This summer was definitely a summer of testing our limits. Adding to our adrenaline-junkie fire was an adventure in cliff climbing and rappelling with Hocking Hills Adventure Trek in Hocking Hills, Ohio. The fam and I had a blast climbing up large, carved-out rocks and rappelling down beginner areas of Hocking State Forest.
We met the company in the Hocking Hills Forest Rock Climbing and Rappelling area parking lot. There’s really no actual address for the parking lot on Big Pine Rd., but we had no problem finding it. The company’s owner, Jim, called us a few days ahead of time to give us detailed directions on how to arrive safely and what to wear. All of the climbing and rappelling equipment is provided, so all we had to bring was comfy clothing, snacks, and drinks.
We geared up in the parking lot and headed into the forest. Our 10-minute walk was scenic, and our guides were knowledgeable about Hocking Hills history and the nature of the area. One of the guides walked ahead of us while we were being fitted for our gear and had the top ropes secure for our climbing experience. My family had never experienced rock climbing any more than in prefab, indoor rock walls that have hand and foot holds screwed into them, and we were stoked to try a true climbing experience.
The kid had a blast testing her limits, both physically and mentally. Our guides were filled with encouragement and shouted out spots to place her hands and feet to help her climb higher.
Mr. Locke, who tends to be a natural at every sport he tries, raced up the rock wall, and now has the very endearing nickname “spider monkey”. The rock wall that we used for our 2 1/2 hour trek is considered the perfect wall in Hocking Hills be our guides, as there are multiple levels of difficulty on each side.
Ok, so we tried ascending a rock wall, but would rappelling down one be jut as challenging? You betcha! The three of us, along with the rest of our climbing party, climbed huge tree roots to the top of another rock wall. The root climb was really fun, and the kid said it reminded her of a sci-fi movie. We were once again shown the proper technique and clipped into a safety line for, well, safety.
Mr. Locke went first and had no problem rappelling down the tall rock wall. The kid and I? Well, it was definitely the first step off that had us thrown, but watching him descend the wall with no effort gave us the inspiration we needed.
Second in line, it really was no problem even with screaming forearm muscles from the rock climbing. Our guides were on constant guard during our descent and always used a secondary safety technique in case we let go of the rope.
I love this photo of The Kid. She conquered a fear of rappelling and I couldn’t be more proud.
We enjoyed our time in Hocking State Forest, and under the tree canopy we forgot just how hot July can be in Ohio. We received not only a confidence boost but a lesson in geography and history.
Hocking Hills Adventure Trek offers rock climbing, rappelling, nature hikes and storytelling, and belly boat fishing in all four seasons in the gorgeous Hocking Hills in Ohio. Their team of expert climbers and naturalists will customize an adventure for your family based on your specific preferences, and all equipment is provided.
Adventure Treks leave the parking lot at 10am and 1pm and last anywhere from 2 1/2 to 4 hours. It’s very important to pre-book a trek and for all of details on pricing and scheduling click here.
Disclosure: I was hosted by Experience Columbus and Hocking Hills Adventure Trek to bring you fine folks the scoop on our adventure. I was not asked to state a particular point of view and, as always, my opinions are all my own!