitters also make it possible for Hocking Hills visitors to check out the fall foliage on horseback, on ATVs and by kayak and canoe. Scenic trail rides, sunset and moon glow paddles are offered for as little as one hour to as long as a full day. Some multiple day trips are also available.
Located 40 miles southeast of Columbus, Ohio, Hocking Hills offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences and plenty of Admission: FREE activities that make every day feel like Saturday. 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 zipline capital of the Midwest, with more than 50 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 www.1800Hocking.com or 1-800-Hocking (800-462-5464).
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