Cedar Falls at Hocking Hills State Park
If one were to venture down the Lower Gorge of Old Man’s Cave, you would eventually enter the picturesque valley of Queer Creek. At the point where Old Man’s Creek merges with Queer Creek, the trail takes an abrupt turn east and enters this new valley. The trail leading to Cedar Falls passes through the most austere area in Hocking Hills. This remote, primitive chasm is laden with hemlock and bound by steep rock walls and their accompanying grottos and waterfalls. It is a wild and lonely but spectacularly beautiful place.
Cedar Falls itself is the greatest waterfall in terms of volume in the Hocking region. Queer Creek tumbles over the face of the Blackhand sandstone displaying the awesome force of water power.
In the mid 1800’s, a grist mill was built above the falls to utilize this water power for grinding grain.
Cedar Falls was misnamed by early white settlers who mistook the stately hemlocks for Cedars. A well kept picnic area and restrooms are located in the parking area above the falls.
Democracy Steps, leading down to the falls were created by Akio Hizume, artist, architect and mathematician. Drawing from his love of nature and expertise in the relationships among numbers and dimensions, Akio designed a staircase descending gently down the hillside leading from the parking lot to Cedar Falls. Akio set out to create a serpentine walkway that feels as graceful as it looks. His goal was to make the act of ascending or descending the nearly 100 steps pleasant and relaxing; not the tiresome chore of climbing up or down the typical set of uniform, periodic stairs. The lengths of individual steps are varied, so that walkers alternate the leading foot, establishing a comfortable pace and rhythm. Though it seems like second nature, this walking rhythm was planned carefully and deliberately. It reflects mathematical principles of the Fibonacci sequence and the one-dimensional Penrose lattice.