06.07.20: Around the falls

A view of the Cedar Falls area, Hocking Hills State Park, Logan, Ohio.

A view of the Cedar Falls area, Hocking Hills State Park, Logan, Ohio.

Ancient glacier created a scenic Ohio park

The various parks and preserves in the Hocking Hills are great areas for photography. The terrain is much different from the mostly flat land in other areas of Ohio. Blame it on the Wisconsin glacier that covered Ohio from 85,000 to 11,000 years ago. 

One of the best areas in Ohio to find waterfalls is the Hocking Hills region in the southeastern part of the state.

I took this photo of Cedar Falls during an October 2015 visit to Hocking Hills State Park. Like most of the more than a dozen waterfalls in the region, the volume of water flowing over Cedar Falls can vary greatly by season, although Cedar Falls typically has more volume than the others. During spring, water can be gushing over the rocks. During late summer it can slow to a trickle. And some falls in the region are so seasonal that they disappear entirely during summer months.

The name Cedar Falls is a misnomer. It was named by early settlers who mistook the surrounding hemlocks for cedars.

The various parks and preserves in the Hocking Hills are great areas for photography. The terrain is much different from the mostly flat land in other areas of Ohio. Blame it on the Wisconsin glacier that covered Ohio from 85,000 to 11,000 years ago. It flattened the area, but southeastern Ohio (about an hour’s drive from my house) was outside the glaciation of the ice age and remained ruggedly hilly and forested.

The same glacier that flattened much of Ohio is responsible for creating the Hocking Hills, one of the most geologically unique – and photogenic – areas in Ohio. The ruggedly hilly section of southeastern Ohio features gorges, cliffs, caves and waterfalls created when torrents of water from the melting glacier rushed through that area.

According to Wikipedia: “When the glacial torrents found cracks in the hard capstone, the water poured through to flush out the soft middle layer. This left long tunnels where the gorges are today. Eventually, the weight of the tops caused them to come crashing down. The ‘slump rocks’ in the gorges today are what’s left of the hard top layer. In just a few centuries, the rushing waters of the glacier carved the soft middle layer of sandstone into the myriad dimples and wrinkles that decorate the cliffs and grottos today.”

The waterfalls, deep, rocky gorges and towering, forested hills make Hocking Hills State Park one of my favorite areas for photography. It’s about an hour’s drive from my house, but it’s worth the trip.

Tech specs

  • Date/time: Oct. 26, 2015, 9:39 a.m.
  • Location: 39°25'6" N 82°31'28.9979" W  (Show in Google Maps)
  • Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II 
  • Lens: Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L (16mm)
  • Aperture: f/11
  • Shutter: 1/10th second
  • ISO: 100