Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Vacation Continues: Lake Hope

After the New Albany Classic, my sister and I headed east from Columbus. We ended up at Lake Hope State Park, in Vinton County, just south of Hocking Hills. This is what was once known as the Hanging Rock iron region, where the old iron furnaces used to be. Acres of forests were cut for charcoal, which was burned in furnaces to produce pig iron from the iron ore in the sandstone bedrock. This iron was then shipped all over the country, to be used in many industries, including the cannon and ammunition for the Union Army The furnaces ran 24 hours a day, and so much wood was used that the hillsides were stripped of timber.

The Hope Furnace was one of 69 charcoal-iron furnaces producing high grade iron ore in the mid-nineteenth century. What remains of it was just down the road from our cabin in Lake Hope State Park. Since education is always a part of our travels together, we stopped and read the marker placed by the Ohio Historical Society. (I personally love Ohio historical markers, and try not to pass one up.) It didn't reproduce so well here, unfortunately.

More reminders of days gone by.

While at Lake Hope, we stayed here, in Cabin #41, the Pine cabin. Each of the cabins had a number, and also a tree name. This photo is taken from the road in front, where sometimes as many as 3 or even 4 cars passed by each night. Whew! The traffic was murder!

You can't see our little "patio," basically a bit of dirt with a picnic table and two heavy-duty lawn chairs, but it was here, in front of the cabin, that I was finally justified in my sister's eyes for my bird nerdiness. While making our plans, she asked, plaintively, "You aren't going to drag me out for night birding, are you?" I chuckled, because I had been thinking that I would need to do some owling on this trip.

After dinner our first night, I sat out on the "patio" with my owl tape. It only took three or four repetitions before I had called in three Eastern Screech Owls. One was in the tree just in front of us, another near the cabin behind us, and a third a little further away. They were all "talking" to each other, so I didn't even need to use the tape any more.

Lisa isn't easily impressed, but I think I got her that night. Two nights later, I saw two screech owls (or the same one, twice) fly in and land in a nearby tree in response to my tape. Pretty cool, I thought!

The bedrooms were nice.

We even had a fully stocked kitchen.

The only problem was the forest closed at dark!


Susan Gets Native said...

I want to go to Hocking Hills. But I'm afraid of bears.

See any?

Susan Gets Native said...

Oh. And good owl calling. Owls are so nosy.

Kathy said...

I love historical markers, and rarely pass up an opportunity to take a picture of one. By clicking on the picture, I was able to make it large enough to read. The cabin looks like a very inviting retreat.

Anonymous said...

Did you know there is a Website for Ohio historical markers? Go to and you can browse all the markers, county by county.

KatDoc said...


Thanks for the link to Ohio historical markers. It's in my favorites list!

[Now, we need a name for the history buffs out there. Hmmm ... can't think of a primate that starts with an "H"]


Lisa said...

Hanuman. He's the Hindu monkey god.

On the other hand, "Science Chimp" isn't alliterative, so what about "History Lemur"?