Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Hocking Hills New Year

Friday, December 31st - New Year's Eve at The Inn - 5:30pm; While some people enjoy crowded, noisy places to celebrate the New Year, our guests prefer the comforts of quiet and charm. Our New Year's Eve feast begins with Wedge of Baked Brie, Shrimp Bisque or Mixed Greens Salad. Choice of Filet Mignon, Scallops or Rack of Lamb. Desserts include Dark Chocolate Cheesecake or Poached Pear & Almond Cake. $49; for reservations call 800-653-2557; The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls, 21190 St. Rt. 374, Logan

Friday, December 31st -New Year's Eve at Hide-A-Way Hills  - Ring in the New Year at The Lodge in Hide-A-Away Hills! DJ Mike Zeiglar will be spinning your dance favorites from 9pm to 1am; champagne toast at midnight. We'll be offering many different drink specials and supurb dinner choices served up by our new Chef, Thomas Hemmer. It will be an evening to remember. Make your reservations early by calling 740-569-7944. The Lodge at Hide-A-Way Hills, 29042 Hide-A-Way Hills Rd, Sugar Grove

Friday, December 31st - Arnett Howard "And Friends" - 8pm to midnight; The Hocking Hills Resort will ring in the New Year with a show by Arnett Howard "And Friends". Enjoy hors d' oeuvres and show for $20. Reserve early for dinner at Grouse Nest Restaurant (reservation not required in the restaurant to see the show); Reservations required - 740-332-4501; Sponsored by Laurelville Fruit Farm; Hocking Hills Resort, 25780 Liberty Hill Rd, South Bloomingville

Friday, December 31st - New Year's Eve at the Brass Ring; Chef Moe is preparing a special dinner for the occasion. Begin with a Champagne Toast followed by your choice of Seafood Bisque or Fresh Spring Greens Salad. You entree choices are Filet Mignon with Jack Daniels Demi Glace, Surf & Turf, Seafood Augratin, Mahi Mahi with Ginger Teriyaki Glaze, Grilled Chicken with Sauteed Mushrooms and Onions and Oven Roasted Pork Loin. All entrees are served with Caribbean Vegetable Medley and choice of potato. You feast is completed with your choice of Chef Moe's famous Chocolate Volcano Cake or Mixed Berry Cobbler with vanilla ice cream. $60 per couple; $30 per person. Reservations strongly recommended - 740-385-8966; The Brass Ring Restaurant, 14405 Country Club Lane, Logan

Friday, December 31st - New Year's Eve at the Sandstone - 3pm to 9pm; Surf & Turf or Prime Rib dinner including appetizer, salad, vegetable, potato, dessert and party favors. Complimentary Champagne; $75 per couple; Reservations strongly recommended - 740-385-9479; The Sandstone Restaurant, 117 W Main St, Logan

Friday, November 19, 2010



Thanksgiving at Glenlaurel
And now we give thanks - let's celebrate the goodness of the earth. Relax and enjoy this special time together...share Thanksgiving with your family at Glenlaurel. Join us for a lovely six-course dinner featuring Tom Turkey with all the trimmings. Cost is $49 per person, with children (12 and under) half-price. Groups are welcome. Call now to make your reservations. Please call for seating times. It's a shared holiday where all are welcome. $49 per person; children 12 and under half price. Reservations required, please call for seating times; 740-385-4070; Glenlaurel Scottish Inn, 149 Mount Olive Rd, Rockbridge

Thanksgiving at the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls - 3pm
This is a family fun affair. Your hearty Turkey Day meal includes Butternut-Apple Soup, Mixed Greens with Blue Cheese, Walnuts, Pomegranate Vinaigrette, Ham or Turkey Breast, Sage Stuffing, Brown Butter Sweet Potatoes, Fall Harvest Wild Rice Blend, Roasted Beets and Green Beans, with Pumpkin and Pecan Pies for dessert. Reserve early, we are always sold out. $42 for adults; $21 for children under 10; call 800-653-2557 for reservations

Rocky Outdoor Gear Store - 11am to 3pm
Thanksgiving Dinner to benefit Nelsonville Restoration Foundation; $15 per person; $7.50 children 12 and under; reservations requested - call 740-753-4346


The Olde Dutch Restaurant & Banquet Haus - 10:30am to 5:30pm
Carved Roast Turkey, Carved Country Ham, Broasted Chicken, Roast Beef, Pork Tenderloin, Real Mashed Potatoes, Chicken & Noodles, Stuffing, Vegetables, Homemade Rolls, Vegetable Soup, Salad Bar, Assorted Pies and Drinks; $14.95 adults; $4.99 children 7-10; $3.49 children 3-6; under 3 free. Olde Dutch Restaurant, 12791 St. Rt. 664 S, Logan; 740-385-1000

The Brass Ring Restaurant - 11am to 3pm
Oven Roasted Turkey Breast and Gravy, Smoked Pit Ham, Roast Beef, Buttermilk Chive Mashed Potatoes, Sage Stuffing, Candied Yams, Salad Bar, Green Bean Casserole, Home-Style Noodles, Chef Moe's Dessert Table; $12.95 adults; $6.95 children 5-12; children under 4 free; Call for reservations - 740-385-8966 or 740-380-9412

The Lodge at Hide-A-Way Hills - 11am to 3pm
Traditional Thanksgiving fare with all the trimmings; $23.99 adults; $12.99 children 5-12; children 4 and under are free; call 740-569-7944 for reservations, Lodge in Hide-A-Way Hills, 29042 Hide-A-Way Hills Rd, Sugar Grove

Lee's Banquet Haus - 11am to 3pm;
Broasted Chicken, Roast Beef, Roast Turkey, Carved Pit Ham, Whipped Potatoes, Escalloped Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Noodles, Vegetables, Salads, Rolls and Assorted Desserts; $12.95 adults; $5.95 children 3-10; children under 3 are free. Lee's Banquet Haus, 580 Radio Lane, Logan

The Grouse Nest Restaurant - 11:30am to 2:30pm
Sugar and Glazed Nut Brie, Shrimp Cocktail, Apple Bear Salad, Rasted Turkey, Honey Glazed Rabbit, Venison Osso Bucco, Creamy Succotash, Green Beans and Leeks, Maple Yams, Velvet Mashed Potatoes, Sour Dough and Oyster Dressing, Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Pie; $21 for adults; $10 children 10 and under; Reservations recommended; call 740-332-4501; The Grouse Nest Restaurant at Hocking Hills Resort, 25780 Liberty Hill Rd, So Bloomingville


FRIDAY, November 26th - Final Fridays - Holiday Shopping Alternative - 6pm to 10pm; Kick off the holidays with a visit to North Pole, Nelsonville! Visit Santa's Village and go ice skating in the Square, ice skates available. Stop in Nelsonville's Historic Square Arts District to finish shopping with unique one-of-a-kind gifts of handmade art that can't be found at the malls. Enjoy a community art event while making your shopping dollars count for more

FRIDAY & SATURDAY, November 26th & 27th - Sharff's Fashions After Thanksgiving Sales Event; You will find the newest styles from Top Designers, OSU licensed apparel, accessories, jewelry (including Trollbeads) and more. Sharff's Fashions, 45 W Main St, Logan; 740-385-4016

SATURDAY, November 27th - OSU vs. Michigan Hog Roast - noon; There's nothing like viewing the big game on big screens with a group of fans. Add a hog roast, games, corn hole & more fun for the whole family and you have a game day to remember! Admission is free, but we'll be providing a great lunch plate for $6 which will include a drink and choice of BBQ & regular pork, hamburgers & hotdogs, and coleslaw & other fixings. Organized by Logan-HockingActivityCenter, 1593 E Front St, Logan; 740-385-4322 or 740-808-2281

SATURDAY & SUNDAY, November 27th & 28th - Hocking Valley Scenic Railway Santa Train - 11am and 2pm; Take a ride with Santa Claus. The jolly old elf and his helper will board at the depot and share the ride with you. During the trip, Santa will visit individually with each child. Santa's elf will have a special candy treat for each child. The train is heated and decorated for the holiday. $16 adults; $14 seniors 60+; $12 children 3-12; under 3 years old ride free but must sit on guardian's lap; advance reservations are recommended;
You may order tickets by leaving a message at 800-967-7834
For questions, please call 740-753-9531 on Saturday or Sunday

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Annual Hocking Hills hike draws a record number of participants

LOGAN, Ohio -- Just the right weather conditions -- cold enough to keep the beautiful ice formations intact, warm enough to make the 6-mile trek bearable -- brought out a record number of people yesterday for the Hocking Hills State Park's annual winter hike.

Park officials counted 5,417 people, and one "sasquatch," who hiked the trail from Old Man's Cave to Ash Cave. There was a midway stop at Cedar Falls for bean soup, cornbread and hot chocolate.

The old record was 5,200 in 1998. This year's was the park's 45th annual winter hike.

Surprised to see a hairy Bigfoot-like creature with a walking stick, park naturalist Pat Quackenbush called out, "First time we've had sasquatch on the hike."

The sasquatch -- aka Arron Waugh, 49, of Wellston -- replied, "I've been on it 10 years. You just didn't see me."

With the temperature lingering just below 40 degrees, enthusiastic hikers quickly filled the parking lots near Old Man's Cave. They began lining up well before the scheduled 9 a.m. start time, but park rangers let them start 15 minutes early.

The long line of hikers continued unbroken for more than two hours, constantly replenished by passengers on Logan-Hocking school district buses. People were ferried to and from outlying parking lots.

The hikers were male and female, young and old, singles, couples, families and scout troops. Some wore fancy hiking boots and carried ski poles; others had tennis shoes and used tree branches turned into walking sticks.

Most were dressed for the winter chill, but two people were spotted in shorts and one woman wore a sleeveless vest.

Nearly everyone brought along a camera or a dog. Big dogs pulled at leashes, while little ones peeked out from parka pockets.

Randy Hall, 61, of Pataskala, said he started participating in the winter hike decades ago. He took his four sons when they were small enough that they had to be carried.

"It's a family tradition," he said. "I'm going to keep going as long as I can, until they have to push me around."

Harold Johnson, 77, of Logan, calculated that yesterday was his 42nd winter hike. He said park workers have done many things to make the outing safer since the early years, when the trails were treacherous.

Kenneth Bell, 71, Johnson's hunting buddy, was on his first hike.

"I've always said I was going to go, so I decided to do it this year," Bell said.

Yesterday's hikers became part of mankind's history in Hocking Hills, which stretches back to the end of the ice age when Paleo-Indians roamed the area.

Natives from the Woodland culture followed and, much later, Shawnee traveled the trails going to and from Chillicothe, their major settlement.

White settlers didn't arrive in significant numbers until the 1790s.

What makes Hocking Hills special is its geologic scenery, which is unmatched in the state. More than 300 million years ago, the area was covered by a shallow sea.

Streams flowing into the sea deposited pebbles and sand into deltas, eventually forming the Black Hand Sandstone characteristic of the park.

During the ice age a mere 2 million years ago, runoff from the nearby ice sheet created torrents of running water that carved caves, gorges and scenic features out of the porous sandstone.

Quackenbush said some plant and other species in the park appear nowhere else in the state, including the Eastern hemlock and yellow and black birch trees. A species of moth native to Canada is found nowhere in Ohio except in Ash Cave.

The area's natural attractions, plus a tight economy that has forced many people to vacation closer to home, resulted in a 4 percent growth in tourism last year compared with 2008, said Karen Raymore, executive director of the Hocking Hills Tourism Association.

Last year, the state park had more than 2.9 million visitors -- nearly 100,000 more than 2008.

"We're thrilled, but not completely surprised," Raymore said. "Mother Nature decided a long time ago that this was going to be a tourist destination."

"It's a family tradition. I'm going to keep going as long as I can, until they have to push me around."

Randy Hall

veteran winter hiker