Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve sits inside Hocking State Forest near Hocking Hills, Ohio. The Preserve contains Conkle’s Hollow, the deepest gorge in Ohio. At approximately 200 feet, there are places where little sunlight ever shines, offering a unique ecosystem within which nature still thrives.
The sheer cliffs of Blackhand sandstone stand as an eternal guardian of the land below. Formed by water forcing its way through the soft stone, the gorge is half a mile long and 200 feet deep. In some places it is only 100 feet wide, offering an excellent shelter for some native flora and fauna.
Conkle’s Hollow was named after a local visitor, W.J. Conkle who carved his name in the soft stone in 1797, some of the earliest graffiti we guess. The gorge took on the name as new visitors saw it, must have seemed as good a name as any!
Legend has it there is treasure hidden somewhere in Conkle’s Hollow. Early settlers in the area are said to have found an arrow carved into the rock pointing from one side of the hollow to the other. The arrow was attributed to Native Americans who raided early settlers and stole their gold and precious items.
The Indians allegedly hid these ill-gotten gains in the hollow by cutting down one of the two huge hemlock trees to make a ladder up the gorge wall. Their intention was to use the other tree as a ladder to reclaim their loot. Unfortunately, when they came back to retrieve it, the other tree had been felled in a storm so they were unable to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Whether it’s true or not, the legend is a good one and adds a little flavor to the area.
Modern visitors are able to walk trails on the upper gorge and in the gorge itself, offering two completely different perspectives of Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve. Walk along the cliff top to enjoy amazing views of the surrounding wilderness and bask in the sunshine. Then walk along the floor of Conkle’s Hollow in the cool shade and see a completely different landscape. It is a real treat if you’re at all interested in nature!
Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve is just one of many natural parks and forests we have in and around Hocking Hills. If you’re planning to visit the area, what better way to appreciate the outdoors than with a wood cabin?
Enjoy the traditional character of an early-style cabin with all the luxuries of modern living with Old Man’s Cave Chalets. Contact us today to find out more!