The Christmas Rocks State Nature Preserve is near SR-33 and SR-22 near the Lancaster bypass. The trail begins at the Mink Hollow covered bridge over Arney Run then leads up a gravel road, past a gate, and along a double track trail to two loops. The first loop is Jacob's Ladder where there is a picturesque view to the west. The second loop is Christmas Rocks loop named for the Christmas ferns that line the trail. There are many "No Trespassing" signs but they only pertain to the properties to the left and right of the road. The nature preserve owns the road and trail loops. On the far end of the Christmas Rocks loop are wooden steps down a cliff. They are NOT part of the trail and just lead down to a hunting lodge. The trail is rated "Hard" only for the part of the trail that climbs the cliff face up to the view on Jacob's Ladder. Approached from the other orange trailhead where you'll see wooden steps the trail is no more than "Moderate" The best time to photograph the view is in the very early morning with the sunrise to your back illuminating the valley to the northwest.

Wow! What a pleasant surprise! I read a few reviews and decided to give this trail a try on a weekday afternoon. We only saw one other couple the entire time. Park by the covered bridge & follow the arrow to the trailhead. Don’t let the stroll up the gravel drive fool you. There is some fun and fairly challenging terrain awaiting you. I would suggest doing the blue loop first and then circling back to do the orange loop. Take your time on the blue loop to marvel in the biodiversity of the flora in this area. Beautiful, tall Tulip trees & a dense pine forest. If you come back on the far end (closest to the blue loop) of the orange trail, you’ll finish out the hike with a spectacular view that makes you forget you are in Ohio and a fun clamber down the steep section of the trail. A great way to spend an afternoon enjoying the best of what our state has to offer in terms of natural resources. Great job ODNR!

Really gets the heart pumping

Great trail to get the heart pumping. Lots of up and down and good length.

I really loved this hike, but mostly for personal reasons. I was in town for the weekend and needed to deeply ponder a life changing decision so I went on a hike, and, in that regard, it was as good as it gets. I was completely all alone (no bikers blazing by, no unleashed dogs) - just me, the trees and the breeze. It was awesome and just what I needed. I did both loops and toward the end hit the one magical view which was absolutely peaceful and serene. Well marked and maintained trail that I think I’d rate more as moderate though my calves did get a little burn along the way.

Beautiful and feels very remote.

Good views and hills. Hard to believe your only an hour from Columbus.

Love this place. Good amount of climbing once you get back to the orange and blue loops.

Nice hike with a couple of steep hills both up and down. One nice view with a few big rock formations. Walk along a river for a portion. Very quiet in the winter!

Well marked trail with some strenuous climbs

quiet, a little steep in places, just enough you know you are hiking. covered bridge next to parking lot.

Not many overlooks or long of a hike but great incline on both loops

Did both loops. great views.

Decent little hike, did both loops twice, did them once looking for a great sunrise view, turns out there is only one excellent view, I'd say the trail is moderate at best it's not that hard to do

nice scenery (For Ohio)

Gets the heart rate up and offers a good workout with both loops. Great view, worth the climb!

Challenging but doable hike. Easy trail to a view at the top!

Nice!!! Big trees and a lot of rock formations. Needs to be marked better

First time hiking this trail, and we really enjoyed it. I recommend a route straight up Old Mill Hollow Road, and then taking the first (southernmost) turn onto the Jacob's Ladder Trail (orange blazes), returning to the mail trail (Old Mill Hollow) and immediately taking the southern trailhead for the Christmas Rocks trail. It'll return you to the central trail having done both the side loops, and this gets the (rather big and steep) hills over with quickly, letting the second half of the hike relax you into a mostly-downhill walk around the Christmas Rocks trail and back to the start. Trail is well marked and easy to follow, but in parts is pretty darn steep - if you're going soon after rains when the ground is damp, bring poles or you're likely to lose footing on some of the downslopes.

Very peaceful, amazing view. I got a great workout. I can't wait to go back.

Nice view worth seeing, but the rest of the trail can be somewhat uneventful.

Nice hike. The out is pretty simple but it gets fun on the loops back. The best view is on the orange section. Marked well except one place pink markers showed up. I thought they were faded orange markers for the orange trail. Veered off course for a half mile or so. Retraced and got back on the blue trail. Just a warning. Ran about 1/2 and walked the other half. Great workout!

Two fairly hills that could cause you to get put of breath. A decent workout. One great view on the orange loop. I wouldn't go with kids unless they have been on hilly trailed before

Great hike, hard but well worth it.

Fantastic hike withing a very vibrant ecosystem. There are pitch pin, rhododendron, ferns, and intriguing rock formations. Best of all, hardly anyone is there! It starts off kind of bland until you get to the two loops. That's where the hike gets more scenic and a lot more difficult. Make sure you have strong legs; I would not rate this as "moderate" like the listing says. If you take the first loop connection, you'll be walking up at a 45 degree angle. Many other places it's about a 30 degree angle. The reward at the top of the first loop is a large scenic overview of the valley. When you search for directions to get there, put in "Arny Run Park," which is a nearby park where the parking is at. Warning, the streamside is full of bugs in the summer (and toads that eat the bugs).

hiking
Saturday, February 18, 2017

It was a very beautiful hike. Me and my friend spent the afternoon hiking here and saw some very awesome views. It was our first time here and will defiantly be back to explore some more.

hiking
Sunday, February 05, 2017

Park at the covered bridge, take a short walk up a gravel road, and you'll see the Jacob's Ladder loop followed by the Christmas Rocks loop a bit further along. The view from the top of Jacob's Ladder is one of the best vistas in the area.

signs posted says no pets allowed

awesome view

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