I live in central Ohio.
It’s not exactly a destination for photographers seeking spectacular landscape shots. There are no mountain vistas, no breath-taking canyons, no sunrises or sunsets over a rocky beach. There are some forests, streams and a few small hills in local parks, but other than that the area is pool-table flat.
Blame it on the Wisconsin glacier that covered Ohio from 85,000 to 11,000 years ago. It flattened the area, but southeastern Ohio (about an hour’s drive from here) was outside the glaciation of the ice age and remained ruggedly hilly and forested.
The same glacier that flattened much of Ohio is responsible for creating one of the most geologically unique – and photogenic – areas in Ohio: the Hocking Hills, a region of that ruggedly hilly section of southeastern Ohio that features gorges, cliffs, caves and waterfalls created when torrents of water from the melting glacier rushed through that area.
Upper falls on the Old Mans Cave trail, Hocking Hills, Logan, Ohio.
According to Wikipedia: “When the glacial torrents found cracks in the hard capstone, the water poured through to flush out the soft middle layer. This left long tunnels where the gorges are today. Eventually, the weight of the tops caused them to come crashing down. The ‘slump rocks’ in the gorges today are what’s left of the hard top layer. In just a few centuries, the rushing waters of the glacier carved the soft middle layer of sandstone into the myriad dimples and wrinkles that decorate the cliffs and grottos today.”
Water from a stream in Hocking Hills State Park flows into Devil's Bathtub, a small waterfall and swirling pool that feeds a second waterfall.
The waterfalls, deep, rocky gorges and towering, forested hills make Hocking Hills State Park one of my favorite areas for photography. It’s about an hour’s drive from my house, but it’s worth the trip.