Avert campus chaos with socially-distant trips

BY WILL PEMBROKE, multimedia show manager
Photo courtesy of Flickr.com
If you’re looking for a way to liven up your spring semester and step away
from the chaos for a weekend, head to the not-so-far Hocking Hills Park.

We’re over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, and at this point, chances are you’re getting pretty bored. There are only so many Netflix shows and documentaries to watch.

Sitting at home online shopping for hours on Amazon likely isn’t cutting it for you (don’t worry, Jeff Bezos will be just fine). If you haven’t already strangled the person you’re living with, just give it a few more days.

So, what does all of this mean? It means it’s time for you and whatever people you still call friends to get outside and have some fun. 

What better place to do that than a critically acclaimed Ohio State Park? Located just over two short hours from Xavier’s campus, Hocking Hills State Park provides several COVID-19 safe outlets for fun.

If you are looking for a cabin in the woods getaway, Hocking Hills is the place for you. Twelve different living options are available, spanning from small two-person cabins designed for a more intimate weekend getaway to luxury vacation homes which can sleep all of your vaccinated friends.

Whether you want to spend time deep in the woods or find yourself in the “ultimate glamper” camp, there truly is a space for everyone. 

Prices range anywhere from $250 a night for smaller cabins to over $800 a night for the nicest Hocking Hills has to offer. Some cabins include hot tubs and private hiking trails, with modern amenities such as Wi-Fi and cable TV also available in select locations.

If camping is more your speed, Hocking Hills is absolutely the place to go. The state park offers 156 electric and 13 non-electric sites. 

Living amenities include a paved pad at each site, heated showers, flush toilets, a laundry facility, dump station and a camp store. 

For entertainment, each site has access to a swimming pool, playgrounds, a volleyball court and a horseshoe pit. 

Those looking to camp in tents or RVs are also welcome provided a reservation has been made.

For the day-trippers out there, Hocking Hills can still deliver. Seven different hiking trails offer a great opportunity for some exercise with views you will absolutely remember. 

The park itself is open year-round from dawn until dusk, with all hiking trails being one-way systems. 

Pets are welcome on the trails if on a leash as well as in some cabins, so bringing your furry best friend is not an issue. Entry, parking and hiking along trails are all free of charge.

Hocking Hills also contains two wheelchair friendly trails, leaving nobody excluded from an outdoor adventure.

Finally, naturalist-led hikes, along with other programs and events, can be explored free of charge.

Whether you are looking for a luxurious cabin getaway to clear your mind of endless schoolwork, wanting to explore a new area you have yet to see or simply wanting something to do, Hocking Hills State Park is the place for you.

On a more serious note, take this as a PSA to leave the house and get outside. Immersing yourself in nature, whether at Hocking Hills or  another outdoors location, is good for you.

It has been a long, cold winter, and I’m sure your body would like nothing more than a few hours out in the warmth and sun.