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Just Outside Columbus, a Real-Life Enchanted Forest Awaits

by Elyse Glickman

Aug 17, 2020

Photo: Jennifer Stone | Dreamstime.com


Some kids lucky enough to grow up with large backyards and treehouses were able to escape the pressures of daily life and let their imaginations run wild. Is it any wonder the mystique lives on in Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Tree House children’s book series?


Just outside Columbus, kids of all ages can experience the magic of a full-on treehouse vacation at Hocking Hills, whose accommodations are perched in the treetops overlooking the woods of Hocking Hills State Park. In addition to great heights and one-of-a-kind surroundings, these pet-friendly treehouses have numerous extras every adventurous kid would want, including porch swings, fire pits and kitchenettes.


Of course, like any good resort, there’s something special for the adults. When the kids are off on adventure or tucked away for the night, parents can enjoy a well-deserved soak in the room’s Japanese-style, wood-fueled hot tub with the added sensory accompaniments of cedar-infused smoke aromas and the rustling sounds of area wildlife.


Each cabin has its own personality, with architectural details (such as a glass-enclosed, circular master or a secret doorway bunk room) that take full advantage of the outdoor surroundings. The Canopy Tree House at Canopy Ridge Cabins is Hocking Hills’ first tree house constructed entirely of cedar logs. The wheelchair-accessible dwelling, hidden by trees and 20 feet above ground, offers a generous second story and a fully-equipped kitchen with granite countertops, a large walk-in tiled shower, a gas fireplace, a king bed with 900-thread count linens, double decks, a hot tub, an outdoor shower and a fire pit.


Among the Trees Lodging’s 450-square-foot Maple View Tree House boasts room for four and is suspended among a grove of sugar maples. It is an adventure to get to, with bird’s eye canopy views and a cable bridge leading to an impressive deck. There is a first-level master bedroom with a queen bed, and two twins nestled inside a cozy overhead loft accessible via a handcrafted ladder. The secluded forest hiding Corban Cabin Getaways’ Sidney Nook Tree House blends into the interior thanks to a dozen massive windows. Guests get cozy by the indoor fireplace or enjoy 360-degree scenic views sitting in handcrafted Adirondack chairs on the wrap-around timber deck. A gas grill and fire ring add to the inviting outdoor ambiance. Visitors can sleep among the trees in two queen bedrooms appointed with handmade hardwood furniture.


Comfort in the Woods’ treehouse boasts unrivaled stargazing from a deck encircling the entire structure. Floating 20 feet up in a canopy of lush trees, travelers love the view of the meandering stream rolling by this cozy, two-person tree house. A fully equipped kitchen and an inviting fire ring complete the treehouse experience, creating a perfect (and incredibly affordable) couple’s weekend getaway.


Beyond the treehouses and the resorts’ outdoor activities, such as canoeing, horseback riding and golf, there are many hiking trails, parks and forests waiting to be explored.


Thrill seekers can get their adrenaline fix with some of the 50 zip lines accessible through three different guide services. The “main streets” of the area exude Midwestern small-town charm through the many gift and antique shops, restaurants, diners and spas.



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