M had a surprise weekend off so we took off for a spur of the moment camping trip. One of the things he needed to see as someone who wasn’t a child in Ohio was Old Man’s Cave and the Hocking Hills.
We stayed in the state campground and spent Saturday morning hiking between Old Man’s Cave and Ash Cave. I want to tell you it was so pretty (which – it was) but I am incredibly disappointed in this particular state park experience. There were exactly ZERO Rangers or Naturalists at any of the sites. No one to encourage sound camping practices (so I saw our ‘neighbors’ washing diapers in our clean water…so I walked an extra 1/4 mile each way for the rest of the weekend) and there was no one to interpret the history, ecology and geology of the site. I consider this to be the crown jewel of our state park system and I was expecting so much more. On Sunday, we hiked around Rock House and that trail had much less litter.
State parks are the lay person’s entry into nature. It the job of those who manage this INCREDIBLY VITAL RESOURCE to interpret it’s significance for visitors; to explain why it is important, how to engage with it safely and why is worth protecting.
I will save my rant about being allowed to hunt in state parks for another day.