Most people who have been to the Hocking Hills have been to the same two spots. Don't me wrong: I'm sure they're lovely.
But like golden flecks in a mountain stream, more secretive spots dot the state's most infamous outdoor region -- this land of hemlock shade, cliff-side danger and the gorgeous passage of time.
Your afternoon of seeing anew starts at Rockbridge State Nature Preserve, located minutes from State Rte. 33 in the small town of Rockbridge. (Yes, it's home to that awesome zip-line tour.)
Rockbridge State Nature Preserve 11475 Dalton Rd., Rockbridge 614-265-6453 Homepage Hidden Hocking tour
View larger image About a mile down a trail along homespun fencerows, you'll encounter the longest of Ohio's 12 natural bridges. The striking, 95-foot stone walkway spans an eroded cavern and towers above waterfalls frozen in crystal stillness.
View larger image Returning during any season is advisable. Winter blankets the rock in frost, ice and snow.
View larger image My buddy Derek and I silhouetted against some of winter 2011's most amazing icicles. I'm 6'1" to give you a sense of scale. The preserve's trails might not be that impressive, but the final destination sure is.