Hocking Hills Ecotours-High Rock Adventures is excited to announce a new, highly requested ecotour, the Edible and Medicinal Forest Ecotour. This tour is designed primarily for Adults and Children 12 and up. Adults and Children that have a keen interest in Nature Education, specifically in the areas of plant, tree, and some fungi identification and many of their uses. The tour length, on average will be 3 hours. The tour will typically cover 20+ plants and trees common to Hocking Hills and Appalachian Forests.
While on this educational and hands-on tour, you will get to see several common and very beneficial plants, several referred to as weeds. These plants like Plantain, Dandelion, and others typically grow in most yards and along various “edges” throughout the state. This tour will incorporate “viewing” and identifying “unique characteristics”. In several cases we will be using “touch” and “smell” to add levels to our memory. In some cases “taste” of the plants and/or trees will also be part of the experience. This tour will also feature a plant of the season, so while you are on the tour, you will be get to try a home-made tea or treat from the featured plant. Our guide will also recommend several plants that are easy to find or grow that you can use to make your own teas and/or herbal remedies at home.
This is the only tour at High Rock that does not offer a child’s discount. We will accept children under 12 if they have a good attention span and are interested in the subject. Typically children and youth will enjoy our Natural High Tour more as it also includes a few of our rock challenges along with nature education. If your child would rather be active and “doing” things then the Natural High Tour or even better the High Rock Challenge Tour, Rock Climbing, or Rappelling are all geared to be full of Adventure.
Plan to spend a morning or afternoon with us at High Rock and “dig” deeper into this unique and beneficial topic of Edible and Medicinal plants. The plants and their uses will vary by the season. In the Springtime (Late March-May) we tend to have the most Ephemerals. Plants like Bloodroot have a very short window of appearance and store medicinal properties in their roots. Evergreen species like American Wintergreen, we typically find all year round. Several plants and trees fall into the category in between and are available most of the growing season. Many of the medicinal yard and garden plants can be found all summer long typically late April through September or October. We can arrange customized Edible & Medicinal tours if a group (minimum 7) would like an even more in-depth day-long tour at our sister property in Cool Rock Valley.
We also plan to offer 1 or 2 workshops in 2018 on Sustainable Harvesting and preparation of edible and medicinal forest plants, herbs, and a few of the more common fungi species. Watch for announcements of these on our Facebook and Instagram sites. We are very excited about the upcoming 2018 season and look forward to welcoming you to High Rock Adventures-Hocking Hills Ecotours in the near future.
At High Rock Adventures/Hocking Hills Ecotours besides making sure our guests have a fun and exciting tour, we really want our guests to learn a few things about the beautiful ecosystem around them. It’s not a boring lecture or just facts, we try to connect our guest with the surrounding nature. On most of our Eco-Adventures our guests may be exposed to about 5 or 6 plants, trees, rocks, minerals, etc. in addition to Rappelling, Rock Climbing, or taking a Rock Challenge. On our Ecotours such as the Natural High EcoTour or our New Edible and Medicinal Forest EcoTour the nature around you will be the focus of your tour. We will taste, smell, and/or observe dozens of plants and trees, discuss regional history, geology, local animals, insects, amphibians, and more.
All of our tours are guided and unless you come with a large family group or group that has to stay together, your group size will be small, typically 10 or less. Some tours we need to split into even smaller groups. The ecosystem at High Rock is pristine and fragile in some areas; where other areas, like on our climbing and rappelling rocks, it is well – solid and sturdy. As you tour, we will explain why some of areas of High Rock are just for pictures and viewing; while others are hands-on, and knees-on, and feet, and many other parts of your body if you are in a tight squeeze, for example.
In all we do, we practice leave no trace ethics. We sometimes alter trails around fallen trees so they can decompose naturally. We purposely choose to build trails on old deer trails because they are already there and used by our forest friends. Our trails are narrow and follow contours of the land so they don’t really stand out or cause much erosion. In pictures you hardly notice a trail is there. As a matter of a fact, adventurers to High Rock always want picture of the beautiful rock formations and surrounding forest, typically with them in it. We believe our forest should look as beautiful as it did when we first found it and it really does. As an ecotour company High Rock does many things behind the scenes to keep our forest ecosystem protected. Expect on every tour that we will share some of the things you can do on your tour to help us. When you take and Eco Adventure or Ecotour with us expect to learn new things, see some things from a different perspective, and of course have fun while doing it.
ecotour cave at high rock adventures-hocking hills ecotours, hocking hills Ohio
We had a great workshop this spring. Everyone hiked, took notes, learned a lot, tasted several natural edibles in the woods, tried teas brewed from raspberry bush, sassafras and nettle, as well as Spice Bush chai tea. We also got to enjoy nettle and leek pesto and lemon nettle cupcakes. Everyone went home with a workbook, loads of information and a resource list so they can keep learning. We’re looking at dates for a second workshop as well as considering a follow-up workshop to this one. Stayed tuned for future classes and sign up early for the next one!
Explore part of High Rock few get to see, the workshop will include many of our amazing Rock Features plus on trail and off trail work with plants and trees on our property. We will also cover several common yard “weeds”.
Bring a sack lunch, notebook, something to write with, a small pack to put it in, and water for this on site field education workshop at Hocking Hills Ecotours. Dress in comfortable clothes for the weather and wear hiking shoes, boots, or some type of athletic shoes with tred, we will be on hills most of the day. We will explore the High Rock property seeing, smelling, and tasting several edible plants and trees. We will also discuss plants and trees that are used for herbal medicine and how to make some of them.
Additionally, many of the plants and trees have other uses for natural dyes, household items, etc. This is one of the rare educational tours that we will be going off-trail to see some of plants that our tour guests do not usually get to see. In this class we will also be making a healthy and immune boosting woodland tea and discussing which Ohio woodland plants and trees can be used to make natural teas.
The cost of the tour includes your guide and instructor, Steve Roley, M.Ed with 20 plus year Natural Resources Ecotourism Teacher and International Ecotourism Consultant. Also included will be handouts with notes on most of the plants and trees we will see and learn about, along with a lite snack. (bring a lunch as we will be out in the forest for 5+ hours.) This tour will include visits to several of our awesome Rock Features at High Rock/Hocking Hills Ecotours along with a chance to experience a couple of our Rock Challenges for those who wish to add some adventure to this workshop.
This has been our most requested workshop and the price is quite low for all that is included. It will likely sell out, so reserve your space early. If you have to reschedule and let us know at least 14 days prior for an exchange tour. If we have to go with the alternate date, you can move your workshop fee to any of daily offered tours and adventures if you cannot make the rain date.
Should the forecast call for extreme rain or thunderstorms, we will contact you at least 48 hours in advance, the alternate date will be the following Saturday, same time on May 13th. This workshop is designed for adults or young adults. Our normal tour age is 6, for this workshop we highly suggest that students be at least 12 years old or older due to the content and the length of the class/tour. Call or email us if you have any questions about this policy. Thank You!
This tour/class is limited to 15 students/guests. Cost for this workshop: $89.00 per student