Falling in Love with Cedar Falls

Falling in Love with Cedar Falls

Your first trail is likely your favorite trail. At least that's the way it is for me in the Hocking Hills.

A friend told me that we would be going to Cedar Falls, and I shrugged it off thinking, "Sure, we are. I'm not a hiker, so good luck with that." And yet, there I was standing in the parking lot on one glorious Sunday with a water bottle in my hand, hoping I hadn't gotten into something that was way over my head.

As we descended the wide stairs, I noticed how quickly we were descending into another world. This trail gives you a rather large payoff for a minimal amount of work. Maybe that's why I love it?

Whatever it is that keeps drawing me here, the first time I was unsure of where I was and where I was going. My feet took two steps on each earthen step as we made our way down, and the brown of the stairway made the brilliance of the greens to my left almost too beautiful to behold. Moss, leaves, grass... They gathered together stubbornly asking you to stare.

But still I descended.

We made it to the bottom and our eyes were first in awe of the water that wound its way in front of a rock wall. We looked up at the rock wall that was seemingly endless in height, but somehow, the brilliant blue of sky greeted us. Sky blue... earthen brown... brilliant green. These are the colors that define the Hocking Hills.

Silence overtook my friend and I as we tried to take it all in. And we quietly made our way further down the trail and then over a bridge as we heard the crash of water against water that was waiting for us.

As we climbed on the rocks, we joined the ranks of photographers, families and couples that just stood marveling at Cedar Falls. The waterfall splitting down the middle as it travels a well-worn path carved into the rock many, many years ago, and then coming back together to join with the water pooled beneath it. From the beauty to the sound, there is so much relaxing about this waterfall.

So why is it my favorite trail? Is it simply because it's my first? Maybe.

The truth of the matter is that this easy trail showed me just how accessible the Hocking Hills is. It showed me that beauty is right around the corner if only I chose to see it. And so because of this trail, I have made more treks around this area and become more brave. If I could possibly write a love note to Cedar Falls, I definitely would.