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OHIO: Hocking Hills & Westcott House

In June 2023, I toured the fascinating Westcott House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and hiked the beautiful ravines of Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio. By car, these worthwhile sights are respectively 2 and 3.5 hours east of Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo highlights below are gleaned from Tom’s Ohio trip portfolio.

Westcott House by Frank Lloyd Wright, in Springfield, Ohio

Helpful docents guided us on an excellent tour through this cool building designed in Prairie Style in 1906 by “the most important architect of the modern era.”

Above: Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Westcott House on commission in 1906 and built it in 1908 for Mr. Burton J. Westcott, his wife Orpha, and their family in Springfield, Ohio. The grounds include the main house and a garage with stables connected by a long pergola. The historic building was painstakingly restored from 2001-05 for $5.8 million dollars then proudly opened to the public.

Below: A piano and unique furniture grace the living room inside Westcott House.

Above: A round green & yellow Tiffany lamp decorates Westcott House.

Below: A skylight designed by Frank Lloyd Wright illuminates the upper stairwell.

Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio

offers many miles of attractive trails exploring gorges, waterfalls, overhangs, and cliffs worn from the picturesque Black Hand Sandstone.  The exceptional scenery attracts large numbers of visitors to Southeastern Ohio, near the town of Logan. To avoid crowds, start early in the morning and go on weekdays and in the off season. The scenic Hocking Hills provided two full days of fun hiking for Tom, while Carol enjoyed a quilting workshop at the Columbus College of Art & Design, one hour to the northwest.

Geologic history: The Black Hand Sandstone Member of the Cuyahoga Formation was deposited early in the Mississippian Period (359-318 million years ago). This orange to tan rock underlies the Hocking Hills like a sandwich, with a hard top and bottom and a soft middle layer. Its geologic formation involved the ancient Appalachian Mountains to the east feeding rivers which deposited sand and gravel, which later became a coarse, sometimes conglomeratic quartz sandstone.

Above: An arched stone bridge at Lower Falls, along the Old Man’s Cave loop trail (2 miles), in Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio.

Below: A stairway ascends Lower Falls loop trail.

Above: Whispering Cave (1.4 miles round trip) along Hemlock Bridge Trail, in Hocking Hills State Park.

Below: Visit Cedar Falls along a separate trail (0.75 mile loop) in Hocking Hills State Park.

Above: Canyon walls overhang the end of the Gorge Trail (1.5 miles round trip) in Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve, near Logan, Ohio.
Below: Steps wind through a slot in the Cantwell Cliffs area of Hocking Hills State Park (1.3-mile loop trail).

Below: Visitors explore the colorful Rock House cave on an enjoyable 1-mile loop trail in Hocking Hills State Park.

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