HOCKING HILLS, Ohio — Officials from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is asking visitors who take a trip to the state’s popular Hocking Hills to follow one request: to stay on designated park trails. ODNR is giving this warning after three people were injured and had to be rescued after wandering off the trails during Memorial Day Weekend, according to News 5 affiliate WSYX in Columbus.
ODNR told WSYX that a person broke their pelvis after scaling Cedar Falls, another was injured at Rose Lake and a third barely escaped death after falling off the upper rim of Conkle’s Hollow while trying to take a selfie.
"If he'd missed that ledge, it would've been another 50 feet to the ground and that person would've most likely not survived that fall,” says Lt. Jeremy Davis of ODNR to WSYX.
In 2018, ODNR reported 68 injuries and 28 citations for visitors going off the trails, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
Davis said the best thing people can do to prevent injuries while hiking is to wear proper shoes and plan ahead so you can give yourself plenty of time to get off the trail before dark.
ODNR said the one of the main reasons people wander off the trail is to find the perfect view or photo.
Before you visit Hocking Hills, take a look at ODNR's informational guide on the trails and suggestions to follow while hiking on trails described by officials as "beautiful as well as potentially dangerous."