A major attraction to Hocking Hills State Park, south of Columbus, is its steep drops and rock formations. And for some in the past few months, that's been a fatal attraction. Some of the recent deaths have been the result of hikers venturing off the marked trails, and falling from those steep locations.
Mountwood Park doesn't have any of those, but it does have several hiking trails. The park director says hikers can determine which are suited to their age and level of experience.
"We have multiple hiking, biking and horseback trails, and they're all marked," says Director Jeremy Cross. "We have descriptions of all of our trails that tell if they're easy, moderate or difficult. All of our trails are safe for family use."
Mountwood has designed its trails for visitors of all ages, including handicapped residents.
"We have several nature trails for families that are flat, winding and meandering," Cross says. "One is at the camping area and the other is at the main park by the handicapped fishing pier. Anyone can use those trails and be safe while they're using those trails."
But one thing officials at all parks stress, is not to venture away from the trail. As Hocking Hills has shown, not to do so could be deadly.