Thursday, April 30, 2015

Canoe or Kayak?

Ah choices!  Shall I take a canoe or a kayak on my paddling trip?  Well that depends on if you like Coke or Pepsi, drive a car or a truck, listen to pop or classics…  well you get the idea.  It mostly comes down to personal preference, but knowing the differences can help you have a more enjoyable time out on the river.
The oldest boat known to still be in existence is a canoe from about 10,000 years ago.  Kayaks didn’t come along for at least another several thousand years.  So if “experience” is an important qualification to you, well then stop reading and pick the canoe!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Living on the edge: A geological primer of Hocking Hills

Rock bridge Hocking Hills Wes Supper
Rock Bridge, Hocking Hills
The Hocking Hills region is a stunning anomaly.  Chockablock full of magnificent gorges and waterfalls, outlandish cliff sides, rock formations, and rare plants and animals that would require a hundred miles of travel just to find another one like it.  You see, the Hocking Hills region is unique because it always seems to find itself perched right on the edge.

The actual rock itself, is a type of sandstone, made up of different particles that were once floating along in rivers and streams.  As those rivers and streams entered a shallow sea, they slowed down, and the particles began to settle to the bottom.   Back then the Hocking Hills area had more of a coastal feel to it, right on the edge of a large body of water.  To be fair, this was a while back.  In fact we’re talking before dinosaurs!  Over time, that sediment compressed and developed in layers of rock several hundred feet thick. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

How shopping is like canoeing: a primer on steering a canoe

I have never lost my joy of hopping on the back of a shopping cart and riding it through the parking lot on the way to the car.  I personally think I would medal, should shopping cart riding ever become an Olympic sport.  I find there is a certain finesse to it, as the further away from the centerline I push off from the more the cart veers off course, and so it’s about slight adjustments in my pushing foot to the left and right to stay the course.  Now my favorite are the downward sloping parking lots, where pushing is not required.  In these circumstances I find applying slight downward pressure with my foot on top of one wheel or the other is a very effective way to steer, once I have momentum.  If fact, with a good tailwind and a solid stomp, I can get the cart to spin all the way around!  The judges would love me.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Hocking Hills alternative: Lake Hope

Millions of visitors traipse through the Hocking Hills each year.  Word on the street is that the state park camp ground books up months in advance.  Fear not, there is a hidden gem tucked in about 20 miles southeast of Hocking Hills, surrounded on all sides by over 26,000 acres of state forest land.  Complete with a pristine lake, a great BBQ joint, world class mountain biking, camping, hiking, and a wealth of history.  Lake Hope State Park might be a worthwhile backup spot.     

Friday, March 13, 2015

Shopping in the Hocking Hills

Sure we have majestic cliffs, rushing waterfalls, and towering cedars, but then what?  Well, shopping is a time honored part of any vacation!  We’re here to help.  You won’t find any malls or Pier 1 Imports, and with the exception of Wal-Mart, no local shopping destinations you’ll recognize from back home.  However, you will find plenty of handmade items, rustic and country décor, antiques, crafts, outdoor gear and such. 

We’ve put together 3 shopping specific day trip excursions with clickable headings that give round trip driving directions from Canal Winchester. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Bald Eagles: by the numbers

4 seasons in a row, a nesting pair of bald eagles has raised young near our campgrounds.

4 pounds is the Bald Eagle’s maximum lifting weight.

8 feet is the maximum wingspan of Bald Eagles.

35 days from egg laying to egg hatching.

35 MPH is a Bald Eagles maximum level flight speed.

417 is the lowest recorded number of nesting pairs, in 1963.

2000 pounds is the weight of large Bald Eagles nests. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Fleet expansion

Since 1996, when we started with 32 canoes and 5 kayaks operating off the porch of the Logan Antique Mall we’ve been growing.  Not so much mind you, that when folks get here there still is a good bit of that ole’ family feel to it.   

Our 2014 season was one of the busiest ever.  We saw a few records ‘round here broken.  For the first time, we sold out a string of consecutive Saturdays.  One of those Saturdays set a new bar for most boats put on the river in a single day, at 421. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

How deep is the Hocking River?

Well that depends on how much water is in the Hocking River, as well as where in the river you happen to be when you ask that question! 

Fortunately, the United States Geological Survey provides that answer.  The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) started keeping tabs on how much water is in rivers in 1889.  The first river was the Rio Grande in New Mexico to help determine if there was adequate water for irrigation purposes to encourage new development and western expansion. Since then the program has grown.  The USGS currently operates over 7,000 stream gauging stations nationwide. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Got Friends?

Of course you do!  Y'all should get together, do something fun.  I know, a canoe trip down the Hocking river may be just the thing!  We offer a group discount for groups of more than 10 adults.    A greater discount is available for groups of more than 20 adults.  We have a covered porch, a large gas grill, and a great place for your crew to gather before or unwind after the trip.  Very nearby is ice cream, antiques, adventure golf and more.

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Science of Icicles

One would think that in this modern age of instant information that we would know all there is to know about the simple things in life, such as icicles.  It is only within the last few years that scientists have begun to understand how they are formed at all, and still there are mysteries. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Winter Driving Tips

Many visitors to the Hocking Hills comments on the hilly curvy nature of many of its roads.  For the locals, well, it’s just the way home.  To visitors, particularly in in “off-season” conditions, these roads can seem quite treacherous!
We’re here to help. 

In the hills, portions of the road are in deeper shade, possibly getting water run-off from cliff sides, and can remain frozen after the rest of the road way seems okay.  Alternately many of the roads up on the ridges experience drift, with portions of the road in front of you simply disappearing for a moment under a light blanket of drifting snow. 

Here are our top 5 winter driving tips, direct from the Hocking Hills “locals”!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Camping at Hocking Hills Canoe Livery

Camping at Hocking Hills Canoe Livery

There is study after study which all report on the value of outdoor camping together as a family.  It is proven to increase family bonding, improve connectedness to nature, and bring about a more balanced sense of our place in the world. 

For the true outdoor enthusiast, our primitive campsites are tucked among the trees right on the banks of the Hocking River.  There is no electrical or water hookup.  These are primitive sites with a picnic table and fire ring, room to pitch tents and simply enjoy the great outdoors!

We have 12 different camp sites, some perfect for families, some better suited for large groups, some open on the banks of the river, some tucked into a grove a trees. 

The cost has gone up for the 2015 season to $32 per site per night for up to four people and $8 per extra person, with a two night minimum for Friday/Saturday.

Our 4 Camper Cabins offer the perfect blend for those wanting a taste of the great outdoors without sacrificing some of the modern conveniences. 

Each cabin site has:

  • Electricity
  • One full size bed
  • One set of twin bunk beds
  • A microwave  
  • A mini-fridge  
  • A heating / air conditioning unit
  • A front porch for some old fashioned “sitting”
  • A fire ring & picnic table   
  • One parking space (additional parking available nearby)

NOTE: Guests must bring their own bedding. Shower House / restrooms are a short walk. 

Cabins are $70 per night on weekends with a two-night minimum, and $60 during the week

We will be starting to take reservation by phone starting in January!

Planning a camping trip to the Hocking Hills

Great idea!  The Hocking Hills is the perfect Ohio destination for families, couples, reunions, and groups.  A day trip or a weekend getaway, the hills are sure to please!


Route 33 is regularly patrolled.  The speed limit is 60 mph from Columbus to just south of the Speedway and McDonalds in Carrol, where it goes to 70 mph for about 15 miles before dropping back down to 60 mph.  Further down 33 is a Sunoco and Subway on the right at the entrance road to Clear Creek Metro Park.   A few miles further on the left is a GoMart gas station and deli near the entrance to Canopy Tours.

After the rest area the speed limit goes back up to 70 mph.  The route 664 round-a-bouts finished in 2014 have been dressed out and are fully operational.  They are nothing more than yielding intersections usually without the need to come to a full stop.  The signage is pretty clear, just treat them like mini on ramps, yielding as you adjust your speed to flow into any traffic around the circles towards your destination.    

Why traffic circles in Hocking Hills?


Plan ahead!  During peak season, deciding just to drive down on Friday evening to get a camp site in the Hocking Hills is typically an unsuccessful strategy.  The State Park campgrounds books way in advance.  Most all other campgrounds in the area do fill up on in-season weekends.   

 In addition to the campgrounds right in the Hocking Hills area proper, don’t forget to check out Burr Oak or Lake Hope, both great state park camping in the surrounding area.  Also, free primitive camping is allowed in nearby Wayne National Forest, called dispersed camping. 

The Logan Wal-Mart  is open 24 hours should you have forgotten that critical piece of gear.

 For more info try the Hocking hills Welcome Center at 1-800-HOCKING

We offer primitive camping and camper cabin rentals right here at our livery in the heart of the Hocking Hills!  Primitive sites are $32 up to four people with a 2 night minimum on weekends. Learn more here

Canoe Hocking River
Canoeing the Hocking River is a great way to get a new perspective on the beauty of the Hocking Hills.  We offer 5 and 7 mile trips that allow time f to get in something else, or if you want, take all day, relax and enjoy!  Info on river trips   

NOTE:  You are always welcome to just stop by here at Fox’s Canoe Livery for a little “old fashion chin-wagging” as well as maps, brochures, tips and recommendations.